Sunday, July 17, 2016

Nutella Cupcakes With Toasted Hazelnuts & Seasalt

Ingredients for 24 cupcakes

Nutella cupcakes:

¼ c dark chocolate cocoa powder
¼ c milk
½ c brewed coffee
½ c oil
½ c unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
1 c sour cream
1 13oz/368g jar of Nutella (1 tsp per cupcake, reserve remainder for buttercream)
1 ½ tsp baking soda
2 c flour
2 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs, room temperature

Nutella Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

⅛ tsp salt
½ c (approx) Nutella (I use whatever is left in the jar)
½ - ¾ c powdered sugar
¾ c granulated sugar
1 ½ c (3 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
4 egg whites, room temperature

Garnish (optional):

½ c chopped hazelnuts, toasted
½ Tbsp butter
Ferrero Rocher
Pinch of sugar
Seasalt (to taste)

Directions

Nutella Cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake pans with liners.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, oil, milk, coffee, vanilla, and sour cream whisking until well combined.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powders, salt, and baking soda. (If you have a large enough sifter, you can sift directly into the wet ingredients and save yourself some dishes.)

Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix until just combined and no lumps remain. Do not overmix.

Scoop batter into the prepared pans and gently drop a teaspoon of Nutella into the center of each cupcake. You want it to rest on the top, don’t submerge it in the batter.

Bake for 14 – 16 minutes. To test for doneness, be sure to check them off center so as to avoid the Nutella centers.

Cool cupcakes in the pan for about a minute and move them to a covered container. This helps to keep the cupcakes moist or if you prefer, you can move them to a cooling rack.

Nutella Swiss Meringue Buttercream

In a double boiler, whisk the egg whites, granulated sugar, and salt. Continue whisking over simmering water for about 3 minutes until all the sugar is dissolved and is warm to the touch. You can test it be rubbing it between your fingers, it will be smooth and thin. Be careful not to cook the egg whites because this will result in gritty frosting.

Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beginning on low speed, gradually increasing to medium-high, whip the egg white mixture until stiff glossy peaks form and it has cooled. This takes approximately 7 minutes.

Switch to the paddle attachment. Cut up the butter, 1 stick at a time, into the mixture and beat briefly for 30 seconds on medium speed between each addition. When the last stick of butter has been added, scrape down the bowl and mix on medium high speed. When you add the butter the meringue deflates, but don’t panic. Keep mixing and in about 2 minutes the mixture comes together and looks like silken goodness.

Add the powdered sugar and continue mixing.

Add the vanilla and Nutella and beat until it is completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Pipe the buttercream onto the cooled cupcakes using your favorite tip. ( I used Wilton 2C)

For the garnish, toast the hazelnuts in the oven until they are fragrant. While they are still hot put a pat of butter in the pan, a pinch of sugar, and some sea salt. Transfer to a bowl to cool. This can all be done to taste depending on your preference.
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