Hazelnut Sunken Nutella Cupcakes

These little buns will become firm favourites in your baking repertoire, they are a much requested recipe of mine and certainly put a smile on your face. The sponge is light as air and studded with crunchy nibbled hazelnuts while in the centre they have a soft, divine Nutella heart. I can’t really claim this recipe as my own, it is adapted from a recipe in 500 Muffins and Cupcakes, a little hard backed book I’ve had for a while. The first time I made them, ages ago, I just felt they needed something else as I spooned them into the muffin cases. Aha, what would happen if I dropped a spoonful of Nutella into each one?

Well, magic, that’s what happened. The Nutella sunk a little way in, then stayed there, deliciously gooey. I’ve tinkered with the quantities over the years too. They are very easy to make, they don’t need any faffy frosting other than a light dusting of icing sugar and served warm with ice cream, they make a wonderful dessert.

We have finished all our house sitting commitments for the summer and are now weighing up the options for the next step. Travel, work, visit, who knows? Our van has been at the garage all week so we’ve been homeless. We’ve been very kindly put up by Chris’s Aunt and Uncle, in their beautiful house which is where I baked these.

We’ve house sat here a few times and I love the house {and the kitties}. We also had the pleasure of house sitting for Uncle Dave’s brother last winter, he lives out in Switzerland.  The timing was perfect, just a week after we had our weekend down in Provence we took a few trains across the border for two weeks in the Swiss  Alps.

The house was in Lauterbrunnen, a little town down the valley from Interlaken in the shadow of the Eiger and the Jungfrau. We did lots of alpine walking in the area, as well as taking day trips out to Zürich, Lausanne, Lucerne, Thun and Bern. It was December so there were lots of Christmas markets where we indulged in plenty of Raclette {bubbling melted cheese, scraped onto bread} and Glühwein {warming mulled wine}, delicious.

The beautiful view looking back down to Lauterbrunnen on the hike up to Wengen. The Staubbach waterfall above the town was illuminated by the morning winter sun. It was well worth the climb.
The Kindlifresserbrunnen, the statue of an Ogre, munching on naughty children in Bern.

We visited Montreux in the early evening after spending the day in Lausanne. We had a wonderful wander round the Christmas Market and found this statue of the magnificent Freddie Mercury on the edge of Lake Geneva just as the sun was going down.
It didn’t snow until our very last day, and we had to get the little train up to Wengen to see it. It felt brilliantly Christmassy!

Hazelnut Sunken Nutella Cupcakes

12 hole muffin pan lined with paper cases

oven 160 / gas 3

  • 125 g unsalted butter
  • 125 g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 4 free-range eggs, separated
  • 100 g golden caster sugar
  • 2 heaped tablespoons plain flour
  • 50 g chopped, toasted hazelnuts
  • 12 teaspoons Nutella

Put the butter into a small pan and gently melt. Once melted, remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate. It should melt after a short while of occasional stirring in the warm butter. If not, put back over a very low heat for a moment or two. Set aside to cool a little.

Combine the egg yolks and the sugar and beat until it thickens a little and looks pale. Add the cooled chocolate mixture, the flour and the chopped hazelnuts and stir to a delicious dark batter.

In a clean, grease free bowl whisk the egg whites into soft peaks, by hand is best so you don’t over beat them, plus it burns a few calories! Fold the whipped up whites into the chocolate mixture.

Divide the batter into the paper cases, 3/4s full, then drop a teaspoon of the Nutella onto the top of each one, it will sink a little into the batter. Bake for 30 minutes until nicely risen. The Nutella will have sunk further in, leaving a depression in many of the cakes.

I sifted icing sugar on mine, I placed a petit-four case upside-down in the middle to give a ring effect as I sifted, to make them pretty.

No Responses

  1. amyduclos says:

    This looks amazing, and i’m so jealous about Switzerland, i want to go so badly. 🙂

  2. Sophie33 says:

    I Love Switserland a lot, in Winter & in Summertime. Your cakes look utterly tasty!

  3. Jorie says:

    These look delicious! I’m in love with Lauterbrunnen Valley, as I had a chance to spend a few days there back in 2010. Heaven on earth! It’s like something out of a storybook with its quaintness and natural beauty.

  4. Your time in Switzerland sounds so lovely! And as for your next destination California is lovely this time of year. 😉 And what with Halloween coming up and all…

  5. bakearama says:

    Ready for Christmas now!

  6. westendmaw says:

    These look great. The kindlifresserbrunnen makes me think of that marvellous book Struwelpeter. Why is there a statue of Freddie by Lake Geneva though!??

    • It’s an amazing statue, I’m sure I’d have been terrified of it as a child! I’ve not come across Struwwelpeter, but having googled it {terrifying stuff}, it’s definitely along those lines!
      Queen had a studio in Montreux so wrote and recorded many records there x

  7. Linda says:

    Wow , chocolate and Switzerland , a heavenly combination !

  8. zahody says:

    Kindlifresserbrunnen says “Eat your cupcakes!”

  9. Those look scrumptious!!