Today let’s forget about going on (or thinking of going on – got you) diet, and just indulge ourselves in these golden goodness. These ferrero hazelnut cupcakes are simply perfect for celebratory occasions, because they’re
- visually appealing
There’s a story behind this creation – my mum’s colleague tried my baked goods at work and asked me to prepare cupcakes for her wedding. As nervous as I usually am, I low-key panicked a little (okay actually A LOT) and have been wracking my brain to think about what I should make in order not to disappoint. Red Velvet? Carrot Cake? Oreo & Cream? As I started to get frustrated this idea suddenly popped up in my mind – thank God – and I decided to go along with it.
Instead of conventional American buttercream, I opted for Swiss Buttercream for the cupcake frosting. Basically, making swiss buttercream requires an extra step of heating up egg whites and sugar in a double boiler, before you turn the egg white mixture into fluffy, glossy meringue. This method is highly sought-after, because
1) it in general yields a more delicate & refined texture and taste
2) it does seem that the butter ratio in the frosting is significantly lowered
I followed the instructions given by Tessa on https://www.handletheheat.com/how-to-make-perfect-swiss-meringue-buttercream/with some minor adjustment. If you happen to encounter problems while making your swiss buttercream (it happens), do check this link out http://www.thebrewerandthebaker.com/archives/7640. It was a great help for me.
For the cupcakes themselves, I tried to incorporate some hazelnut elements into the cake batter, namely hazelnut meals and roasted hazelnut chocolate. And I’d be condemned if I dared to miss using the mighty hazelnut spread, Nutella, for my swiss buttercream, right? To complement the rich nutty flavours and to yield a refreshing and balanced final taste, I added a little bit tangy orange zest as well. I have to say, they brought so much more character and vibrancy to the cupcakes! Psss, If your greedy self wants to bring the cupcake’s luxuriousness to whole new level, edible gold paint is the way to go. Spread joy and love with these beautiful treats, people 😉
(make 15-16 cupcakes)
- 1 ½ cup (188g) all purpose flour
- 100g hazelnut meal
- ¼ cup (25g) cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup (115g) butter, softened
- 2 tbsp (30ml) vegetable oil ( I used canola oil)
- ½ cup (113g) caster sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ¼ cup (60ml) coffee, room temperature (2 tsp instant coffee powder melted in 1/4 cup (60ml) of water)
- ½ cup (120ml) whole milk
- 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla
- 50g roasted hazelnut chocolate, melted (or you can use dark chocolate instead)
- 1/2 orange, zest of
Nutella swiss buttercream:
- 5 egg whites
- 200g caster sugar
- 280g chopped unsalted butter, soft
- 50g Nutella
- pinch of salt
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- toasted hazelnut, chopped
For the cupcake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175C) . Line pans with cupcake liners.
- In a mixing bowl, sift and combine flour, hazelnut meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt. Set aside.
- In another mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, oil, and sugar on medium high speed until creamy and smooth. This will take around 4-5 mins.
- Add eggs, one at a time, and continue beating for 1 min. Add coffee, milk and melted chocolate, vanilla, and cointreau. Continue beating for 30 secs.
- In 3 batches, pour the prepared dry ingredients into the mixture, and gently stir with a spatula until incorporated. Don’t overmix.
- Fill cupcake liners to nearly full and bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the cupcake’s centre comes out clean.
For the Nutella Swiss Buttercream:
- Add egg whites and sugar to an oil-free bowl. Using a double boiling method, gently heat the egg whites mixture up, while whisking constantly, until temperature reaches 140F (60C). The sugar should have completely dissolved at this stage.
- Add the hot egg white-sugar mixture to your electric mixer mixing bowl (oil-free). Whip on high speed until the meringue is thick and glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels cool. This will take about 7-10 mins.
- Turn to medium-low speed, gradually add the softened butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated. Continue beating until a silky smooth texture is reached. Add Nutella and salt, and beat until well combined.
- Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes with your favourite piping tip, and put a Ferrero Rocher, some chopped hazelnuts, and sprinkle sifted cocoa powder on top as decoration if desired.