Chocolate and hazelnut cupcakes

With Halloween around the corner and autumn weather hugging us, nothing more seasonal than chocolate and hazelnuts cupcakes to celebrate the leaves falling and nuts harvesting season. Call it cheating, or call it being resourceful, but I decided to use combine Nutella with cocoa powder to make the icing; the result was a silky icing that tasted as good and it looked.

Nutella cupcake

Ingredients

Chocolate cupcakes

100g self-raising flour
20g cocoa powder
110g caster sugar
110g butter, room temperature
2 free-range eggs
50g chopped hazelnuts, optional

Nutella icing
100g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter
1tbsp cocoa powder
4 tbsp Nutella
1tbsp milk

Nutella icing
Method

Cupcakes
1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale. Beat in the eggs a little at a time.
3. Mix the flour and cocoa powder.
4. Fold in the dry ingredients, including the hazelnut, adding a little milk until the mixture is of a dropping consistency. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until they are two thirds full.
5. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until a skewer inserted into one of the cupcakes comes out clean. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.

Nutella icing
1. Beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
2. Add the cocoa powder, the remaining icing sugar, the Nutella and one tablespoon of the milk, adding more milk if necessary, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
3. When the cupcakes have cooled down, spoon the icing into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe the icing using a spiralling motion onto the cupcakes in a large swirl.

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