I woke up yesterday, and had cupcakes on my mind. My Fiance, Mr. Donut, woke up with basketball on his. While it’s March Madness for him, it’s Cupcake Madness for me. For the past two weeks, I’ve been making cupcakes every Sunday, and I think it would be fun to fill my brackets with the best cupcake recipes I know. Some new, some old, heck maybe even a wild card or two.
Mr. Donut is currently in first place in his NCAA bracket at work, and I’m hoping that these chocolate cupcakes will go all the way. However, it’s all up to you and my many friends and family to make the final decision. Like the games this weekend, I think it’s going to be close and unpredictable. Mr. Donut is still in shock over the University of Pittsburgh upset.
So here’s how it’s going to work, after this weekend there are sixteen teams left, competing to win the NCAA Championship. I probably won’t be able to make sixteen different cupcakes by then, but I’m going for a Sweet Six.
Here’s my number 1 pick to go to the final four.
These cupcakes are based off of my favorite chocolate cake recipe, and they are filled with chocolaty goodness. I made the cake years ago for Mr. Donut’s birthday and he only had one slice because my family ate it all before he could eat another. These cakes should advance in my opinion because they are made up of some of finest chocolate, and they have two secret weapons: coffee and nutella.
Need I say more?
Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting
Adapted From: Epicurious Magazine
Servings: Makes about 2 dozen
Prep. and Cook Time: 1 hour
Ingredients (Commentary? You know it!)
4 ounces of fine-quality unsweetened dark chocolate – I used Ghirardelli because it was on sale at the grocery store
1 1/2 Cups Hot Coffee – I don’t really drink coffee so I used 2 tablespoons of instant coffee, mixed in boiling water. If you drink coffee then brew 1 1/2 cup.
3 Cups of Sugar – I would normally cut this down to about 2 cups, but because I used unsweetened chocolate, I kept it as is.
2 1/3 Cups All-Purpose Flour – Sifted
1 1/2 Cups Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – non Dutch processed
3/4 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1 1/4 Teaspoons of Salt
3 Large Eggs – at room temperature
3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 Cups of Buttermilk – shake well
3/4 Teaspoon of Vanilla
13 ounces of Nutella - this is contents of a regular sized container
1/4 – 1/2 Cup of Whipping Cream – If you don’t have whipping cream, you can use half and half or milk.
For Frosting: Pour Nutella in a medium bowl, slowly pour liquid into bowl and mix. You should pour the whipping cream in batches, I noted 1/4 to 1/2 cup of liquid because it all depends on how thick you like your frosting. Also because if you add too much, then your frosting will become watery and too thin to spread on cupcakes, so be careful.
Preheat the oven to 300˚F
Grease muffin pans and lightly coat with flour. (If you are using cupcake liners, then you only need to spray the liners with a little cooking spray. I ran out of liners so I greased the pan with spray and flour.) Finely chop the dark chocolate, and combine with the hot coffee. Stir occasionally so that the chocolate melts evenly. Set aside or place in the fridge to cool. I am impatient so I put the mixture in the freezer for about 10 minutes so that it would be close to room temperature.
While the coffee cools, sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, I used my standing mixer, but you can also use a hand-held, beat the eggs for about 3-5 minutes. Pour in the vegetable oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the melted chocolate, and slowly add the dry flour mixture to the liquid on medium speed. Mix well.
Use an ice cream scooper or a small measuring cup (no more than 1/4 cup) and divide the batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool and place on wire rack. If you are not going to use the cupcakes right away, wrap tightly with plastic wrap to keep the moisture.
Top with Nutella Frosting. I must warn you these cupcakes are amazingly rich, so much so you’ll definitely be satisfied after eating just one, and I absolutely recommend you accompany these with a tall glass of milk. Enjoy.