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Chocolate Loaf Cake with Gianduja Ganache and Caramelized Hazelnuts (+ Paris Picnic Club Cookbook Giveaway!)

Chocolate Loaf Cake with Gianduja Ganache and Caramelized Hazelnuts (+ Paris Picnic Club Cookbook Giveaway!)

This super-moist, versatile chocolate loaf cake is slathered with rich Gianduja ganache and caramelized hazelnuts. It’s an elegant, incredibly delicious treat you’ll want to serve for any and all occasions, from picnics to birthdays. {Jump to Recipe}

Chocolate Loaf Cake with Gianduja Ganache and Caramelized Hazelnuts // FoodNouveau.com

A summer picnic is probably the best way to enjoy the warmer season, yet I’m guilty of not planning one often enough. There is just no good reason why, and the cold, snow-filled winter we have just endured has made me more determined than ever to maximize this upcoming picnic season.

There are two more reasons why picnics are on my mind these days. The first is that I’ll be returning to Paris late May, and if a picnic capital had to be named, it would be the City of Lights. The shops, the food, the wine, and the parks: everything in Paris seems to have been created to allow lazy hours of drinking wine and sharing delicious treats with friends. I’ve traveled to Paris many times and even lived there for a while many years ago, and impromptu picnics that stretch well into the night are probably the fondest memories I have of my time there.

The second reason why picnics are on my mind is a brand-new cookbook. Written by chefs Shaheen Peerbhai and Jennie Levitt, Paris Picnic Club is sure to stir up alfresco dining impulses. Contrary to what the title might imply, the book doesn’t solely contain French- or Parisian-inspired recipes; rather, a wide selection of treats that incorporate flavors from around the world. The book was titled to commemorate an ambitious project Peerbhai and Levitt conducted in Paris: every Friday for a year, they would prepare picnic-style meals for their friends. Word-of-mouth soon transformed the intimate affair into a full-blown pop-up restaurant that would serve food to eighty hungry guests every week.

Paris Picnic Club Cookbook by Shaheen Peerbhai and Jennie Levitt // FoodNouveau.com

I’ve been following Shaheen Peerbhai on Instagram for many years, and I remember witnessing her going through culinary school—I lived vicariously through her Cordon Bleu training!—then carrying out the ambitious project Paris Picnic Club became. I was impressed by her and Jennie’s enthusiasm, guts, and hard work, and secretly dreamed I’d get to attend one of their events. I never made it, but now I can create and taste their food in my own kitchen, thanks to their colorful cookbook.

Chapters are divided by course: there are small plates, sharing platters, breads, tartines, and desserts, as well as a great selection of virgin drinks, wine advice, and helpful basic recipes that you will refer to again and again. I love that they also include expert picnicking tips, favorite shops, and best Paris picnic spots. I’d rank a Parisian picnic high on a list of things you should do before you die, and this book has everything to convince you to add one to your bucket list, too.

Paris Picnic Club Cookbook by Shaheen Peerbhai and Jennie Levitt // FoodNouveau.com  Paris Picnic Club Cookbook by Shaheen Peerbhai and Jennie Levitt // FoodNouveau.com

Flipping through the book for the first time, I stuck sticky notes on lots and lots of recipes, but I quickly noticed I had zeroed in on desserts, which I found especially mouth-watering and creative. The Rye and Molasses Cake with Fresh Pears, Apricot and Rosemary Tarte Tatin with Honey Cream, Tonka Brown Butter Madeleines, Chocolate Brownie Cookies with Black Sesame Salted Caramel, and Orange Fennel Cookies will all soon appear in my kitchen, but today, I’m sharing the recipe that jumped out at me first: a “Super-Moist” Chocolate Loaf Cake with Gianduja Ganache and Caramelized Hazelnuts.

Chocolate Loaf Cake with Gianduja Ganache and Caramelized Hazelnuts // FoodNouveau.com

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