Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes

Looking in the pantry the other day I noticed that I had two big containers of hazelnut spread, which did inspire me to make use of it.  It has been some time since I actually baked with it or actually eaten any for that matter!

I like the singular aspect of these cupcakes.  Lots of things I bake or make usually are combinations of more than one flavor.  Nothing wrong with that, but sometimes you crave just one flavor.  After baking these and having the aroma of nutella fill my kitchen, you can be I was craving one of these.

The cupcakes actually are crisp on the outside and light on the inside.  The airy texture and subtle flavor of the cupcake goes well with the thick rich taste of the spread on top.  Yes, that strip on top is not some mixed up frosting, it is purely the hazelnut spread. This recipe makes about 16 cupcakes.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes
adapted from Cupcakes Galore

1/2 cup whole hazelnuts
1 1/2 cups chocolate hazelnut spread
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
3 eggs

Grease the top edge of the cupcake cavities and fill with cupcake liners.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together flour, salt and baking powder.  Set aside.  In another bowl cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Beat in one egg at a time until blended.  Mix in 3/4 cup of the hazelnut spread until  incorporated.

Fold in half of the sifted ingredients so no dry streaks remain.  Mix in the milk and then add the rest of the sifted ingredients.

Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full with the batter.  The batter was thick, so I tapped the pan on the counter to level it out.  You do not want any peaks or uneven batter, for it will reflect in the shape of the cupcake after baked.  Place pan(s) in the oven and bake until tester comes out clean 20-25 minutes.

Place pan on rack and let cool for 3 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan cavities.  Place on rack and let cool completely before frosting.

After the cupcakes have cooled, pipe the rest of the hazelnut spread onto the cupcake and place a few nuts on top or you can grind the nuts and sprinkle on top.

Tips and Notes:
1. You can leave to spread off and serve these plain with your morning coffee.
2. The flavor really stands out when these are slightly warmed in the microwave
              **LAST YEAR: Oatmeal Butterscotch Muffins**