I was looking for a quick recipe for some cupcakes that I wanted to bring to a teachers’ meeting. So I looked into my “125 best Cupcake recipes” by Julie Hasson. A lot of those recipes are with buttermilk and I had none at home. (Note to self: always have some buttermilk in your fridge.) However, Hazelnut Chocolate Cupcakes were buttermilk free and I had the necessary ingredients: fluffy, fluffy and more fluffiness.
I bought “125 best Cupcakes recipes” off Amazon while I was shopping for Bakerella’s Cakepop book. Since living in North America now I thought I should get some more baking experience in this area. I know the internet has a lot of nice options as well. But we all know, owning a real book is always nice, turning real pages, expending ones own collection. This book has some nice basic recipes but also funky ones like “Kahula Cupcakes” or “Anise Cupcakes”. Also, at the end of each recipe you’ll get a suggestion as to which frosting should be used.
Hazelnut Chocolate Cupcakes:
– 1 1/4 cup flour
– 1/2 cup hazelnut meal
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
– 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
– 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
– 3 eggs
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 3/4 cup milk
Haselnut meal: basically this is hazelnuts finely grounded. Her tip: take 1/2 cup hazelnuts, bake them at 180°C for 10 min (single layer), let cool and rub off brown skin (not all has to come off). Now take the hazelnuts and grind them in a food processor. Make sure you do not over-process your hazelnuts otherwise you will have butter.
I had some packaged because it is rather commonly used in German baking. I asked my mother to send me some from Germany and honestly, I think it is cheaper to send than to buy them here and grind them. The other day I bought nuts at the bulk barn and one wouldn’t believe the prices. (Is this because I like in Saskatchewan, the prairies, like in the middle of nowhere? That nowhere being Saskatoon.)
Back to the recipes:
Combine all dry ingredients well in a separate bowl including chopped chocolate chips (food processor again). Mix butter and sugar until creamy, add eggs one at a time and add vanilla too. Now pour in the flour mixture and alternate with milk. Make sure you have a smooth batter. Bake for 20 to 25 min in 180°C preheated oven. Voilá!
I only used 2/3 cup of sugar because as explained in my “Thoughts on North American Baking” it seems to me there is always too much sugar, especially when you have a rather sweet icing. Also, I didn’t have quite enough chocolate chips. Nevertheless, it turned out just fine.
I decided for the cream cheese icing because the suggested icing had ingredients I didn’t have or not enough of it. I still liked the combination though.
Cream Cheese Icing:
– 125g cream cheese
– 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
– 2 1/4 icing sugar
Combine cream cheese and unsalted butter and add slowly the icing sugar so that you don’t dust your whole kitchen. It will become creamy and smooth after a while. Again, I left out some of the icing (I don’t remember how much) because it once again seems too much for me.
Hint: let the icing cool a bit in the fridge so that it will have a good consistence for piping. I used the Wilton 1M tip to pipe the icing. Apparently there are different versions of the 1M tip, one closed, one open. I have the closed one which worked fine but I think I should see that I get the open one as well (or bend the tip). Any other tip will work as well, the consistency of the icing is really good and you should have no problems.