Easy Birthday Treats: Nutella Cupcakes | Nutella Cupcake Recipe

nutella cupcakes

Remember yesterday when I said that I’m not Martha? Well, turns out I have an even longer way to go before I can decently frost/ice a cupcake. While cartoon characters and phancy fondant work can uplevel a cupcake to whimsical glory; some of us just may not be able to. But we still want to bake; and bake from the heart.

I fall into that category. And I think birthday treats, especially, should come from the heart. I also believe that toddlers who are crazy about Dora, Peppa the Pig and Thomas the Tank Engine will still eat a cupcake that is not adorned with their faces- as long as it is good!

That is what this cupcake is. Yummy. Gooey. Fun. From the heart. And sweet. Like a cupcake should be.

Nutella is awesome. I have not met anyone yet who dislikes it…honest to goodness! I can’t count the number of times I have eaten it straight out of the jar, or spread it on hot toast with a sprinkling of sea salt (trust me, it’s goood!)

Oh and I just love these. When I see them at an airport I HAVE to pick up a whole bunch of them, like my life depends on it!

nutella & go pack

image courtesy | weheartit.com

Nutella is also a great tool to construct quick desserts- sandwich them between store-bought cookies and serve with ice cream for a last-minuter,or whip up a no-bake cheesecake with digestive biscuits and cream cheese, à la Nigella.

Nutella also bakes well. And the best part is, since it is already in semi-liquid state, you do not have to worry about things like melting chocolate (which also brings the add-on worry of whether the chocolate will seize up, coagulate or burn.)

I made a Nutella and marmalade cupcake once, just combining Nutella, flour, an egg, a tablespoon of marmalade and then baking the mixture. It tasted great, but it was a little dense- bordering on clumpy- not as moist as a cupcake should be. So here I added in butter, sugar and milk, and what I got was a moist, pleasant cupcake with an almost brownie-like top…not yet forming that gorgeous brownie skin, but firm enough to give a soft crunch 🙂

NUTELLA CUPCAKES

INGREDIENTS

  • 150 g Nutella
  • 50 g butter
  • 100 g castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 g flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  •  1/2 cup milk

NOTE: Before you begin baking,  ensure that the Nutella, eggs, milk and butter are at room temperature.

METHOD

  • Preheat your oven to 180C.
  • Line a cupcake tin with paper or foil liners.
  • In a bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the Nutella, sugar and butter until nicely combined. The sugar may not dissolve at this point; but that’s ok.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition.
  • Next, add the flour and milk alternately, whisking after each is added. You should start and end with flour. Using a sieve, add a little flour; then whisk. Pour in some milk; then whisk. It should be flour-milk-flour-milk-flour. (I’ve been following this method since I attended the Purple Foodie workshops, and trust me, it will give you a really moist crumb!)
  • Once the batter has come together, pour into cupcake molds. Bake at 180C for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, slather on some Nutella!

Oh, and Nutella lovers- I so want to go here!

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Celebrating Mangoes: Mango Saffron Cupcakes | No-Fuss Mango Cupcakes

Mango season has been around for a while now and I have not posted any mango-related stuff…even though I’ve been eating so many. I usually make something or the other- either a crumble, a cake, or some good old-fashioned fruits with custard.  And yes, some savory dishes as well, like a chutney or even a mango curry.

This year, however, I’ve pretty much been eating them as is the entire season. I’ve had a near-perfect season. I haven’t encountered a sad or tasteless mango thus far. It’s been pretty darn good. So each time I bought mangoes, I’d just cut and eat them- I didn’t even feel like turning them into anything different.

Until I realized that time is running out. (Gasp!) I’d be pretty pathetic if I didn’t reflect some kind of seasonal change on the blog right? Because I’ll be honest with you- other than seasonal fruit (mangoes, cherries, lychees, strawberries,) and corn in summer and red carrots in winter, I really don’t what seasonal produce to expect in India.

Growing up in Kerala, there was mango season, monsoon and then the rest of the year.

When I lived in Delhi, I knew winter had set in when those gorgeous deep-coral carrots arrived in the market.

Considering I know so little about seasonal produce, I couldn’t let this mango season slip by. And I baked these cupcakes.

While mangoes are a wonderful dessert on their own, last year I realized that they bake pretty well too. After last year’s mango custard cake, I wanted to try baking a cake where the mango flavor was completely infused in the batter- and which had bits of fruit to bite into as well. I made this by trial and it is very pleasant indeed. Initially, I thought the mangoes would make the cake sticky, but that was not the case. The saffron leaves a subtle, flowery-honey taste. And that sun-kissed hue 🙂

The rain came in sideways on my balcony when I took this picture!

The rain came in sideways on my balcony when I took this picture!

MANGO-SAFFRON CUPCAKES

INGREDIENTS

  • 100 g butter
  • 200 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 g flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 4-5 strands of saffron
  • 1/4 cup fresh mango puree
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh mangoes, cut into small cubes. (Use half of these in the batter and the remaining for decoration.)

METHOD

  • First, make your ‘mango milk.’ Combine the mango puree and the milk and add the saffron strands to it so it infuses. (You can just blitz 1/4 cup fresh mango and milk in the blender too; or if you don’t have fresh puree, use packaged.)
  • Pre-heat your oven to 180 C and line a cupcake tin with liners.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and cardamom powder in a bowl and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together till light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • With a spatula, fold the flour mixture and the mango-milk mixture into the batter, alternately, mixing well after each addition. You should start and end with flour (flour-milk-flour-milk-flour.)
  • Take half the diced mangoes and place in a bowl. Sieve 2 tablespoons of regular flour over them, and gently combine with a spoon. (This will prevent the mangoes from sinking to the bottom while baking.) Gently fold these mangoes pieces into the batter.
  • Pour into cupcake moulds, filling batter 2/3 of the way up.
  • Bake in the oven at 180 C for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Take cupcakes out of the oven and allow to cool completely before adding diced mangoes on top.
The fruit bits didn't sink!

The fruit bits didn’t sink!

Adventures In Eggless Cupcake Baking Part 2: Banana & Chocolate Cupcakes | Vegan Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

So like I told you earlier, I spent the whole of last week testing out various eggless and vegan cupcake recipes.

I found this recipe on Love & Olive Oil as well, and what drew me in was the banana. I know the usual winning combos are  banana-caramel and banana-cinnamon; but I quite like banana and chocolate. I enjoy that drizzle of chocolate sauce over a banana split. And of course, I adore chocolate chips in my banana bread. So when I saw this recipe for a chocolate and banana cupcake, I had a feeling it would be a winner. Plus, since they are available in Mumbai year-round, I rarely pass up a dessert recipe with bananas.

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And I struck gold with this one. It’s so crumbly, so delicious- and no eggs or dairy! Who’d have thunk it? I’d always wondered whether vegan cakes could actually taste good, and now I know they can! I made some vanilla bean buttercream to top it off- and trust me, once you have used a real vanilla bean, you will ditch the extract for good! The speckled frosting looks beautiful, and tastes even better.

As usual, I tweaked the recipe- I added some almond meal for extra texture and richness. It marries wonderfully with the mashed banana for a dense, chocolatey cupcake.

BANANA & CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH VANILLA BEAN FROSTING (Adapted from Love &  Olive Oil.)

INGREDIENTS  (Makes 12)

  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup castor sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon powder

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 170 C and line a cupcake tray with liners.
  • Put the first 5 ingredients in a bowl and whisk well so that everything is evenly combined. Try and smoothen out as many lumps as you can. 
  • In a separate larger mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and almond meal. Mix well till combined.
  • Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in your wet mixture. Fold well till evenly combined and there are no streaks of flour. Don’t overmix or you will get a tough cake.
  • Scoop into your lined cupcake moulds, filling a little more than halfway, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

VANILLA BEAN FROSTING

INGREDIENTS

  • 200 grams icing sugar
  • 100 grams butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

DIRECTIONS

  • Beat all the ingredients together in a bowl until light and fluffy. That’s it!

Once your cupcakes are cooled, you can frost. I made little big-top like swirls!

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I’m sorry about the cupcake measures being in cups and the frosting in grams. Still figuring it out!