Cookies, cakes, and all things sweet were the gateway for my love of being in the kitchen. I’m known in my family as the “Martha-esq” type, whipping up desserts and craft projects for fun. It was always slightly embarrassing though because I was also quite the tom-boy and saw myself keeping up with the boys, just as much as I could be found baking. Funny thing is I’m exactly that same person then as I am now, but my sweet tooth and baking skills have given way to more savory fare. I love the forgiveness cooking can inspire.
On any given night, I love looking in my fridge and finding all the odds-and-ends of this-and-that and coming up with something delicious. Or at the very least belly sustaining if the vision in my head didn’t turn out as well as I’d planned. But lately, because of my ease and almost carelessness while cooking, it’s started to transfer over into my baking. I stopped measuring ingredients and following given instructions (unless I needed to write them down here) because I thought the end result would still turn out not so bad. Luckily there haven’t been any hard bricks or gooey messes of inedible dessert, but still, nothing was that great either. This past weekend a little celebration was in order, so I decided I needed to change that and get out my measuring cups.
I didn’t know what to expect with the hazelnut flour. I’ve used it in tart crusts, but never in a baked good. The little cakes came out with an incredibly delicate crumb texture, which makes them somehow light and quite filling at the same time. They make a super breakfast or brunch treat, but they work just as well for a casual dessert, especially if you wanted to add in some chocolate to the batter and sever with a touch of whipped cream.
Hazelnut Cakes / makes 12-14 small cakes
At the last minute I added in 2 tablespoons cocoa powder to half the batter if you decide you want all chocolate cakes, use the full 1/4 cup and mix it in with the dry ingredients first. Also, because I know someone may ask, the 2 tablespoons of baking powder is not a typo; hazelnut flour is heavy and needs some lift!
2 cups hazelnuts, toasted
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats, ground into oat flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sunflower oil or coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder, optional
Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking cups or tins with muffin liners.
Place the hazelnuts in a food processor and grind until they form a nice crumbly flour meal, don’t go for to long though or you’ll end up with hazelnut butter. Combine the ground hazelnuts, wheat flour, oat flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a mixing bowl and mix well.
Use a mixer with a whisk attachment to whip the banana, oil and honey until thoroughly combined. Add in the vanilla and almond milk and whisk well.
Pour half the dry mix into the wet, stir gently a few times, then add the remaining dry mixture. Gently fold everything in, the batter should be light and almost bubbly.
Fill each baking cup about 2/3 full and bake for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the tops are golden brown.