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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Ferraro Rocher cupcakes

I came up with two answers to the question "what do you do with a box of 48 Ferraro Rocher candies that your parents give you?"  Answer number one was to eat every last one of them (I'd share with B, but he isn't a fan of hazelnut), but I decided against that since I'd probably be sick to my stomach and I'm trying to not indulge too much.  Answer number two seemed to make some cupcakes with them (and eat a few along the way).  Option number two is what I went with.

I made my go-to dark chocolate cupcakes, but put a whole Ferraro Rocher candy in the center.  That sounds amazing enough on it's own, right?  But then I topped the baked cupcakes with a fluffy Nutella cloud frosting.  I could've stopped there.  I was planning on topping them with some chopped, toasted hazelnuts, but since I didn't have those on hand, I went with a mixture of toppings: I left some without anything more than the frosting, I topped some with chopped Ferraro Rocher candies, and I topped some with another whole candy!  I debated drizzling some Nutella on top, and think I might even do that before serving them (but for now the pictures are without it).

Here's the thing about these cupcakes.....they're the perfect balance of chocolatey and hazelnutty/nutella-y, without either flavor being too overpowering.  I'd venture to guess that even my non-hazelnut-loving fiancee would like these!

Dark Chocolate Ferraro Rocher Cupcakes with Nutella Cloud Frosting
Cupcakes are adapted by yours truly (based on these cupcakes), icing is from here (originally on the blog here)

I got 12 Ferraro Rocher filled cupcakes plus 5 regular cupcakes with this recipe.

For the cupcakes:

8 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 oz bittersweet/semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 cup sour cream

12 Ferraro Rocher candies, plus more for topping.  Additionally, you can fill more cupcakes and use additional candies

For the icing:

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened, but cool
1 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (4 ounces) premium bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1/3 cup Nutella
1 Tbsp milk (I used cream, since that's what I had on hand)
pinch of salt


Make the cupcakes.

Preheat the oven to 350F (325 if using a nonstick pan).
Line a standard muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a medium heat proof bowl.
Set bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water, and heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted.
Whisk until smooth and combined.
(You could do this in the microwave, but this time I actually used a double boiler!)
Set aside to cool until just warm to the touch.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl to combine.

Whisk eggs in another bowl.
Add sugar, vanilla, and salt until fully incorporated.
Add cooled chocolate mixture.
Whisk until combined.
Sift about 1/3 of the flour mixture over and whisk until batter is thick and fully incorporated.
Add sour cream, and mix until fully incorporatted.
Add remaining flour mixture and mix until combined.
Batter will be thick.

Fill 12 cupcake liners about half way full.
Place 1 unwrapped Ferraro Rocher into the center of each cupcake liner and push down.  
Don't worry if the candies aren't fully submerged, we'll get back to that in a second.
Repeat until each of the 12 cupcake liners have a candy in them.
If there are uncovered candies (all of mine were!), place a small spoonful of batter over each candy.
Don't worry if the candies are poking out, they'll get covered when they bake.

Bake until a skewer inserted into the side (remember, there's a candy in the center!) comes out clean, about 14-16 minutes.

Cool cupcakes in pan on a wire rack until they are cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes.
Place cupcakes on a wire rack.
Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, make the frosting.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the confectioners sugar and butter,
Beat on low for about 1 minute.

Add vanilla.
Beat on low until well combined.
Add the chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Add the Nutella, milk (or cream), and salt.
Beat on medium-high speed for another minute.

Put into a piping bag with the piping tip of your choice.
Frost cupcakes.

Top with chopped Ferraro Rocher candies, a whole candy, hopped toasted hazelnuts, a drizzle of Nutella, sprinkles, or leave them as they are :-)

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