I made these to take to a friend’s house for a girly evening in. I promised Alex I wouldn’t bake until the Cupcake Championships in November but I just couldn’t resist – I think he’s come to expect it from me now to be honest! I had all the ingredients for these cupcakes in the cupboard anyway so I went for it 🙂
First you need to chop and toast the hazelnuts. I burned the first lot I tried after carelessly taking my eyes off them for few minutes. The second batch took only 5 minutes in a 200º oven. Set aside to cool and then you can remove the skins which should slide off easily.
Then, in a bowl cream and beat together the butter, sugar and salt until the mixture turns pale and creamy. My electric hand mixer is currently out of commission so I had to make this bake with good old fashioned arm power! Took a little longer but actually felt a little more satisfying, Who knew?
Sift the flour, ground hazelnuts, baking powder and cocoa powder together in a bowl. I didn’t have any ground hazelnuts, just whole ones so I bashed them with my big rolling pin then grinded them with the ends until they became fine in texture. I don’t know if it was as fine as could be, but there was no ill effect on the final bake so I can’t worry too much!
Add the eggs to the butter mixture and beat until fully incorporated. The book says to do this a little at a time which, as you can see, I didn’t. It started to curdle a little so I added 2 tablespoons of the flour/nut/cocoa mixture and it was fine.
Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and fold in carefully.
Fold in the toasted hazelnuts.
Fill the cases to approx. 2/3 full and bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven.
Take the cakes out of the oven and leave to cool completely before icing.
Put a teaspoon of the chocolate-hazelnut spread on top of the cooled cakes and spread. I read somewhere this is easier with a warm knife but I used a cool one and it was fine. I got to lick the knife at the end which is a bonus, yummy!
Top with chopped hazelnut pieces to finish. You could toast these too if you wanted, but I used whole ones with the skin on that I chopped myself.
They look so rich and believe me, they taste rich too! Incredibly moist as well, I think the ground hazelnuts contribute to that. Couldn’t resist the opportunity of showing off my new baking tin either. I got it from Billington’s at the Cake and Bake Show I went to a few weeks ago and I must say the cakes look good in it 🙂
I’m entering these cupcakes into the AlphaBakes October challenge. AlphaBakes is hosted by Ros of More Than The Occasional Baker and Caroline from Caroline Makes. Each month, a random letter is generated and you have to make something with that letter, whether it’s an ingredient or flavour, or the name of the bake. This month Ros is hosting and the random letter is “C” so the chocolate hazelnut spread I used means this recipe qualifies.
I’m also entering them into Tea Time Treats February challenge which is hosted by Karen from Lavender and Lovage and Janie from Hedge Combers. This month’s challenge is to bake with chocolate as it’s February and the month of love!
Here’s a list of ingredients and method for those that prefer. The measurements below are directly from the book which says the batter you get should yield 20 cupcakes. I halved the ingredients and got 12 cupcakes so just to make you aware! Also, the book recommended topping the cakes with a chocolate ganache, but I didn’t have any cream, so I just spread the tops with the Nutella.
- 225g unsalted butter, softened
- 225g light brown sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 150g self raising flour
- 50g ground hazelnuts
- 25g cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 4 eggs
- 50g hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
- Nutella (or whichever choco-hazelnut spread you prefer!)
- chopped hazelnuts, to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 175º and line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.
- Place the butter, sugar and salt in a bowl and cream until pale and fluffy.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder,cocoa powder and ground hazelnuts.
- Beat the eggs into the butter/sugar mixture a little at a time (add a spoonful of the flour mix if it starts to curdle).
- Fold in the flour mixture with a metal spoon or spatula, careful not to beat out the air. Fold in the toasted, chopped hazelnuts.
- Spoon into the prepared cases to approx. 2/3 full and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes (mine needed 17). They are ready when a skewer/toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- When the cakes are completely cool, spread a teaspoon of Nutella/spread over the top, smoothing with a knife.
- Top with a few chopped hazelnuts to finish.