Nutella Cupcakes

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Who can resist the nutty, creamy chocolatey goodness in a jar? Nutella has grown increasingly popular amongst the nut-and-chocolate eating population of society. Why? Well, Nutella can be used for multiple purposes- as a sandwich spread, as a soufflé base, used in making a spin of of the classic Italian Tiramisu. The old containers are also widely used as drinking glasses (at least the jar here in Warsaw), I can keep going on, but I’ll stop at Nutella cupcakes. I am a huge fan of cupcakes, and several months ago, I was visiting my sister in St. Andrew’s where she studies; I came across this cozy little bookstore, which had an outstanding collection of cookbooks. One particular cookbook appealed to me because of it’s creative interpretation on classic cupcakes. The Butch Bakery Cookbook. What I liked about this cookbook was that the owner, David Arrick, a former wall-street guy created a successful cupcake business- he cherished his passion by creating indulgently sized cupcakes for the “manly” population, however, I like them too 🙂 Anyhow, I’ve tried several recipes, all with success. This Nutella cupcake, known as “Jack Hammer” in the cookbook, is out of this world. I mean, a fluffy vanilla cupcake (that is SERIOUSLY amazing), with a small Nutella surprise center, and topped off with a creamy, light Nutella frosting, hazelnuts, and chocolate shavings. It’s purely delicious decadence.

Makes 16-18 regular sized cupcakes

1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted, softened butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shaken buttermilk
1/4 cup Nutella
1/4 cup of chopped hazelnuts
1/4 cup of grated milk chocolate
Method:
– Preheat the oven to 350 F or 180 C. Line 2 cupcake pans with 18 cupcake liners.
1. In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, and whisk until combined.
2. In another bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Scraping down the sides of the bowl, add in the eggs and vanilla extract, beat until well incorporated.
4. Alternate with the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture, until everything is well mixed.
5. Do not overbeat! Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, making sure everything is combined.
6. Set aside 3/4 cup of the batter.
7. Fill each muffin liner about half-way full. Top with a teaspoon or small dollop of Nutella.
8. Spoon the reserved batter on top of the Nutella, making sure the nutty goodness is covered.
9. Bake for 23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
10. When cooled, frost with Nutella frosting (below), and top off with grated chocolate and hazelnuts.

For the Fabulous Chocolate-Hazelnut Buttercream:
1/2 cup unsalted softened butter
1 cup Nutella
2 cups confectioners’ sugar (sifted)
1/4 cup milk or heavy cream

Method:
1. Beat together the Nutella and butter until light and fluffy.
2. Alternate with the milk and confectioners’ sugar until the icing comes together, beat until smooth and creamy (2-3 minutes).
3. Frost!

Adapted from The Butch Bakery Cookbook by David Arrick, with Janice Kollar