Monday, March 23, 2009

Baking Mondays - Deluxe Hazelnut Cupcakes (ICE Entry)

This is my first ever entry into Iron Cupcake - and I have to say that it was a lot of fun! The theme this month was Nuts and Seeds. There were so many flavour options to choose from, caramel and pecan, macadamia and white chocolate, orange and poppyseed, peanut butter and jelly, the list goes on. I decided to settle on chocolate and hazelnut for my flavours and I have to say that is definitely a winning combination! These cupcakes turned out wonderfully - absolutely delicious! They are a moist hazelnut cake, filled with Nutella cream, topped with vanilla buttercream and crushed hazelnuts, then drizzled with dark chocolate ganache.

Here is one of the cupcakes:

A cross section of one of the cupcakes:

The recipes:

Hazelnut Cupcakes (taken from The Baker's Dozen Cookbook)
Made 29 cupcakes :)

1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and coarsely chopped (+1 cup extra for topping)
2 3/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bi-carb soda
1/2 tsp salt
226g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt, at room temperature
  1. Preheat to 180 degrees celsius. Line 3 12 hole muffin trays.
  2. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process 1/4 cup of the chopped hazelnuts with 1/4 cup flour until the hazelnuts are finely ground, almost a powder. Transfer to a medium bowl. Sift the remaining 2 1/2 cups flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt into the bowl and whisk to mix. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until it is lighter in color, about 45 seconds. Add the granulated sugar in a steady stream, then stop the machine and scrape down the bowl. Return to medium speed and beat, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture is very light in color and texture, 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Gradually, about a tablespoon at a time, beat in the eggs. Continue beating until the mixture is ivory-colored. The entire process of adding and beating the eggs should take 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vanilla toward the end of mixing.
  5. Reduce the mixer speed to low. In four additions, add the flour mixture, alternating with three additions of the yogurt. After each addition, scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup of the remaining hazelnuts. Spread the batter evenly between the cupcake liners.
  6. Bake until the tops spring back when pressed lightly and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, around 15 minutes (but my oven is crazy so this may vary).
  7. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire cooling rack and cool for 10 minutes before removing from the muffin trays.

Nutella Cream
4 tbsp Nutella
300ml thickened cream

Whip Nutella and cream together until light and fluffy.

Vanilla Buttercream
250g butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp thickened cream
  1. Beat butter until light and fluffy, add vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  2. Add the icing sugar one cup at a time beating well with each addition.
  3. Add the thickened cream and beat to combine.

Chocolate Ganache
250g dark chocolate, chopped
150ml thickened cream
  1. Put dark chocolate in a bowl.
  2. Bring the cream to the boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat as soon as boiling point is reached.
  3. Pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk until chocolate melts.
  4. Leave to cool slightly before using.
To put it all together cut a small cone out of the top of each cupcake, spoon in the nutella cream and replace the cone of cake. Pipe on the vanilla buttercream, top with some crushed hazelnuts and drizzle with chocolate ganache.

So the verdict?

Me - 9/10, these were yum, yum, yum! I think the only improvement would be to use a swiss meringue buttercream.
Mat - 10/10, these is his favourite cupcake so far!

Voting opens at on March 29th - so please vote for me if you think the cupcakes look good!

The prizes for Iron Cupcake this month are:
Last and certainly not least, don’t forget our corporate prize providers: HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS,, HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson,, JESSIE STEELE APRONS; TASTE OF HOME books,; a t-shirt from UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers, . And as a special thank you, we would like to once again thank DIANAEVANS - for her participation in the February challenge. An incorrect link was posted and we want to be sure that she gets the recognition she deserves. Thanks again Diana!


Grammatically Delicious Designs said...

These are going on my wish list for my birthday! I wonder if anyone in my family has the ability to make them. Ha! Nevertheless, they are on the list.


drollgirl said...

these look DIVINE!!!!!!!!!! i am salivating!!!!!!

apparentlyjessy said...

Wow, you have done a wonderful job for your first entry, they look great and delicious too! I will definitely keep these in mind when voting!

Mermaid Sweets said...

Great job! Congrats on your first entry - I have still yet to try it - someday (kinda intimidating with all the great competition!). Good luck.

Emily said...

Seriously, I think nutella is the grossest ever, but these look delicious! I hope you win! -e

vicki said...

Oh my goodness... they look delicious! I've never been able to make a good looking cupcake. I'm going to need to put the 29th on my calendar!

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Yum! I love the picture. It's so bright and vibrant!

lori said...

I voted! It looks delicious!!! My mouth is watering now...seriously.

C.L. said...

Yay! I am so glad you joined our ranks! These look and sound fantastic!