I intended to make a Hazelnut Chocolate Chip cake as my entry for the McCormick Pin-spiration contest, but as is typical, the world had other plans. I woke up early last Saturday morning and made a trip to the grocery store to buy the ingredients I needed. I then left the store with everything except the one ingredient I needed to officially enter the contest – the McCormick Imitation Hazelnut Flavor. It turned out the bright yellow “New Item!” sticker I remembered seeing under the McCormick flavor extracts over the past few weeks was for coffee extract, not hazelnut flavor.
Since I had gone to the trouble to purchase most of the ingredients, and I really wanted to use the Bundt pan I recently purchased at Goodwill for a low $1.99, I decided to scour a few other stores for Hazelnut. Four stores later, I found a bottle of Hazelnut extract at a price that negated any saving I had done by buying a second-hand Bundt pan.
I am pleased to report the finished product was quite worth the slight inconvenience of shopping multiple stores. The Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cake was flavorful, moist, and overall delicious. I also enjoyed a slice drizzled in a simple chocolate ganache made from equal parts chocolate and cream.
Strangely, I forgot all about the hazelnut flavor until I was mid-way through my second slice. I could taste the vanilla and the chocolate of course, but not the hazelnut. Could it be the hazelnut extract I purchased is simply not as strong as the hazelnut flavor McCormick markets? Or is the hazelnut intended to behave in much the same way as a good application of makeup? (I’ve been told the secret to good makeup is to look like you are not wearing makeup at all.) Did the hazelnut extract add a depth to the cake I would not have known existed if I had not added the flavor?
I suppose the answer to those questions will remain a mystery until I bake this cake again. With the main ingredients items likely found in the pantry – yellow cake mix, pudding mix, and chocolate chips – you can likely bake your own hazelnut chocolate chip cake this afternoon. Enjoy!
- 1 package yellow cake mix
- 1 package (4-serving size) vanilla instant pudding mix
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup water
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Imitation Hazelnut Flavor
- 1 cup miniature chocolate chips
- Beat all ingredients, except chocolate chips, in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed just to moisten.
- Increase speed to medium and beat for two minutes.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the cake batter into a greased and floured 12-cup Bundt pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Allow to cake to cool in its pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- When cool, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar or cocoa powder or serve with chocolate sauce, if desired.