Recently I received quite a few jars of Nutella from the youth fellowship members. Apparently they bought loads of it for a church camp and passed the leftovers to me (in the hope that I could probably whip something out from it for them, I think). I didn’t mind of course, it’s Nutella! I can think of 100 ways to use it already.
These Nutella cupcakes were one of the confections I made using the leftovers. The thing is, although I am a dessert person, I am not really crazy about cupcakes. I can’t stand the frosting made with 1 kg icing sugar, it makes me feel like I can get diabetes right after having one. But at the same time, contrastingly, I have always salivating over a Nutella cupcake in my mind…
To avoid a tooth-achingly sweet frosting, I opt for a less sweetness Swiss meringue buttercream frosting compared to the frosting made with icing sugar. I added half cup of Nutella to a batch of buttercream and I can tell you it’s wonderful.
For the chocolate cupcakes, I used the recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. It is by far the best chocolate cupcake ever! It’s soft, intensely chocolatey and went really well with the Nutella buttercream. I made some slight changes to the recipe though, which I swop the boiling water in the recipe to hot black coffee as I am one of those who loves to add coffee in chocolate bakes. I think it just makes the chocolate more intense. These cupcakes were so good that I believe I’ll make them again and again.
Chocolate Butter Cupcakes (Adapted from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum) Makes 16
1/2 cup (42g) plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup hot brewed black coffee
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups (166g) cake flour, sifted
1 cup / 200g caster sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
170g unsalted butter
- Line muffin pan with cupcake liners. Most muffin pans are 12-hole, you can line the rest in ramekins or small cups.
- Preheat the oven to 350F / 175C.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the cocoa and hot coffee until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. To speed cooling, place in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before use.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, 3 tablespoons of water, and the vanilla just until lightly combined.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds.
- Add the butter and chocolate mixture and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake liners to 3/4 full.
- Bakes for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centers comes out clean.
- Let the cupcakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove them from the pans and set them on a wire rack. Cool completely.
5 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup Nutella
- Bring 1 inch of water into a skillet to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites and sugar. Place the bowl in the skillet of water and whisk until mixture is warm to touch. About 10 minutes.
- Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat at medium-high speed until it forms glossy, stiff peaks and cooled. About 5 minutes.
- Reduce the speed to medium and beat in the butter one cube at a time. Beat in the vanilla.
- Beat at high speed until buttercream comes together. About 5 minutes.
- Remove mixer bowl from the stand mixer, add the Nutella and fold until well combined.
- Place buttercream in a piping bag fitted with your desired piping tip and pipe on the cooled cupcakes.
You can decorate and add crunch by placing a roasted hazelnut on top of each frosted cupcake.