I brought in mini chocolate fudge cupcakes for my birthday last year because I was short of time, but this year I had a little more time to make fancier cakes (it's my birthday on Sunday, but since I'll be busy all day I decided to being treats in on the Friday before instead of the Monday after.
I'm quite proud of this recipe because I totally made it up based on my understanding of how each ingredient works- and it worked! I'm also working on the assumption that everyone loves Nutella.
This recipe makes 36 cupcakes since I wanted everyone in my department to be able to have one, so you may want to halve it for yourself. Or not!
-12oz unsalted butter (softened)
-12oz caster sugar
-8oz self-raising flour
-4oz ground hazelnuts
-6tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
-A pinch of salt
-1tsp baking powder
-1 large jar of Nutella
-8oz unsalted butter, softened
-900g icing sugar
-5 heaped tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, and line a couple of muffin pans with cupcake cases (you might have to do this in a few batches if you only have one or two pans like I do).
2) Make the cupcakes like you normally would any sponge cake: cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, whisk the eggs in thoroughly, and alternately whisk in the dry ingredients and milk until you have a smooth cake batter.
3) Bake the cupcakes for 25 minutes or until springy when you poke them (if they leave a dent when you poke them, give them a couple more minutes).
4) Take them out of the oven, cool, and using a small knife cut around the centres to make wells. Now fill them up with teaspoonfuls of Nutella!
5) Make the buttercream by whisking the butter until pale, and gradually adding in the cocoa, sugar, milk and vanilla (again alternating wet with dry ingredients to make mixing easier). Fill up a piping bag, and get swirling.
6) This part is optional of course, but for me it's the best part: decorate your cupcakes with sprinkles, toppers, anything you like.