Saturday, December 22, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with a Nutella filling and Meringue Frosting

Listening to Michael Buble’s rendition of White Christmas while going past Baltimore’s skyline on my way to the capital, I’ve almost forgotten today was supposedly the day the world was going to end. Not much of a believer of superstitions and arcane theories, I don’t know much about the Mayan calendar’s prediction of the apocalypse, but what I do know is that if the world were to end on this 21st of December, 2012, the world has four hours left to implode (or explode).

If this were indeed to be my last day on Earth, this blog entry would never have been published. So I guess if you’re reading this, congrats, you made it through 12/21/12. Now we just have to make it through the next projected date for the apocalypse, that is, if WWIII doesn’t destroy this world first.

But why be so melancholy? Christmas is only four days away, along with the joy and magic of the holiday. This is the weekend for last minute frenzied shopping, non-stop Christmas cookie baking, and performing whatever personal rituals you have in the hopes of bringing snow in three days. When you have a break between hectic errands these next few days, try out this cupcake recipe. You can always make time for the sweet things in life.


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup brewed coffee
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 cup granulated white sugar

3 large egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar

Nutella (approximately ¼ cup)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with 12 baking cups.
2. To make the cupcakes, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and baking soda in a large bowl.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together the coffee, vinegar, vanilla extract, and olive oil.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix well.
5. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners. Cook in the oven for 17-19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Remove from the oven, and cool completely.
7. To make the frosting, combine all the frosting ingredients in a bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan with simmering water to create a double boiler.
8. Whisk the mixture over the simmering water until all the sugar is dissolved.
9. Take the bowl off the heat, and using a hand mixer with the whisk attachment on, whisk the meringue frosting until stiff peaks form. This will take up to 10 minutes or more.
10. To assemble the cupcakes, cut a hole in the middle of the cupcakes, and spoon Nutella in to fill the hole. Cover with the cut out cupcake piece. Pipe the meringue frosting on top.

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