Friday, October 29, 2010

Chocolate-Nutella Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Buttercream. For Real.

So today is the day to celebrate the lovelies in my office who happened to be born in this most festive of months, October.  While I would prefer to celebrate Oktoberfest-style with some deliciously cold-yet-warming brews, I'm at work.  So we'll have cupcakes instead.  Sometimes I take requests because it's nice to make your coworkers happy.  Requests for this month:  Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, and really chocolately cupcakes with frosting of some sort.
Admission:  While I love carrot cake, and I love cream cheese frosting, carrot cake is one of the most tedious of cakes to make.  I simply hate grating carrots, and I can't buy them grated to my satisfaction.  Solution:  boxed cake mix and store-bought frosting.  Don't hate.  I did add some personal touches by coloring the frosting orange and piping it!  Plus I got to use my extra-neato cow sprinkles.   Do I recommend these?  Not in good conscience due to artificial ingredients.  But definitely taste one of the other variety...

We're talking deep chocolately cupcakes filled with Nutella, and frosted with Dulce de Leche buttercream. 
I started out with a fairly simple chocolate cupcake recipe from Joy of Baking.com
I hadn't ever made a chocolate cupcake using this method (basically making my own chocolate syrup minus the sugar) before, and it was kind of fun.  While the chocolate frosting that goes with this recipe looks amazing, I had to go with something a little more warm and autumn-like to cut the intensity of the chocolate cupcake.  Here's where my favorite blog comes in:  Joy the Baker.  (Not related to Joy of Baking, actually).  This girl is amazing.  She makes things I have wanted all my life but never knew about.  Plus, she is hilarious, and Joy if you're reading right now, which most assuredly you are not, let's be best friends forever.  I found this frosting recipe on her site, which I think she actually borrowed from The Pastry Queen.  Dulce de Leche is caramel usually made from goat's milk.  It's actually available in the ethnic foods section of most grocery stores and is fairly inexpensive.  I probably should have cut this recipe in half since I only made 12 cupcakes and had a lot left over.  If you have leftover batter after a dozen cupcakes, you may want to pile it in a ramekin and bake it with the rest for a delicious molten lava cake for the chef.  I was pretty happy with it.

The cupcakes are not as sweet as some (which I love), and the frosting is really sweet, so it strikes a nice balance.  I still had to mess with it.  I had visions of grandeur that involved piping a little suprise well of Nutella into the center of each cupcake before frosting them.  Those visions came to a disappointing end quickly.  (Picture me clutching pastry bag feverishly with chocolate all the way up my forearms, and aforementioned pastry bag exploding into giant supernova of chocolate and brokenness.)  Solution:  use butterknife to spread a thin layer of Nutella on the tops before frosting.  In the absence of a functioning pastry bag, a little Ziploc baggie with a snipped corner served just fine.  I couldn't resist decorating them seasonally with those disgusting little candy corns and somehow-delicious pumpkins made of the same stuff.  *These are not part of a healthy diet.
...And I'm spent.  Happy Friday!

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2 comments:

Ashley said...

I CANNOT wait for whatever scrumptious recipe you decide to bring to Thanksgiving...I mean it, cannot wait. Love you!

Medifast Coupon Code said...

Those are some really great looking cupcakes and I would like to try them all please. :)