Monday, January 9, 2012

Raspberry Hazelnut Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream Frosting

Have you seen cupcake wars? Quick rundown if you haven't - basically the contestants have to create cupcakes out of completely outlandish ingredients (ie: jalapenos, hot sauce, absinthe, cauliflower, turkey, etc...) before you can make more normal cupcakes that match whatever the theme of that episode is. Every once in a while there will be more reasonable ingredients for that first round like chocolate, marshmallows, etc, etc. Almost since the first time I watched the show (maybe like 6 months ago) I wondered if I could create my own cupcakes.

I did it. I finally created them. Granted, I didn't have the time or ingredient restraints, but for my first try I feel like this was a major success!

I loosely followed recipes for both the cupcakes and the frosting and the result is a wonderful combination of flavors (I mean, who doesn't love raspberries and nutella?) with none overpowering the other. I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

Yield: 30-32 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
2 3/4 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cup sugar
3 oz raspberry gelatin
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup raspberry puree (mix raspberries with 2 tbsp powdered sugar in a blender)

For the frosting:
1 cup milk
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1/2 cup Crisco (you can also use another 1/2 cup of butter if you prefer)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup nutella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; mix together and set aside. Mix the sugar, raspberry gelatin and butter until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs into the sugar mixture one at a time, mixing well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until incorporated. Blend in the milk and vanilla extract. Add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. Blend in the raspberry puree. 

Fill the cupcakes cups 2/3rds full. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes then take out and allow to cool completely. 

Place the milk in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the flour over the milk, 1/4 cup at a time and whisk until smooth. Place the saucepan over low heat and stir constantly until the mixture becomes thick and pulls into a ball. Remove from heat and put into a bowl, cover the ball directly with plastic wrap, making sure none of it is exposed and place in the fridge (or freezer if you are inpatient like me) until cooled to at least room temperature. 

In a large bowl, cream the butter and Crisco (or just butter). Add the cooled flour/milk mixture and beat until well blended. Mix in the vanilla. With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add the sugar and then continue to beat for an additional 10-12 minutes (it's worth it, I promise - a not super sweet buttercream used to only be a figment of my imagination) until white and creamy. Add in the nutella and mix until well blended with no streaks. 

Frost the cupcakes, decorate as you please, and enjoy the amazingness.

Source: very loosely adapted from Annie's Eats and Chocolate Therapy

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