10 Dec Satsuma & Hazelnut Cake
Hi! I’m here! I’m alive!
There hasn’t been much time for baking and blogging around these parts lately, but I assure you it’s not for lack of jonesing for oven time. In the span of the last three weeks I’ve found myself in Palo Alto, Napa, Lodi, Eugene, Portland, and Ft. Lauderdale (where, yes, there are still people wandering around in bikinis. In December. What?!). Point being, I’m traveling like a mad woman, which has left me in a semi-vegetative state when I do have downtime. I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s fairly unfortunate timing for my day job/life in general to blow up like this because, hello, ‘tis the season for cookies and, sob, we’re a third of the way through December and thus far, I’m cookie-less. **sob-face emoji**
It’s the best time of year and I feel like the days are racing by more quickly than they ever have before. Sometimes (most of the time) I just want to scream SLOW DOWNNNN but, as I’m learning more the older I get, the clock has a funny way of ignoring even your most desperate wishes for the slowing of its hands. I need far more bourdon-spiked eggnog, Mariah Carey, fuzzy snowman socks, and Christmas movie marathons in my life before it’s January and we’re all suffering from holiday hangovers and passing on the buttery things again.
🍪🍪 SEND COOKIES! 🍪🍪 (And a time machine?)
I’m hoping to squeeze some Christmas cookies in over the next week or two (fingers crossed) but in the meantime, I’m tiding us over with a classic cake, based on my favorite cornmeal skillet cake recipe (<— oldie [but goodie] alert). A beautifully simple, single-layer, dare I say, rustic, hazelnut & satsuma cake that’s equally at home on both your holiday breakfast and dessert tables. WIN.
Because of the addition of ground hazelnuts, the texture leans towards hearty on the cake spectrum, not far off from the density of cornbread (though I do think it’s a bit lighter, with a finer crumb). A healthy serving of satsuma zest adds a pop of freshness and acidity that balances out the warm, toasty notes from the hazelnuts. It’s the kind of cake that’s perfection served warm from the oven with a hot cup of tea, but will also hold of left a few days on the counter, retaining most of its moisture if kept in an airtight container. For a little holiday flair, I recommend garnishing with citrus slices and pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!
Notes About This Recipe:
To make your own ground hazelnuts (which I highly recommend, your kitchen will smell amazing), place whole nuts on a baking sheet or in metal pan and cook in a 350F degree oven for 12-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. They’re done when you can smell them and the skin is crackled and glistening. Remove from oven, pour nuts into a kitchen towel and let cool for 5 -10 minutes. Then bundle the towel up tightly and rub vigorously. Most of the skin will come off in little flakes. Place the nuts in a food processor and grind until a course powder forms.
If you can’t find satsumas, oranges or any other winter citrus work well in this recipe. For even more fruit flavor, fold a cup or so of whole cranberries into the batter before baking.
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons ground hazelnuts
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup grade B maple syrup
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup full-fat yogurt or sour cream, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons satsuma zest
- 2 teaspoons satsuma juice
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour baking power, and baking soda. Whisk in the ground hazelnuts and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the maple syrup and mix to combine.
- Add the eggs one at and time, then add in the maple syrup, sour cream (or yogurt) satsuma zest and satsuma juice and mix until well combined.
- With the mixer on low, add in the dry ingredients and blend until just combined. Do not overmix -- if needed, finish folding in any pockets of flour with a spatula.
- Pour the mixture into your prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with a few tablespoons of brown sugar if desired, though I ended up preferring the powdered sugar look. (You can tell I added brown sugar to the top of mine in the slice photo, I didn't like how it ended up looking when it came out of the oven but it does add a nice crunch to the top.)
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Garnish with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, satsuma slices, and pomegranate.