Recipe: Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Whipped Creme

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These cupcakes were the first recipe I really developed on my own. A few weeks ago, I submitted the recipe and a story about them to Jen from Joie Magazine. Last Friday, the issue was published, with my recipe and photos in it. Check it out — I’m on page 10 (briefly, with a bio) and you can find the recipe and story on pages 100 to 103:

Let’s hope this is the first of many more to come. {fingers crossed}

Now, back to business and baking. Here’s my favorite (and one of my signature) recipes.  Enjoy!

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Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Whipped Cream
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup whole milk + 1 tablespoon white vinegar as a substitution)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 pint heavy cream (pasteurized is best)
1/2 cup Nutella

For cupcakes:
1. Set oven to 325 degrees and make sure rack is in the middle. Line two cupcake pans with baking cups (total yield should be about 24 cupcakes).
2. Shift together flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
3. Melt chocolate and butter either (a) in a bowl set over a pot of simmer water on the stove top, mixing thoroughly and repeatedly or (b) in the microwave on medium (50% power) for 2 minutes, remove and stir, then continue heating until melted completely, mixing every minute. Let cool for a few minutes.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Add in chocolate mixture and whisk further. Add in buttermilk and baking soda; whisk. Finally, add the dry ingredients in the medium bowl to the wet ones in the large bowl, and mix until the batter is smooth.
5. Fill baking cups until two-thirds full.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until done (every oven is different so make sure you watch your and check then with a toothpick). Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool to room temperature.

For Nutella whipped cream:

1. If you have a stand mixer, put the metal bowl and whisk attachment into the freezer for at least 30 minutes. If you have a hand mixer, put a metal bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes. Once cold, you’re ready to begin.
2. Pour pint of heavy cream into bowl and turn mixer on low; mix until small bubbles start to form.
3. Add Nutella. (You can always add more if you think it’s needed.) Turn mixer on medium low to incorporate, then bring mixer to medium high and whip Nutella-creme mixture until soft peaks form.
4. Use this to top cooled cupcakes.  You can also cut into the cupcake from the top (like you’re cutting out a cork) and pipe Nutella cream into the cupcake for a delicious extra surprise when you bite into them.

Cupcakes can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days, but are best eaten the same day they’re made (which shouldn’t be too hard).