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Devil's Food Cupcakes with Hazelnut Crunch

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Serves 36 | Prep Time | Cook Time

Why I Love This Recipe

This is a Bon Appetit recipe for a 3 layer cake. I didn't have a need for cake. So I decided to make cupcakes. Easier to share at work that I wouldn't have to eat them all myself. Cuz as good as these are...I would eat them all. They are the fluffiest, lightest cupcakes I have ever eaten in my life. Hands down!

Ingredients You'll Need

Part 1 - Cake:
2 1/3 cups cake flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp instant espresso powder
1 cup hot coffee
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (not to exceed 70%), melted and cooled
Part II - Hazelnut Crunch
1/4 cup hazelnuts
2 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (not to exceed 70%) chopped
2 TB unsalted butter
1/2 cup Nutella
3 cups toasted rice cereal
Part III - Frosting
8 oz of high quality chocolate, chopped (original recipe calls for milk chocolate. I used semisweet and added about *1/2 cup powdered sugar in the end to balance out the sweetness)
8 oz of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (not to exceed 61%), chopped
1 1/2 TB light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
*1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted (use powdered sugar ONLY if you don't use milk chocolate as stated above)


Part I - Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350'. Line 36 muffin cups (or work in batches).

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and baking powder into a medium bowl. Set aside.

Combine the coffee and espresso powder into another medium bowl then whisk in the buttermilk. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and butter, until light and fluffy (this should take about 5 minutes). Add in the eggs one at a time, beating each egg until incorporated into the mix before adding the next one. Scrape down the sides as needed. Then beat in the egg yolk and vanilla. Turn the mixer onto high and continue beating until the mixture has doubled in volume and is very light and fluffy. This should take about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, making sure the eggs and the butter mixture are well incorporated. Now beat for another minute.

Turn the speed down to low and beat in the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the coffee mixture....beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Then drizzle in the melted chocolate. Mix until just blended.

Fill the muffin tins about 3/4 full (I used a standard sized ice cream scoop to measure and great!).

Bake for about 18 - 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Part II - Hazelnut Crunch

Preheat the oven to 350'.

Spread the hazelnuts onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Toast the nuts for about 6 - 7 minutes or until fragrant. Keep an eye on them. You don't want them to burn. They go from toasted to burned rather quickly. Allow to cool. Chop coarsely. Set aside.

In a double boiler, combine the chocolate and butter. Heat until melted, stirring often. Remove from heat. Add in the chopped hazelnuts and Nutella. Stir until well mixed. Fold in the rice cereal.

Spread mixture onto the parchment lined cookie sheet. Freeze for about 30 minutes.

Break up the hazelnut mixture with your hands, into small pieces. Place in a bowl, cover and stick it in the fridge until we're ready to use it.

Part III - Frosting

In a medium bowl, combine both chocolates and the corn syrup.

In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream just to a boil. Pour over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Using a mixer, beat for about 6 or 7 minutes until the chocolate mixture has cooled.

While the mixer is still running, beat in a few pieces of butter at a time. Beat until incorporated before adding the next few pieces of butter. If using just semisweet chocolate, beat in the powdered sugar. Continue beating until the chocolate is thick and has lightened in color. If you're using a stand mixer, this should take about 5 minutes. If you have a handheld could take up to 15 minutes. During this time, if the frosting seems to be really thin, stop. Place in the fridge to chill and firm up a bit, then continue beating.

Once the frosting is done, generously ice your cupcakes and sprinkle the hazelnut crunch over the top.

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