Okay, so these were labor-intensive little buggers. After the orange-chocolate cupcakes earlier, my associate AWGster commented that ze would prefer something much less…orange-y, as filling. Which is how these were born.
I’m really digging the texture that adding nut-meal to cupcakes gives–I feel like the cupcakes are more moist and tender and have a really good…umm, well, I’ve only heard this in the context of coffee and wine, but mouth-feel. Anyways, it’s awfully lucky I’m not allergic to nuts.
So these cupcakes are chocolate hazelnut cupcakes, with a hazelnut buttercream frosting, chocolate ganache topping, and a chocolate pudding filling, and ALL are vegan, because I’m totally a winner.
These cupcakes took forever to make, but are definitively worth it.To begin with, you have to make the pudding so it’s cool and solid enough to fill the cupcakes with when you get to that step. Vegan pudding is actually super easy to make. This is the recipe I used, which is a variation on the pudding recipe I used for the Cupcakes from last week.
1 cup plain soy milk
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix together the dry ingredients, and then whisk that together with the wet ingredients in a small and heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes, or until it gets steamy, making sure to stir occasionally to make sure nothing burns to the bottom. At this point, reduce the heat and stir until the mixture continuously. You’ll probably need something firmed than a whisk–I used a spatula.
When the pudding reaches a pudding-like texture, remove it from the stove, and let it cool for ten minutes. Then move it to a bowl and let it cool, preferably in a refrigerator, until you’re ready to eat it. This recipe makes twice as much pudding as you actually need, which means you can snack.
Onto the cupcakes. This is the pretty standard chocolate hazelnut cupcake I’ve been fixated on for awhile, so I’m just going to copy-paste the recipe from a previous post.
1 cup plus all-purpose flour
1/3 cup hazelnut meal or hazelnut flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup rice or nut milk
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed (packing the brown sugar is ++important)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon hazelnut liquor
Line the cupcake tin and preheat the oven to 350.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the rice/soy milk and ground flaxseed. In a larger bowl, sift together the flour, hazelnut/almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Add the brown sugar, canola oil, vanilla and hazelnut liquor to the soy milk/flaxseed mixture. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing until mostly smooth (the meal means it’ll have a slightly rougher texture than most cupcakes, and it isn’t something to worry about).
Pour into the liners (2/3-3/4 full), and bake 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick/pointy object inserted into the middle comes out clean. The outside limit on these I think works better.
Anyhow, let them cool. Then, you can do one of two things: cut little cones of cake out of each cupcake to make little pudding cavities, or poke your finger in them and use a pastry bag to fill that hole. I opted for the former.
Then, whip the cooled pudding with a fork, and spoon into the cavities, leaving about a quarter-inch of space to put the “cap” of cupcake topping back on.
I like this better than the finger-poking method because you can get more pudding in the cupcake, and that’s plenty delicious.
Onto the frosting. When I made the nutmeal for these cupcakes, I had some leftover, and thought it might be good to impart more hazelnut flavor to the buttercream frosting.
The frosting is pretty standard: half a stick of margarine, mixed with the nutmeal, two tablespoons of hazelnut liquor, a couple tablespoons of soy milk, and enough powdered sugar to get the right texture.
I then drizzled some leftover ganache on top, and proceeded to eat the cupcakes.