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Chocolate Hazelnut Brioche Cake

While this recipe starts with a rich chocolate bread dough, by the time it is filled with its sweet hazelnut filling and then baked in a bundt pan, it transforms into a truly decadent cake.

Makes 1 8-cup bundt or tube cake 16 slices

Ingredients

 
  • Chocolate Brioche:
    • ½ cup 2% milk or chocolate milk, at just above body temperature (105 °F)
    • 1 Tbsp dry instant yeast
    • 1 Tbsp + ½ cup sugar
    • 4 eggs, at room temperature
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • Hazelnut Filling:
    • 1 cup whole hazelnuts, toasted and peeled
    • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • ¼ cup milk chocolate chips (optional)

Method

  1. Stir the milk (or chocolate milk, if using), yeast and 1 Tbsp of sugar and let sit 5 minutes. Add the eggs and stir to blend. Sift in the flour, the remaining sugar, cocoa powder and salt and mix (by hand or with a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment) until evenly combined. Add the butter and melted chocolate and mix until blended, then switch to a dough hook (or beat more vigorously by hand) and knead until the dough is soft and smooth, about 5 minutes. Place the dough (it will be very soft) in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let sit at room temperature for an hour before chilling for 8 to 24 hours.
  2. For the hazelnut filling, pulse the hazelnuts with the brown sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Add the egg and vanilla and pulse to combine, then add the chocolate chips (if using) and pulse lightly.
  3. On a floured work surface, turn out the dough and roll out to a large rectangle about ½-inch thick. Spread the hazelnut filling over the entire surface of the dough and then roll it up from the longer side. Cut the roll into rounds about 1-inch thick (just like making sticky buns). Lay half of the slices overlapping each other in a greased 8-cup angel food cake tin or bundt pan, overlapping the pieces, and then arrange the remaining slices over the first layer, overlapping. Cover the tin with a tea towel and let the brioche rise for 90 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Bake the brioche for about 40 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of it comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes, then turn out on a cooling rack to cool completely.