By now, my dad, younger sister and family are back in Ohio and collapsing into that “Thank the gods we’re home” exhaustion. Before they left, we spent some time at the Children’s Museum here in Brookings, as well as the Ingalls Homestead out in De Smet.
(For the record we have no idea who that guy is, just someone who happened to be climbing in “The Clouds” at the same time as my sister!)
I didn’t get to do much in the way of cooking or baking while they were here (aside from some cookies), and in fact, the night before they left, my brother-in-law fried up a bunch of chicken, made the best green beans I have ever had, and served that alongside some mashed potatoes and gravy. My kitchen had never smelled SO good! Well, it hadn’t smelled that good in awhile.
But I wanted to get back to baking, and even though I’m on a sweet kick, rather than a savory one, I’ve had these cupcakes in the back of my mind for awhile. Hazelnut Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream.
Very similiar to the almondcupcakes I’ve made a few times–It’s the same recipe but done with hazelnut meal rather than almond meal.
I thought about doing a chocolate buttercream but I’ve eaten the equivalent of a jar of Nutella over the past few days (don’t judge–It’s why I never buy the stuff unless I need it for a recipe!), so I wanted something a little different. I love hazelnut and coffee together, so I thought a coffee buttercream would work well.
1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 C milk
1/4 C hazelnut syrup
For the Coffee Buttercream:
5 large egg whites
1 C sugar
2 C (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 Tbsp. coffee extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, hazelnut meal, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract until well-combined. Alternately stir in the hazelnut-flour mixture and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir in the hazelnut syrup.
Using a large (3-Tbsp.) scoop, add the batter to the liners. Bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of several cupcakes comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pan before removing and cooling completely on wire racks.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the egg whites and the sugar. Place over a pan of simmering water, and continue whisking for 5-7 minutes, or until the sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are hot.*
Place the bowl on the mixer and whip on medium-high speed until the meringue is glossy and cooled to room temperature. This can take up to 10 minutes.
On low speed, begin adding the butter, a tablespoon at a time. Once all the butter has been added, add the coffee extract. Switch to the paddle attachment and beat on medium for 3-5 minutes. Decorate cupcakes as desired.
Recipe Type: Dessert
*To test, rub some of the whites between your finger and thumb. If the mixture is at all grainy, continue cooking for another minute and test again. Once the mixture is smooth and tacky, it's ready to be whipped.