Sunday, 11 September 2011

:: Nuts About Chocolate Cupcakes (GF) ::

Flourless Chocolate & Hazelnut Cupcakes (GF)
:: Megann’s Kitchen ::

:: chocolate & hazelnut cupcakes with chocolate ganache + roasted hazelnut ::

My husbands old uni friend runs a modest coffee stand called "Dose Espresso" at the Olive Tree Markets & every first Saturday of the month we pay Andrew a visit. He & his business partner, Seamus, make amazing coffee which patrons line up patiently for. Admittedly, they don't take our money when we offer it to them & this started to weigh on my mind as the complimentary coffees were starting to stack up.
One Saturday I said "I will have to bake you something to pay for all these gorgeous coffees!" He thought I was joking & embellished the thought. "Ummmm, muffins..." he said thinking hard. "No, cupcakes! Chocolate ones! Oh, & make sure that Mick brings them in a basket, all pretty & very un-manly!!!" he decided, laughing to himself. Well, I wasn't going to let all those coffees go unpaid for so the following market date I set to baking. The best chocolate recipe that came to mind was Mick's favourite Flourless Chocolate & Hazelnut Cake recipe, which I have blogged previously, but this time I decided to make it into some gorgeous  cupcakes. I piped on a bubble of chocolate ganache & placed a roasted hazelnut on top. Pretty & perfect, as requested. Oh, I also made a batch of ever so quick & easy blueberry & apple muffins, of course!
The hot muffins went into a lovely basket laced with a tea towel & the cupcakes went into one of my favourite Nigella Lawson baking tins (in pale blue, naturally). Mick proudly carried them up to Andy & the look of amazement on his face was fantastic. "I seriously was kidding!" he exclaimed. But that night we got a text, "We are not worthy..." & were later told that people were asking if the muffins & cupcakes were for sale, but the boys ate them all that day. Maybe one day....

240g dark cooking chocolate, broken into pieces
150g unsalted butter, cubed
270g brown sugar
125g hazelnut meal (finely ground hazelnuts)
6 large eggs, separated
to dust
1 tbs cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Prepare 2 cupcake tins lined lined with roughly 18 liners. Put the butter & broken chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan on low heat with simmering water, & stir constantly until mixture is completely melted & smooth. Sit on the bench to cool slightly whilst you prepare your other ingredients.
Add the sugar & hazelnut meal to the chocolate mixture & combine until there are no lumps. Add the egg yolks one at a time, stirring well between each one. In a separate bowl, whisk your egg whites until firm peaks form, then gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Make sure that the mixture is just combined but there are no large white foamy lumps in the mixture as they will rise to the surface of your cake making bubbles.
Spoon the mixture into prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 20-22 minutes; until just firm. Keep in mind that this recipe is meant to be soft & fudge-like in the middle, so don’t panic if it looks underdone. Leave to cool completely in the tins before removing (this is essential!)

donna hay logo cupcake papers

:: I sourced my Donna Hay logo cupcake liners from the General Store, but they are also available from David Jones.

Chocolate Ganache
:: Megann’s Kitchen ::

I chose to top my cupcakes with a slightly chilled basic chocolate ganache & an "Alice" inspired roasted hazelnut perched proudly on top. I pulled back on the cream quantity as I wanted the ganache to hold a solid form.

:: deliciously moist cupcakes, you have to try these! ::

110 grams good quality dark chocolate
60 ml warm cream
40 grams butter

Combine together over a double boiler until smooth & glossy. Chill in the refrigerator, stirring every few minutes, until desired piping consistency, then pipe onto cupcakes. If piping seems a little daunting, simply dollop with a teaspoon for a rustic look. Top with roasted hazelnut.

Kitchen Notes
:: If you don't have a double boiler, I simply use a saucepan filled with water & a stainless steel bowl over a stove on low heat. Place your chocolate in the stainless steel bowl & voila!
:: To roast the hazelnuts, I simply put some whole hazelnuts on a tray & roasted them on an oven at 180°C (350°F) for 6-7 minutes.


  1. I love Dose coffee at Olive Tree Markets. Being able to buy oen of your muffins at the same time would be genius....I think you are on to something.

  2. Hey Megann,
    congratulations on the write up in the Newcastle Herald today.

  3. @ Siobhan: Dose has incredible coffee, there is no doubting that. I will have to tell Andy his coffee + muffins = perfection!
    @ Colleen: Why thank you! It was very humbling & quite the honour! When Good Taste got in contact with me saying they wanted to do a story on local food bloggers and I was one of them... well... WOW! WOW!!! Wow...


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