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Orange butter cakes

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These charming individual cakes are baked in ramekins, then unmolded to reveal orange slices on the top of each dessert. The cakes are good on their own, especially served warm from the oven, but they can also be topped with a spoonful of crème anglaise for a creamy contrast, if you like.

Orange Butter Cakes
2 oranges
3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus 8 Tbs. (4 oz./125 g) butter,
at room temperature
1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the crème anglaise (optional):
2 egg yolks
2 Tbs. cornstarch
5 Tbs. (2 1/2 oz./75 g) sugar
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) whole milk, heated
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream, heated
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly butter six 1-cup (8 fl. oz./ 250-ml) ramekins or custard cups.

Finely grate the zest of 1 of the oranges; reserve the fruit for another use. Cut the second orange into very thin slices.

Sprinkle 2 Tbs. of the brown sugar in the bottom of each prepared ramekin. Pour 1 tablespoon of the melted butter into each one, evenly covering the sugar. Place 1 orange slice in each ramekin. Place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt over a sheet of parchment paper; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat together the 8 Tbs. butter, the granulated sugar and orange zest on medium-high speed until creamy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture. Stir in the cream and vanilla until thoroughly incorporated. Spoon the batter over the oranges in the ramekins.

Bake until the tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let the ramekins cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

While the cakes are cooling, make the crème anglaise, if desired. In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch and sugar until thick and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the hot milk and cream. Add the vanilla bean and place over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer while stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 4 minutes.

Remove the vanilla bean halves from the cream mixture and, using the tip of a paring knife, scrape the seeds from each half into the sauce, then stir to blend. Discard the bean halves.

Run a knife around the inside of the ramekins to loosen the cakes. Working with 1 cake at a time, invert a small dessert plate over the ramekin, then invert the ramekin and plate in a single quick motion. Lightly tap the bottom of the ramekin with the knife handle to loosen the cake, then lift off the ramekin. If the orange slices stick to the ramekins, use a knife tip to loosen them and replace them on the cakes. Serve the cakes warm or at room temperature with the crème anglaise poured over the top, if desired. Makes 6 cakes.

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Hazelnut Streusel Bread

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This breakfast bread is a hazelnut lover’s dream: a tender, nutty texture studded with melty chocolate chips and a thick layer of crunchy hazelnut streusel on top.

If you can find them, purchase already peeled hazelnuts. Otherwise, spread them on a baking sheet and toast in a 325ºF (165ºC) oven for about 10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. Then, pour the warm nuts into a kitchen towel and rub them together to remove the skins. Don’t worry about removing all of the skins — the bread will still taste great.

 

Hazelnut Streusel Bread

For the streusel:

3 Tbs. all-purpose flour

1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g.) firmly packed light brown sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

3 Tbs. cold unsalted butter

1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) hazelnuts, toasted, peeled and roughly chopped

For the batter:

1/3 cup (2 oz./60 g.) hazelnuts, toasted and peeled

2/3 cup (5 oz./155 g.) granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups (6 1/2 oz./200 g.) all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Scant 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g.) unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g.) sour cream or plain yogurt

1/2 cup (3 oz./90 g.) miniature semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (optional)

To make the streusel, in a food processor, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter and process until crumbly. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts. Set aside.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350ºF (180ºC). Generously butter a 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-cm.) loaf pan.

To make the batter, in the food processor, process the 1/3 cup whole hazelnuts and half of the granulated sugar until finely ground. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Process to combine and transfer to a large bowl.

In the food processor, process the butter and remaining granulated sugar until light and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as you go. Add the eggs and vanilla and process until fully combined. Add the sour cream and process until combined. Scrape into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir together. Stir in the chocolate chips, if using.

Scrape about half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with about half of the reserved streusel. Dollop the rest of the batter over the streusel and spread it evenly in the pan, then top with the remaining streusel.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into slices to serve. Makes 1 large loaf.

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Best of the Web: Chocolate Treats

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What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with rich, dark, decadent chocolate? For creative ways to savor the holiday’s signature flavor, we turned to some of our favorite bloggers, where we found mouthwatering inspiration for truffles, cakes, cookies, brownies and more. Here are a handful that made us swoon.

 

Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer HeartsChocolate Hazelnut Linzer Hearts by Smitten Kitchen
These nutty cookie sandwiches are cut into hearts and spread with Nutella — perfect for a Valentine’s Day party.
Dark Chocolate Whipped CreamDark Chocolate Whipped Cream by Food52
No matter what you’re baking for Valentine’s Day, a dollop of this will take it over the top.
Dried Cherry and Cacao Nib BrowniesDried Cherry and Cacao Nib Brownies by Brooklyn Supper
These brownies are filled with festive (and colorful!) surprises: tart dried cherries and crunchy cocoa nibs.
Nibby Chocolate Rye MuffinsNibby Chocolate Rye Muffins by A Sweet Spoonful
These chocolatey muffins rely on whole-grain rye flour for an extra dose of hearty flavor.
Chocolate Shortbread Heart CookiesChocolate Shortbread Heart Cookies by Two Peas & Their Pod
A smattering of red, pink and white sprinkles gives these crispy shortbread cookies a touch of charm.
Chocolate Chocolate DonutChocolate Chocolate Donut by Table for Two
Surprise your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day with a breakfast of one of these cakey, creamy doughnuts, and you’ll earn big brownie points.
Red Velvet Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes with Chocolate Ganache Center.Red Velvet Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes with Chocolate Ganache Center by Half Baked Harvest
Filled with gooey chocolate ganache, these crimson cakes would make a gorgeous finale to a special dinner.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry CupcakesChocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes by Heather Christo
Moist chocolate cupcakes, a layer of strawberry-cream cheese frosting, and a fresh chocolate-dipped strawberry — these cupcakes were meant for a V-day celebration.
Dark Chocolate BrowniesDark Chocolate Brownies by The Pioneer Woman
No need to mess with a classic — these rich and decadent brownies will delight any chocoholic.
Flourless Chocolate Almond CakesFlourless Chocolate Almond Cakes by A Couple Cooks
These gluten-free treats are filled with ground almonds instead of flour, and they get an extra kick from a pinch of cinnamon and cayenne.
Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie BitesRaspberry Cheesecake Brownie Bites by Just a Taste
A swirl of raspberry-laced cream cheese gives brownie bites a pop of color. These would make great gifts!
Raw Chamomile + Lavender + Bee Pollen Chocolate TrufflesRaw Chamomile + Lavender + Bee Pollen Chocolate Truffles by Local Milk
The mild, natural flavors of chamomile, lavender and bee pollen are unexpected pairings for rich chocolate truffles. (P.S.: T