Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Never Tried Nutella? What?!

Ok, funny story. Until a couple months ago I had never tried...ready for it? Nutella. I know. Gasp. Shock. Horror. I don't even know why. Maybe my life long struggle with food played a part. I didn't need to know what I was missing so I just didn't let myself try it. Maybe it was the fact that I never really had hazelnuts growing up so I didn't really know if I liked it. Maybe I just didn't think there was anything I could like as much as peanut butter. Who knows? All I know is that, until a couple months ago, I thought my life was complete. I was happy. I was blissfully unaware. And then came that fateful day when everything changed...

It was a normal day at the office. Five o'clock was quickly approaching and I was minding my own business. I can't even remember what started the whole conversation. All I remember is, one minute I was headed out the door to run to the store before going home, and the next, my boss was telling me about the glory of Nutella. He was shocked that I, a pastry chef and lover of all things baked, had never tried it. I really didn't think much about it. I went to Walmart, put the items I needed into my cart, and headed for the checkout. As I was placing my items on the belt, I looked up and there it was. Nutella. To go. I thought, "how funny...we were just talking about this." So, I grabbed it, deciding to finally try it, and left the store. Later that evening I took my first taste and I was hooked. This stuff is just so incredibly delicious! I knew that if I ever brought a tub of it into my house, I'd be done for. So, I went on with life, happy with having tried it and content to know that if I wanted a little indulgence I could just grab one of those to go containers and be good.

Fast forward a couple months and we have the reason for this post. My friend, Amy, over at One Artsy Mama had also never tried this stuff and decided to host a party where we will "Go Nuts" for Nutella. So, here's my little contribution. Beware. You may never eat cupcakes any other way again. To quote a few of my co-workers, "best cupcakes on the face of the planet", "Heather, you were good before you started this blog, but you just get better and better. The best cupcakes you've ever made" and, of course the classic, "mmmm..." :) Clearly, they were a hit....

See the topper on this baby? Yes, that's the delicious and decadent Ferrero Rocher candy. You know, the candy that is reserved for special occasions? (At least it is at our house) And, at $6/dozen, it's no wonder...however, every once in awhile, it's worth it. And this was one of those occasions. Dark chocolate cupcakes, filled with nutella, iced in Chocolate-Nutella Swirl Buttercream, and topped with the special candy. Now, the cake recipe I used makes 38 cupcakes and I only bought 1 dozen of the Ferrero Rocher candies. Sorry...that's all the budget allowed this month so they were on a first-come, first-serve basis. Honestly, though, these cupcakes were super delicious with or without the toppers. The only thing missing was crushed hazelnuts to decorate the icing but I couldn't find hazelnuts anywhere...any suggestions?

Now, for the recipes...

Dark Chocolate Cake

2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Line pans with paper liners. Sift the dry ingredients together into a large bowl and whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream; whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Pour into lined pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center of each cupcake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes before removing.

Chocolate Buttercream (adapted from here)

1/2 cup shortening
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup dark cocoa
1 t vanilla
1 lb (approx. 4 cups) confectioner's sugar
3-4 T hazelnut creamer

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add cocoa and vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add creamer and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

To create the swirl effect I followed the tutorial found here (genius idea - wish I came up with it!) I put the Nutella in one bag and the Chocolate Buttercream in another. Voila! Beautifully swirled icing.

For extra flavor, before icing, I hollowed out the middle of the cupcakes with a sharp knife and filled them in with Nutella. This just added an extra layer of deliciousness (not to mention, calories) - shhh....

There you version of Nutella cupcakes. Make them! You'll truly be missing out if you don't. And, if you haven't yet, try Nutella. Don't be blissfully unaware of what you've been missing for as long as I was. Until next time, happy reading and more importantly, happy cupcake-ing!


  1. I am now drooling in public, sweet - thanks for that ;)

    Stop by and say hi sometime!

  2. I have a love/hate relationship with Nutella. I have never tried it till a couple of years ago and had no idea what it was, had no intention of trying it. My sister and her kids raved about it so much that the first time I saw it at my mom's house I decided to try it. OMG! HEAVEN!!!! You know Costco sells 2 tubs of those things together. I can eat one tub myself my the spoonful in 2-3 days. It is pure evil and so addicting!! So I now cannot buy it or bring it into my house.

    Your cupcakes, as always, look devine. I'm sure they are pure evil goodness with the nutella. Just to hear the word "buttercream" my favorite as well... drool! lol

  3. These look AMAZING!! But I'm not surprised since everything you share, looks and sounds delicious!

  4. WOW! These cupcakes look so amazing and delicious. I must have Nutella Cupcakes!

  5. These look so good. I love Nutella & I'm not sure why I haven't baked with it yet. I wanted to let you know that I am passing the Sunshine Award along to you! Here's a link with some more info sunshine Award

  6. I had a similar experience last summer when I discovered Nutella & banana sandwiches :) Thanks for sharing the recipe... these cupcakes look YUMMY!

  7. OMG this is like heaven on a platter!

  8. this is great. Found you via the live laugh linky. I have linked in a beef dish. Have a super day.

  9. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I really REALLY want one of those. Right now! Pleeease come visit your DC area family and bring me some of these while you're here! So so glad you shared this recipe at my nutty party!

  10. All I can think to say is ahhhhhh. Sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  11. No you didn't! You did and my butt is not going to thank you for it lol

  12. ha ha welcome to the wonderful world - with nutella in it!! :) These look SOOO good! Thanks for linking up to "Strut Your Stuff Saturday!" Hopefully we'll see you tomorrow at 8pm MDT for this week's party! :) -The Sisters

  13. Hi Heather. Loved this post so much you are one of the featured bloggers for Flash Blog Friday this week. I'm so going to give these a try!

  14. I love love love love LOVE nutella!! I tried it for the first time about a year ago and...was immediately hooked too! I love finding nutella recipes! Thank you! Oh, and I am a follower from the Flash Blog hop! =)

  15. I think I love you. Those cupcakes ROCK. That frosting...oh my!

  16. These look amazing & Nutella is very addictive. I am making these for a meeting & am curious to about how long did you bake the cupcakes? Thank you!


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