Category Archives: Nutella

Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes

Ah, Nutella. My old friend. Nutella is the sensation that is sweeping the nation/world/Internet/universe, and while I do enjoy its chocolate-y hazelnut-ness, I’m not as big of a fan of it as everyone else seems to be. I can never have more than a spoonful of it at a time, and I don’t like it spread on my toast or on anything else.

Which brought me to a dilemma. I had purchased a can of Nutella a few months ago, and after eating small amounts for about a week, I lost interest, and it sat in the cupboard, alone, unwanted, and suffering ever since. I know. It’s practically a war crime, you say. So I had to come up with something to use it for.

As it happened, my friend Beth’s birthday was coming up, and I usually bake her something for such occasions. After asking her if she enjoys Nutella (she does), I decided to bake her a thing with Nutella in it, so I could hopefully use up the rest of the can and finally get rid of it.

Flipping through the chocolate recipes book Sophie got me, I came across a cupcake recipe that required no special frosting to be made — you would just frost it with Nutella. And I knew I’d found The One.

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And best of all, I wouldn’t need to buy any ingredients except sour cream.

For those of you not familiar with making cakes, you might be wondering what the hell sour cream is doing in a cupcake recipe. Believe me, I thought that myself the first time I came across a cake recipe that included sour cream. I mean, you wouldn’t smell and look at sour cream and immediately think, “Oh boy, I should put this in some pastry!” But the fact of the matter is, a little sour cream will make your cake nice and moist and delicious. It adds a special kind of flavor as well.

This recipe was simple enough, although it required bittersweet chocolate and all I had on hand was unsweetened. I could’ve just bought some bittersweet chocolate, but I’d been trying to get rid of this unsweetened chocolate for ages, just like the Nutella. So, when I melted the chocolate in the microwave, I added some powdered sugar to make it sweeter. Unfortunately, this made the chocolate thick like a frosting (yeah, I know, obvious), so I tried melting it a little more to make it thinner. It… worked a little.

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Doesn’t that look appetizing? But don’t worry, it’ll look less like an oil spill after it’s been mixed in.

I added my dry ingredients, alternating with the sour cream, until —

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Ta-da!

I always seems to have problems with the lighting when taking these photos, though. I keep having to change it in order to make the photos look decent. But I guess that’s what happens when you don’t really know what you’re doing…

Anyway, the dough was very sticky, so it was difficult getting it into the cupcake liners, but it all turned out alright in the end.

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OMNOMNOMNOM. Don’t they look delicious? And they were. I think the unsweetened chocolate gave it more of a kick than the bittersweet chocolate would have, since it wasn’t a lot to begin with anyway.

I was torn between putting the Nutella in a pastry bag and making it all fancy, and just spreading it on with a knife. So I made a compromise and the cupcakes that were for Beth were frosted fancifully, and the leftover ones I just slapped it on. Except, um, I accidentally used a smaller star tip than I’d intended, but it gave it a more interesting look, I think.

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The Nutella doesn’t really overpower these, which is good for people like me who like Nutella but not in excess. And it works pretty perfectly as a frosting, although it’s a fucking pain in the ass to clean. But on the way to Manhattan for Beth’s party, I accidentally flipped the container over and the Nutella stuck to the top and ruined the prettiness of the cupcakes. But I’m sure it still tasted good.

Happy 22nd Birthday, Beth! I hope you liked the cupcakes and the playlist.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Hazelnut Topping (from The Golden Book of Chocolate)

The Cupcakes

3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup of butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup sour cream

The Topping

1 cup of Nutella, or another hazelnut spread (but why would you use anything besides Nutella, what is wrong with you)

Toasted walnuts for decoration, if desired

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, then set aside. Melt the chocolate (whether in the microwave or in a double boiler) and let it cool while you beat the butter, sugar, and corn syrup in an electric mixer at high speed. Mix until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition. Beat in the chocolate and vanilla, and with the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry mixture, alternating with the sour cream. Divide the batter into muffins tins with liner, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool, then frost with the Nutella.

 

Pumpkin Rolls

Oh, man.

Once again, I’m doing Sugar High Friday, and this month’s challenge was to make anything with a center that is different from the outside. I decided to do pumpkin rolls, only instead of the traditional cream cheese filling, I used glorious Nutella instead. I did this for a couple reasons — 1) Nutella is delicious and I haven’t had it in a very long time, and 2) I really didn’t feel like making a cream cheese filling.

There were, of course, a few stumbling blocks on the way.

I actually intended to bake this thing yesterday, on my day off, but a horrible, terrifying tragedy occurred, leaving me unable to make the pumpkin roll until today.

I…

…couldn’t open the can of pumpkin.

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Before you point and laugh at me, just hear me out! I’ve never used a can opener in my life! And just look at this thing! If you’d never used a can opener before either, and you were all alone, with no one to help you, you too would start sobbing hysterically as you hit the can with a hammer.

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…Okay, maybe you wouldn’t.

I tried and tried and tried to get the can open. I tried stabbing it with a knife, but my arms were too thin and weak to pierce the aluminum. I tried flipping it upside down and rubbing the can vigorously across the counter, hobo-style. Didn’t work. I beat on it and beat on it, and only made slight dents.

I finally gave up after about half an hour, although even when my back was turned, I could still feel it… watching me… judging me…

I waited until later that night for my dad to get home so he could open it for me, which he did, laughing at me the entire time. I stored it in some tupperware in the fridge and vowed to conquer the pumpkin roll the next day.

That day would be today. I mixed together all the ingredients, tra la la la — then, because we are out of Pam, I had to flour and butter the jelly roll pan, which I have never done before. And when the roll came out of the oven, there was a huge spot of flour on the bottom.

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I made the executive decision to do nothing. I know the flour will be eaten at some point, and a DD: face will be made, and I have not the time to care for such things.

I rolled the pumpkin cake thingy into a dishtowel and let it cool off. It was actually kind of neat. Steam was, like, coming out through the towel.

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After it cooled, I put it in the fridge for a bit, then unrolled it. And then, the coup de grace —

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NUTELLA. It’s pretty much just as good as I remembered. Although I’m not so sure it goes so great with these pumpkin rolls. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s delicious — but the peanut butter consistency makes it difficult to cut when you’re serving/eating it.

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And, of course, when I rolled it back up, there was a huge crack. Why can’t most of the things I make be pretty, ever? Sigh. I loathe my clumsy hands. I also didn’t roll it up tight enough.

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But look at the Nutella on this knife instead. Yum.

I also like to employ my own method of cleaning:

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So, after it sat in the fridge again for a little bit, I had a slice. And it was all right. A little bit too pumpkin-y for my taste, though.

And I don’t feel like posting the entire recipe here, so you can just find it at the Joy of Baking website.