I know I have said it before, but I do love hazelnuts. As per Wikipedia, “the nut falls out of the husk when ripe, about seven to eight months after pollination. The kernel of the seed is edible and used raw or roasted, or ground into a paste. The seed has a thin, dark brown skin, which is sometimes removed before cooking. Hazelnuts are used in baking and desserts, confectionery to make praline, and also used in combination with chocolate for chocolate truffles and products such as chocolate bars, hazelnut cocoa spread such as Nutella, and Frangelico liqueur. Hazelnut oil, pressed from hazelnuts, is strongly flavoured and used as a cooking oil. Turkey is the world’s largest producer of hazelnuts.”
I don’t usually buy Nutella. It’s really dangerous to have it in the house because, no matter where you hide it, it keeps calling your name. If you ever ate Nutella with bread sticks – I did when I was still living in Italy, before I became gluten-free – you know what I am talking abut; It’s calling is relentless.
That said, when I find a recipe that gives me the excuse to buy and use Nutella, then I feel that I am justified. In one of my Barnes and Noble brousing trips, I saw a book on sheet cakes by Abby Dodge, and immediately ordered it from the library – one day I will dedicate one of my posts to the wonderful and kind librarians at the Florence Lilly Library.
Among the great recipes that Abby shares, there was a Creamy Hazelnut Cake that was asking to be transformed into its gluten-free version. The result was a chocolate chiffon cake topped with a light and slightly tangy mascarpone Nutella frosting studded with roasted hazelnuts.