Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nutella Cupcakes

As we enter September, I am very aware of the cyclical nature of New York City.  I am now entering my second year as a NYC resident and I am seeing the same festivals, events, and trends that came around last September.  The New York Film Festival is only a few weeks away.  The San Gennaro Festival is at the end of the month.  New York Fashion Week was this week.  As I did last year, I will be attending all but one of these.  I sit Fashion Week out because a) the other two involve movies and food which I can afford and b) let’s be honest, fashion week?  Only if I could sit next to Suri and we could trade sarcastic quips.

I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to post about these cupcakes.  I made them earlier in the year for a friend’s baby shower and I should apologize now for keeping them to myself for so long.  I figure celebrating my one-year in NYC (albeit a month late) will be a good enough reason. 

Similar to my Rolo Cupcakes, these have the following characteristics:  they are guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser; they will create a sugar coma that will make you want to steal the insulin of the nearest diabetic cat; and they will make you feel like you are an equal to those bakeries that charge $5 a cupcake.  But don’t do that.  These should be shared and doled out with some love and a smile.  Otherwise, that sugar coma would become a serious health hazard.
What are the odds that a Nutella commercial would come on as I take pictures of Nutella cupcakes?  This is the one where the mom is giving her kids a 'healthy breakfast' of bread and Nutella.  Or, as I like to call it, introducing the concept of denial to her children.

Nutella Cupcakes
Adapted from My Baking Addiction
For the Cake
1 18.25 ounce package Devil's Food Cake mix
1 5.9 ounce package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla
1 13-ounce jar of Nutella

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. Using the paddle attachment of a mixer, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, eggs, water and vanilla until smooth. Evenly divide the batter amongst the tins. Bake for 18-22 minutes until top is springy to the touch. Cool the cupcakes thoroughly on the wire rack.  Cut a small hole in the middle of each cupcake, being sure not to go all the way through to the bottom.  I used a strawberry corer for this part.  Spoon a little bit of Nutella into each hole and smooth it down so it is even across the top.

For the Nutella Buttercream Frosting
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 13-ounce jar of Nutella
pinch of fine grain salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1.5 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted
6-8 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

Using a stand mixer, cream butter and Nutella until combined, about 5 minutes.  Slowly add the confectioner’s sugar and continue mixing until blended.  Add salt, vanilla and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk.  Mix on low speed until moistened.  Add another tablespoon as you mix until you reach the desired consistency.  Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy, about three minutes.  Pipe buttercream frosting onto cooled cakes and top with a hazelnut candy bar or cookie.  

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