I’m procrastinating this afternoon, I should be reading papers and writing another section of one of my thesis chapters but my brain has turned to mush, I blame the sunshine, so I thought I’d try and do something productive to hopefully reset my brain. These cupcakes have been sat patiently in my drafts folder since early March and I feel bad for neglecting them.When I made these cupcakes I discovered too late that I’d run out of cupcake cases so I used muffin cases instead but just didn’t fill them all the way up. This is why they look a little small in the cases, they’re not tiny cakes, I’m just a lazy person who didn’t restock their baking cupboard properly.
For the buttercream I used some of the hazelnut paste that I received as a sample from WhyNut a few months ago. I wrote a little review of their pastes and a few other products last month which is here if you haven’t already seen it.
I was enjoying experimenting with different flavours on my porridge earlier in the year and discovered that frozen raspberries cooked with the oats and little bit of vanilla sugar worked very well with a drizzle of the hazelnut paste and a grating of dark chocolate. It also makes a rather pretty bowl of pink porridge which cheered me up on grey mornings. From this breakfast time experimentation, the idea for these cupcakes emerged. A simple chocolate sponge spiked with a hint of vanilla filled with soft fruity raspberries and topped off with the most decadent hazelnut buttercream I’ve ever tasted. Admittedly this is the only hazelnut buttercream I’ve tasted, forgive me for blowing my own trumpet here, it is amazing stuff. I could quite happily eat it by the spoonful.
Ingredients – makes 9
For the cakes:
130g unsalted butter
130g caster sugar
100g self raising flour
30g cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
packet of frozen raspberries or fresh when in season
For the buttercream:
100g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
3 tsp WhyNut hazelnut paste
1-2 tbsp milk
grated dark chocolate/dark chocolate curls to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180C and line a bun tin with cupcake cases.
- Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add in the eggs one at a time, beat well after each egg then add in the vanilla extract and milk and beat again. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and fold gently to combine.
- Divide the cake mixture between the cases then push 3-4 raspberries, depending on size, into the centre of each cake making sure that the raspberries are covered by the cake mixture. By all means lick your fingers once they’re all done before putting the cakes in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes. If using fresh raspberries check the cakes after about 20 minutes as they will bake a little quicker, the top should spring back after pressing gently when they are ready.
- Remove the cakes form the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
- To make the buttercream, beat the butter until light and fluffy then sift in the icing sugar, add the hazelnut paste and 1 tbsp of milk. Beat everything together until smooth and add the second tbsp of milk if it looks too dry.
- Fill a piping bag with the buttercream and pipe generous swirls of buttercream onto the top of each cake and finish with a sprinkling of dark chocolate curls.