Allison Malec is a Marketing Manager at Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, and is an editor at The Recipe Club. She lives in New York City, and loves to cook, bake and eat. She loves anything sweet, especially Momofuku Milk Bar’s Compost Cookies, Ben and Jerry’s Oatmeal Cookie Crunch Ice Cream, and Vanilla Mr. Softee cones with rainbow sprinkles.

You’ll be hooked on this Rich Chocolate Cake from One Girl Cookies after the first bite. The crunchy, salty hazelnuts contrast beautifully with the moist and dense chocolate cake and the ducle de leche topping. The yogurt and freshly brewed coffee make this chocolate cake one of the most moist cakes around! This cake with a cold glass of milk is my idea of pure bliss. (I also must note: I didn’t make the hazelnut brittle, because I was pressed for time. I just added some raw hazelnuts on top of the dulce de leche. However, next time I make the cake, I will certainly try the brittle!)

Rich Chocolate Cake with Salty Dulce de Leche & Hazelnut Brittle
Recipe from One Girl Cookies
Makes one 10-inch cake

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
1⁄2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
1⁄2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
11⁄4 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt

Hazelnut Brittle (recipe follows)

1⁄2 cup dulce de leche
11⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 10-inch round cake pan by greasing it with cooking spray and then lining the bottom with parchment paper.

To make the cake, pour the hot coffee into a medium bowl and stir in the cocoa powder until it dissolves. Stir in the brown sugar, followed by the yogurt and the vanilla. Stir thoroughly to ensure that all of the ingredients are incorporated.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light-yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the eggs and mix for 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, mix in a third of the flour mixture and half of the coffee mixture. Scrape down the bowl. Add another third of the flour mixture and all the remaining coffee mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining flour mixture until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

Bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the pan in the oven and bake for 20 more minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Then turn the cake out onto a clean plate, remove the parchment, and turn the cake back over onto a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely.

In a food processor, pulse the brittle pieces 3 to 4 times until the brittle is powdery.
Put the cooled cake on a serving dish. In a microwave-safe dish, heat the dulce de leche on high power for 30 seconds, or until it is just liquid. Spoon the dulce de leche over the cake, and then sprinkle the kosher salt over the dulce de leche. Sprinkle about ½ cup of the ground brittle around the outer edge of the cake as a delicious decoration.

Recipe for Hazelnut Brittle
Makes about 2 cups

1⁄2 cup whole unsalted hazelnuts, skins removed
6 tablespoons (3⁄4 stick) unsalted butter
1⁄2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1⁄8 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄8 teaspoon table salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Put the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 15 minutes until browned and fragrant. Let cool.

Prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat. Whisk in the sugar and corn syrup, and bring to a boil. Continue whisking constantly until the syrup is a rich amber color, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully whisk in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the hazelnuts and then pour the contents of the pan onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it out into a thin layer. Let the brittle cool completely.

Break the brittle into 2-inch pieces. The brittle will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.