What can I say? I love my hazelnut International Delight. My coffee just isn’t the same without it. Yes, it’s a fantastic coffee creamer. But did you know that it can be used for baking, too? I used it as a substitute for milk and it worked like a charm (and added more hazelnut flavor, too)! When International Delight challenged me and other bloggers to come up with a recipe creation using their coffee creamers, I knew that the flavor trio of hazelnut, rich chocolate and orange would make for a decadent dessert!
My recipe creation was inspired by my honeymoon in Italy nearly seven years ago. I had the most delicious hazelnut gelato in Florence. It was truly unforgettable. While driving through the countryside, we saw so many gorgeous orange trees growing on the side of the road. And of course, every morning, I had Nutella spread on a danish or croissant. Taking a bite of these sinfully delicious cake balls takes me right back to Italy!
Ingredients for cake:
1 cup of chopped hazelnuts, ground in a food processor
1 cup (two sticks) of butter, softened
6 Tbsp. sugar
3 large eggs, separated
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tsp. baking powder
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 cup International Delight hazelnut coffee creamer
Zest of one orange
Juice of half an orange
Ingredients for the frosting (which will be mixed into the baked cake):
16 oz. mascarpone cheese (Italian cream cheese), at room temperature
1 cup of confectioners’ sugar
1/2 Tsp. vanilla extract
Ingredients for the chocolate coating:
Good quality melting chocolate of your preference (I used semi-sweet chocolate)
How to make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a Bundt or tube pan and set aside.
Beat butter and sugar on medium speed of a stand mixer. Mix until soft and light in color. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, ground hazelnuts and melted chocolate. Add half of the flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture. Mix on low speed just until blended. Add in the coffee creamer; mix well. Mix in the remaining flour mixture; mix well. Finally, add in the orange zest and juice and mix until combined.
Beat egg whites until white and opaque and just beginning to form soft peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter, half at a time.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake on the middle oven rack for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool in pan. Remove cake from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
How to make the frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar. Beat on high speed until everything is combined and forms a thick, frosting-like consistency. Beat in the vanilla extract and mix well.
How to make the cake balls:
Once the cake is cooled completely, in a large bowl, crumble the cake into pieces. With clean hands, mix in the frosting, combining it with the cake so it forms a cake-frosting mixture (like making meatballs!). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling into balls.
Roll the mixture into balls, about 2-inches in diameter. Place on a sheet of waxed paper and refrigerate for at least one hour or more. The firmer the cake balls are, the easier they will be to handle when coating with chocolate.
Once they are nice and firm, melt the chocolate that you’ll be using to coat them. You’ll need to work quickly, as the melted chocolate will begin to firm up as it cools down, making it difficult to get an even coating on the balls. Dip one side of the balls in the chocolate and place back on the waxed paper (chocolate side up). Allow the chocolate to harden up before serving. Since the balls contain mascarpone cheese, I suggest storing them in the refrigerator until just before you’re ready to serve them. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk!
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.