Yesterday was a very special day....My son, Christopher, turned 27 years old. I would like to share a picture of him from yesterday....however, getting him to take a picture is like pulling teeth so I will share one of my very favorite ones of him from when he was little.
|Christopher's first Christmas, 1985|
For the longest time, I have made Neiman Marcus Bars for Christopher's birthday (I will share that recipe soon) because they are his favorite dessert. They are also called Texas Gold Bars and Paula Deen's Ooey Gooey Butter Cake but the first time I made them I called them Neiman Marcus bars so it has stuck. En-n-nyway (I know the spelling isn't right), I made those for him this year like I always do and then I decided to make him a surprise dessert...Nutella Cupcakes!
Christopher loves Nutella! I actually had made some Nutella cupcakes a few months ago from a recipe that I had gotten off of the site, Pinterest. They turned out to be really low-fat, healthy cupcakes because after one bite we served them to our little birds in the backyard! (Yikes!) I didn't want a repeat of that so after looking online for a recipe and coming up with nada, I thought of the magazine Cooks Illustrated. They test recipes until they find the best version of them. Perfect! I have about 9798654 cooking magazines so I'm thinking surely I have a Cooks Illustrated magazine that has cupcakes in it! Ta-Da!!! I found one called The Best of America's Test Kitchen that I had bought a while back that had a chocolate cupcake recipe in it. Whoop! (Texas Aggies yay!) It had a ganache filling that I decided to change to Nutella and a chocolate frosting that I changed to Buttercream with toasted Macadamia nuts (next time I think I will use pecans). I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.
When I started mixing up the ingredients, I realized how weird the recipe was for the cupcakes. It called for bread flour and vinegar. It didn't have any milk, butter or shortening and it only had 3/4 cup of sugar. It took all I had not to start changing it up to make it more like the recipes I am used to...but I stopped myself!
I am sooooo glad I did because it is probably the best chocolate cupcake recipe I have ever had. I know I keep saying "the best" about alot of these recipes I am sharing with y'all but I really feel that way. Here's the recipe...hope you try it soon....it is sooooo worth it!!
|I bought these cute little liners and french saying picks from Etsy not too long ago and I thought they would look cute for this picture! Can't wait to get to use them for a party or luncheon!|
Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Filling and Buttercream Frosting
(Makes 12 cupcakes)
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (use high-quality bittersweet chocolate)
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder (I couldn't find any so I used Ghirardelli)
3/4 cup hot coffee
3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Jar of Nutella
1 recipe of Buttercream Frosting (recipe follow)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
First of all, line a standard-size muffin pan with baking cup liners.
Place the chopped chocolate and cocoa in a medium size bowl.
Pour the hot coffee over the mixture and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until completely cool, about 20 minutes.
Whisk the eggs, oil, vinegar and vanilla into the cooled chocolate mixture......
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin pan cups and place one slightly rounded teaspoon of the Nutella on top of each cupcake.
Bake until the cupcakes are set and just firm to the touch, 17-19 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the mufffin pan until they are cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from the muffin pan and set on a wire rack. Cool to room temperature before frosting, about 1 hour.
Frost with buttercream frosting and sprinkle with toasted macadamias, pecans, walnuts or your choice of nuts!
Traditional Buttercream Frosting
(from Savory Sweet Life blog)
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened but not melted
3 - 4 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla (mexican or tahitian is best)
Up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy whipping cream
Beat butter for a few minutes in a mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed.
Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on low speed or the powdered sugar will blow everywhere until the sugar has been incorporated into the butter very well. Increase mixer speed to medium and add salt, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of milk and mix for about 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a little more stiff consistency, then add the rest of the sugar or if it needs to be thinned out add more milk 1 tablespoon at a time.