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Choc-hazelnut cupcakes

Why do we always have to pick favourites? Isn’t it ok to like several things equally as much as each other?

I have a constant first-world problem of deciding whether I like Lindt chocolate balls (the ones in the red wrapper with the gooey center), or Ferrero Rocher better. They’re both the perfect size for an after dinner snack, both have a gooey chocolate center and both are absolutely heavenly to taste.

A bit like choosing a favourite child, I refuse to name one over the other. One thing that Ferrero does have over Lindt is that Aldi has created a ‘fake’ version that is every bit as good as the original.

In fact, had they not added white chocolate stripes to the top, you could be fooled into thinking you were eating the real deal. Oh how I love Aldi.

Choc-hazelnut cupcakes

I did a little pantry clean out last week and found so many wonderful treasures, one of which was a box of Aldi Ferreros (probably shouldn’t call them that but that’s what they are to me).

I had already planned to make cupcakes for a friend and a little Pinterest picture popped into my head when I found the chocolates.

Choc-hazelnut cupcakes were destined to be created. I followed a recipe for the cupcakes but totally winged it with the icing. It was one of my best inventions.

The cupcake and icing were delicious but didn’t outshine the chocolate on top. They shared the limelight together.

The ingredients

I didn’t want a chocolate cake that was so rich it would over-power the hazelnut icing so I went for one with no chocolate just a little cocoa. This recipe was named buttermilk chocolate cake but in the sidebar said you could use milk instead of buttermilk.

Butter, sugar and vanilla

Start by beating the butter, sugar and vanilla together until they are light and fluffy.

Egg yolks

Add the egg yolks and beat them through.

Flour and cocoa

Take the bowl off the stand and sift in the flour and cocoa then stir them into the batter and then mix in the buttermilk.

Egg whites

Meanwhile you will have beaten the egg whites to soft peaks. My trusty hand mixer got a rare visit from the depths of the cupboard. It might be more work (oh the effort of actually holding something, how ever did I manage before?!?).

Add half the egg whites and gently fold them in then fold in the other half.

I loved the texture the egg whites gave the cakes. It was like eating a fluffy mud-cake – it was still quite dense and moist but light at the same time.

Ready for baking

Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full. Try not to make as big a mess as I did. Bake the cupcakes at 160C fan-f0rced for 20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Ready!

Cooling

Take the cakes out of the tin and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Choc-hazelnut icing

Oh my goodness was this icing good. I literally could have eaten it up with a spoon. Don’t you want to just dive right in there?!

It was such a simple invention.

Beat the butter until is starts to turn pale then add the icing sugar a little at a time until it’s all mixed in. Then it’s time to add the star ingredient – the choc-hazelnut spread. At this stage it might be a little bit stiff so add a bit of milk to get it to a spreadable consistency then keep beating until it is light and fluffy.

Icing the cupcakes

Spoon the icing into a piping bag, or in my case a little squeezy bottle and fit it with a plain round nozzle.

Choc-hazelnut cupcakes

Pipe little rounds of icing on top of each cupcake.

Choc-hazelnut cupcakes

For the final touch, add a Ferrero Rocher to the top of each cake. Enjoy!

What about you? What’s you’re favourite chocolate treat?

Choc-hazelnut cupcakes

Choc-hazelnut cupcakes

Choc-hazelnut cupcakes

Yield: 12

Ingredients

Cake

  • 92g (3oz) butter, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 55g (2oz) self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 90ml buttermilk

Icing

  • 1 cup icing mixture
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp choc-hazelnut spread
  • 1-3 tbsp milk
  • 12 Ferrero Rocher chocolates

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160C (320F) fan-forced and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and creamy.
  3. Add the egg yolks one at a time and beat them in.
  4. Take the bowl off the stand and sift in the flour and cocoa then stir them through.
  5. Stir in the buttermilk.
  6. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  7. Add half the egg whites to the cake batter and gently fold them through then fold through the other half.
  8. Divide the batter between the cupcake liners.
  9. Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of one comes out clean.
  10. Make the icing by beating the butter until it is pale. Add the icing sugar a little at a time, while mixing and then add the hazelnut spread. Keep beating until it gets light and fluffy. Add milk to get to to the right consistency.
  11. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle and pipe rounds of icing onto the cupcakes.
  13. Finish each one with a Ferrero Rocher.
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