9 March 2011
I think I have a cupcake fixation. I think it is because they are a) really easy to make b) cute and c) great to photograph.
I have no less than 7 (now 8) cupcake recipes in my reasonably petite recipe archive. They are a bit like brownies (I have a lot of those blogged too), adaptable and everyone loves them. I don't always like icing or frosting, it can make the cupcake overly sweet for an everyday lunchtime snack, but for special ocasions you have to. My favourite cupcake is lemon drizzle, which is also my favourite cake.
These cupcakes are again super easy and people always swoon when you mention coffee cake in any form - have you noticed that? I played around with the traditional walnut and decided to sub hazelnut instead because I prefer them. There is a mixture of whole and chopped hazelnuts, along with one of the top which gave it a slightly er, protuding appearance - oops!
I am a coffee snob and I much prefer proper fresh ground coffee to instant, but instant is always the best thing to use for baking - unless you can find coffee extract. You can get a much stronger coffee taste, and I've tried using freshly made proper espresso before, than real coffee. Trust me!
Coffee & Hazelnut Cupcakes
makes about 12 cupcakes
200g butter, softened
200g white or brown sugar
175g self raising flour
4 tsps of instant coffee (dissolve about 2 tsps of powder in as little water as possible, approx 75ml)
dash of vanilla extract
chopped and whole hazelnuts - about 100g in total plus extra for the top.
Preheat your oven to 200c / gas mark 6
Cream together your butter and sugar with a spoon and then whisk in the eggs one by one, mixing well to incorporate each time. Add in your vanilla, coffee and then the flour, folding in, try not to overbeat. Then add in your hazelnuts.
Line a muffin tin with cupcake cases, and fill to about 2/3 full, top with hazelnuts. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes til cooked all the way through.
I did intend to ice them with chocolate and coffee icing but trying to eke out some leftover chocolate frosting with extra coffee and milk made it go all runny, whoops! I experimented with one but the chocolate just wouldn't set, but it was tasty when topped with more hazelnuts.
P.S. The other cupcakes in the picture are lemon cupcakes, recipe in the Hummingbird Bakery Book :)