Chocolate & Hazelnut Cupcakes

As regular readers will know, The Hummingbird Bakery is my favourite bakery to visit in the whole of London. Last week they opened their newest branch in Richmond which, much to my delight (and my waistline’s horror) I pass through every day on the way home from work; enter weekly trips to indulge myself after rubbish days I think…

After treating myself to a red velvet cupcake on their opening day, I was inspired and decided to spend my friday evening trying out a new recipe from my trusted ‘Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook‘. I chose these cupcakes as my boyfriend is quite a fan of the chocolate/hazelnut combo and as I spent the weekend with him and his family, I knew I wouldn’t end up munching my way through the lot!

I was a little disappointed with the amount of cupcakes yielded; the recipe said there would be 12 and I only got 6 out of my mixture. The cupcakes weren’t massive (although they were definitely more American sized than English), but maybe next time I need to be a little less heavy handed when portioning out my batter next time.Β The frosting was definitely to soft to pipe onto the cupcakes, which was what I was hoping to do, but I don’t think the spoon/spatula method of icing the cakes looks too bad, what do you think?

Overall, I was really impressed with these cupcakes and will definitely be using the recipe again. They are perfectly moist and the little nutella surprise that you get on biting in to them is a very welcome treat – well worth making up a batch of these to treat yourself in this rubbish weather!

Ingredients (Makes 6 large cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:

100g Plain Flour

For the icing:

120g Icing Sugar

40g Unsalted Butter

10ml Milk

40g Nutella

Recipe

– Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/325F

Add the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter into a large mixing bowl and, using an electric mixer or the trusty wooden spoon, beat together until everything is combined and you have a mixture that vaguely resembles sand.

Slowly pour half the the milk into the flour mixture, and beat well until all the ingredients are well mixed. Add the remaining milk and the egg and scrape down the sides of the bowl before mixing everything together just until all the ingredients are combined (it’s important not to over mix the mixture otherwise your cupcakes will be heavy and dense once cooked).

Spoon equal amounts of mixture into the paper cases until they are two-thirds full and place in the centre of the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until the sponge springs back when touched. To double check, insert a skewer into the centre of the cupcakes and if it comes out clean then the cupcakes are done.

Leave the cupcakes to cool in the tray for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Once the cupcakes are cool, hollow out a small section in the centre of each one with a small knife (as though you were making butterfly cakes but slightly deeper) and fill with a teaspoon of chocolate hazelnut spread. You can also pipe the filling into the centre of the cupcakes; just half fill a piping bag fitted with a small star tip with the spread, press the tip of the nozzle into the cupcake and squeeze the filling into the centre.

Once you’ve filled the cupcakes, it’s time to prepare the frosting:

Add the icing sugar and butter to a large mixing bowl and beat together until the mixture comes together. Once you have a smooth mixture, slowly add the milk and continue mixing slowly until it is well incorporated.

Stir in the nutella and continue beating until it is evenly mixed into the frosting. The longer you beat the frosting, the fluffier and lighter it becomes – so don’t worry about over mixing too much πŸ™‚

Spoon the frosting onto the cupcakes and smooth over using a spatula. Finish by adding either whole or chopped (or both) hazelnuts to the cupcakes and enjoy!

Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 13.41.05

Helena x

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