I’d been itching for cupcakes–Which is somewhat unusual for me. I’m happy to make them for other people and as blog fodder, but for the most part, I pawn them off on coworkers or leave them for Jay and the bambino to eat as snacks while they wait for me to get home from work. This time, though, I wanted something rich, a decadent dessert that would make my teeth hurt. I think I accomplished that after making these Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream.
1 1/2 C (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch chunks and at room temperature
1/2 C Nutella
(optional) 24 Ferrero Rocher candies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Whisk together the hot coffee and the cocoa powder until the cocoa dissolves.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, and beat on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes or until the butter is light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add in the vanilla.
On low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the coffee-cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Do not overmix.
Using a large (3-Tbsp.) scoop, place the batter in the prepared pans. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of several cupcakes comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pans, before removing and cooling completely on wire racks.
While the cupcakes cool, combine the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Place over a saucepan of simmering water, and whisk for about 5 minutes, or until the egg whites are hot and the sugar is completely dissolved (test by rubbing a bit between your finger and thumb--If it's at all grainy, whisk another minute before testing again).
Place the bowl onto the mixer and whip on high speed using the whisk attachment until the whites are stiff and glossy, and completely cooled. This can take up to 10 minutes.
Drop the speed to medium and add the butter pieces one at a time. The mixture may begin to look curdled after the butter has been added--This is normal. Continue beating, and it will come together.
After all the butter has been added, switch to the paddle attachment, and add the Nutella. Beat on medium for 2-3 minutes to fully combine.
Frost the cupcakes as desired, and if using, top each with a Ferrero Rocher.