I like to use the fall season as an excuse to eat an exorbitant amount of nuts. I also count nut spreads as nuts, which means that a steady stream of nutella is always flowing through my veins from September to November. Because I am eating so much nutella, I wanted to diversify and do something with it other than spreading it on a piece of toast. I remembered that I had some hazelnuts from a few months back in a plastic baggie stuffed into one of my cabinets, and I had heard that wondrous things happen to hazelnuts when you roast them, but hadn’t experienced this magic firsthand. So, on went the oven and in went the hazelnuts. Eight minutes later, the warm chestnut color had turned to a dark purplish brown and the skins had cracked open slightly, revealing the tanned hazelnuts underneath. The smell was overwhelmingly nutty and rich. I popped a few in my mouth and contemplated eating them all at once and sending my roulade idea straight to mordor, but instead I put them in a plastic baggie and smashed them to bits with my meat tenderizer mallet. (There, that will take care of those dangerous thoughts!) Then I made a hazelnut-flavored roulade cake and rolled it up with the nutella, the crushed roasted hazelnuts, and some cocoa powder mixed with powdered sugar. The result was something that looked like a yule log and tasted like an autumny nut heaven. If you enjoy nuts, hazelnuts, chocolate, and/or cake, then this is a must-make for the fall season. Seriously you guys, if you bring this to a dinner party people will love you.
2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Hazelnut Extract
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Evenly spread out the hazelnuts on a small metal pan and roast in the oven for 8 minutes, or until the outside darkens and the visible hazelnut skin looks slightly tan. Remove from oven, lower the oven’s heat to 375, and set the hazelnuts aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking
soda, cinnamon, and salt until completely combined. Set aside. In an
electric mixer beat together the eggs and sugar with a paddle attachment
at medium speed for about 3 minutes. Lower the speed and alternate
between adding the cream and the dry ingredient mixture until it is just
barely mixed. Then turn off the mixer and stir in the hazelnut extract
by hand with a rubber spatula.Pour the cake batter into a 13 x 18 x 1
inch sheet pan lined with greased and lightly floured parchment paper. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until cooked and springy to the touch.
While the cake is baking, place the hazelnuts in a plastic baggie, seal
it, and crush them with a meat tenderizer. Set aside. Then lay out a
clean dish towel and sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder over it
When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and immediately invert it directly onto the towel. Gently roll it up with the fabric and set it on a wire rack to cool.
Once cooled, unwrap it and frost the top of the cake with the nutella, then sprinkle the crushed hazelnuts over it. Roll up the cake without the fabric and serve immediately.