Monday, 25 August 2014

Hummingbird Hazelnut & Chocolate Cupcakes

These are the perfect kind of sweet treat when a sister, such as my own, is coming home for a little holiday. Or, if you're feeling down in the dumps and in need of a decent chocolate hit, they would be an advisable remedy. As this is back to school week for me and many, many teachers (and we cannot forget the students!) across Ireland and beyond, one of these would go a long way in easing that bit of back to routine blues ;-)

After my very memorable visit last year to the Hummingbird Bakery in London, I was quite sure that these cupcakes would rival any others I'd tried and I was not disappointed. My only adaptation to the original recipe is a change in quantities for the icing, as I had quite a lot left over on my first bake. These cupcakes are quick to bake and surprisingly simple to decorate.

Hazelnut and Chocolate Cupcakes



  • 100 g plain flour
  • 2 and a half tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 140 g caster sugar
  • 1 and a half tsp. baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 40 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 120 ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • Approx. 100 g hazelnut spread (Nutella)
  • A few whole hazelnuts to decorate (if available)
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 60 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 3 heaped dessertspoons hazelnut spread (Nutella)
You will also need a cupcake pan with 12 cases.

Cupcakes at step 6 and ready to be iced
  1. Sieve the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and tip in the butter.
  2. Using a hand held whisk, or mixer, beat the ingredients on a low speed until you get a sandy kind of consistency.
  3. Slowly pour in the milk followed by the egg, while continuing to beat the mixture well.
  4. Tip an equal amount of batter into each cupcake case, about two thirds full, and bake in the oven at 170 C/325 F/gas mark 3 for about 20 minutes.
  5. Leave the cupcakes in the tray to cool a little, then tip them out onto a wire rack.
  6. When cold, use a teaspoon to dig out a little circular hole in the top centre of each cupcake and add a good teaspoon of Nutella style spread into each. You can easily smooth the top by dipping your teaspoon in some boiling water.
  7. Now to the icing...beat the sugar and butter together for a moment or so on a medium speed. Pour in the milk, raise the speed to high and continue to beat for about 5 minutes until you get a light and fluffy consistency. Add in the hazelnut spread and fold it through - you can do this until it is fully mixed in, or you can leave a more marbled effect. 
  8. Decorate your cupcakes with a heaped teaspoon of icing to each one and top with some whole hazelnuts (if using), and finally, tuck in!

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