As I mentioned previously, last Friday was my friend Mar's birthday. Since I missed her big day, I decided to do it up and bake her 2 things she'd requested. Funny enough, I'd planned these Ferrero Rocher cupcakes for my own birthday in June, in addition to the amazing strawberry cream cake. See, when I was a kid, dad brought these hazelnut chocolates back to China from a business trip. Just for me. I fell so hard for Rocher right then and never got over him hehe. Fast forward to 2 weeks ago en route to NYC with Mar. I happened to mention these cupcakes, and she immediately knew she wanted them for her birthday. Like the chocolates themselves, these babies turned out to be the perfect little decadent treat. Most importantly, the birthday girl looked mighty happy.
There're some less common ingredients in these cupcakes (like hazelnut extract and edible gold). So check out this Cupcake Project post for some great info on finding them. Also, although hazelnuts can be found in stores, I chose to get mine online and already-roasted from Oh Nuts!. Without the time or supplies to make my cupcakes look exactly Rocher-like, I chose instead to use some actual chocolates as toppers and pumped up the taste with some hazelnut wafer cookies from World Market plus more hazelnuts in the filling. All the recipes are after the jump.
The Star (Ferrero Rocher) and Supporting Cast
There were some other bumps too along the road to chocolate hazelnut bliss. While the cake and ganache recipes worked perfectly, my filling came out like soup (!!). Despite attempts to coax it to "gooey"-ness with powdered sugar and chilling, it refused to thicken more than marginally. It was still fabulous in the end, but if I make it again, I'll use less liquid or even substitute Nutella for the filling.
Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes [Printable Recipe]
Adapted from Cupcake Project
Makes 12 cupcakes
1/2 C boiling water
6 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 C yogurt (not too thick)
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 T hazelnut extract
1/2 tsp molasses
1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
1 C granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 C all-purpose flour
1/2 + 1/8 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
Gooey Chocolate Hazelnut Filling (Recipe below)
Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache (Recipe below)
6 Ferrero Rocher chocolates, halved
Preheat oven to 350F. In a bowl, whisk the boiling water into cocoa until smooth and whisk in yogurt, molasses, vanilla, and hazelnut extracts. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes, and beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Into another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt and add to egg mixture in batches alternately with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, and beating well after each addition. Fill each wrapper slightly more than 1/2 way. They will rise a lot. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 18 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Cut a cone in each cupcake. Put a few pieces of the wafers in, followed by 1-2 teaspoons of the filling. Replace the cone. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of the ganache over each filled cupcake. Top them all with one Ferrero Rocher half each. Take a bite and moan in pleasure.
(Supposedly) Gooey Chocolate Hazelnut Filling
1/2 C heavy cream (I'd recommend reducing this to about 1/4 C)
1/2 C semisweet chocolate chips
(I chopped up a bar of semisweet chocolate instead. My consistency problems may have something to do with these changes.)
1 t hazelnut extract
1/2 C hazelnut wafer cookies, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/4 C roasted hazelnuts, chopped fine
Bring heavy cream to a boil. Pour over chocolate to melt it. Add extract. Mix until fluffy (I wasn't sure what this meant...). Let cool. (In my case, add sugar...still soup...repeat 6x...put in freezer...soup 4evarr...)
Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache
1/4 C heavy cream
4 oz good semi-sweet chocolate chunks
1 T light corn syrup
1 t hazelnut extract
1/3 C hazelnuts, chopped fine to medium
Heat the cream on the stove until it boils. Pour over the chocolate and stir to melt, adding the corn syrup and hazelnut extract. Stir in the chopped hazelnuts.