Cooking School: Self Frosting Cupcakes
Thank you Donna Hay.
If you don't know who Donna Hay is, imagining a cross between Nigella Lawson and Martha Stewart from Australia will put you in the general vicinity. She is a cook and food stylist with her own lifestyle magazine and bunches of cookbooks, all available the world over. Her recipes are simple and generally unfussy, but always look good enough to be the star of the meal. The bonus is that they taste as good as they look.
These cupcakes are a great example. The gorgeous swirl on top is from Nutella topping the batter and being swirled around with a toothpick. The batter for these cupcakes is very short - meaning that it has a high proportion of fat to flour - and very rich. Because of this, it is very difficult to swirl the topping throughout the batter. Swirling it around the top of the cake bakes the "frosting" right in, so there is no messy goo on top. These are perfect for taking to a potluck or a picnic.
The cupcakes are tender, rich and very, very tasty. These are really perfect for anyone who doesn't like things to be too sweet. The Nutella has a nice presence. I wouldn't increase it, but if you want something really decadent, fill the tin half way with batter, add a teaspoon of nutella, top with the remaining batter, add the topping, swirl and bake.
Even though I usually follow the recipes pretty strictly here in the cooking school features, I admit that I took some liberties this time. For example, I used Nutella instead of the peanut butter that was originally called for and, because of the richness of the topping, I reduced the butter slightly. I didn't reduce it much, but 12 tablespoons was quite a lot of butter for 12 cupcakes.
Nutella Frosted Cupcakes
10 tbsp(140 grams) butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups (200 grams) sifted ap flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
Nutella, approx. 1/3 cup
Preheat oven to 325F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.
Cream together butter and sugar until light, 2 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated. Don't worry if the batter doesn't look smooth. Add vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and baking powder until batter is uniform and no flour remains.
Using an ice cream scoop, fill each muffin liner with batter. They should be 3/4 full, if you're not using a scoop. Top each cake with 1 1/2 tsp Nutella. Swirl Nutella in with a toothpick, making sure to fold a bit of batter up over the nutella.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.