So these Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream were my attempt to get my Nutella-hit in a more socially acceptable way and try something new at the same time. (While we're on the subject I am very amused at the efforts made in recent times to market Nutella as a health-food with boasts of "just two whole hazelnuts, some cocoa and some milk in each serving"?! ...(and no mention of the trolley-load of fat and sugar it also contains) - a pretty wild claim if there ever was one!)
My go-to chocolate cake batter recipe used to be this one by Dan Lepard which yields a good, chocolately result but is a slight palaver to make involving the cooking of the 'custard' batter base on the hob first. This time, I used my new favourite recipe, for Hershey's 'Black Magic' cake which is super simple to throw together and produces a darkly-coloured and intensely chocolatey cake (or in this case, cupcakes).
However, I think that this particular recipe might not stand up as well in cake form (especially if a heavy layer of fondant is to be added for a celebration cake). Being an oil-based cake, it is feather- light but also very soft and crumbly. I do love the flavour though so might try it next time with cooled melted butter instead which should set when cooled and make for a sturdier cake.The mixture also contains coffee which ups the darkness factor a lot. This, like this great vanilla cupcake recipe I have featured here before is a really liquid batter and it rises A LOT so don't fill the cases more than halfway to avoid an oven-explosion.
The Hersheys recipe, being American, uses cup measurements which gave me the welcome chance to use my new toys. I ordered these online for just over five pounds sterling from www.cakekraft.co.uk with several other items(some of them bulky) and they arrived here in Dublin within three days and neatly packaged for a p&p charge of just ten pounds. I know we 'should' buy Irish, keep it local. etc but many companies here tend to make that very difficult and exploit the very small market. Comparable sets to that above are on sale in Dublin for over €20 so, until sugarcraft and bakeware shops here offer us Irish customers some better value, I will continue to shop for some of my equipment 'across the water'!
Makes enough to generously ice 20 good sized cupcakes.
200g Nutella at Room temperature
200g very soft butter
500g icing sugar
75g cocoa powder
1) Mix butter and Nutella until combined (the butter really must be super soft. I usually leave mine beside the hob when doing a good long spell of cooking as 'room temperature' here in Dublin is generally still pretty hard!)
2) Gradually add sieved icing sugar and cocoa powder, mixing well between each addition
3) Pipe or spread onto your fully cooled cakes and enjoy !