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Monday, 21 December 2020

Vegan Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes

Deliciously light and moist chocolate cupcakes with chopped hazelnuts, a vegan 'Nutella' core, whipped praline swiss meringue style buttercream topped with hazelnuts and a chocolate, caramel truffle.

These cupcakes are sure to impress, I assure you! They're the perfect cupcake for Christmas celebrations. 

It's hard to believe Christmas is only 4 days away, where has the time gone? I'm excited to spend time with my family and enjoy the festive season in all it's glory. One main perk is the food, obviously. I wanted to make a sweet treat to share with my family and I came up with these scrumptious 'Ferrero Rocher' inspired cupcakes. 

The sponge features chopped hazelnuts which gives these cakes a lovely praline flavour and texture, alongside the vegan 'Nutella core and swiss meringue buttercream- it's so tasty! Ferrero Rocher alway's remind me of Christmas with their divine rich praline flavour, so I wanted to make these cupcakes over the top in praline flavour, well...that's are Christmas cupcakes after all- haha. 

What is swiss meringue buttercream?
I wanted to make a brand new buttercream to feature on top of these decadent cupcakes. Swiss meringue buttercream is super easy to make and is ultra light and creamy. 
It's alot easier to make than Italian meringue buttercream, and is a lot lighter than the classic 'American style buttercream/frostings'.
It used Aquafaba (chickpea brine) which creates air in the buttercream. Try it for yourself, it's literally like eating a praline cloud- so delicious! It can be whipped up in under 10 minutes (literally whipped up, haha).

In the middle of the cupcakes, I added in a vegan 'Nutella' core. The Nutella spread I used is the 'Natures Store' which I pick up in Sainsbury's, but can be picked up in Tesco, Amazon, The Vegan Kind Supermarket + more. 
I have listed a few of my favourite vegan-friendly 'Nutella's' below for you which would be a perfect filling in these cupcakes.

My top 3 favourite vegan-friendly 'Nutella':

Preparation: 10 minutes
Makes: 8-10 cupcakes
Baking time: 28-30 minutes
Level: Medium

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Ingredients for the cupcakes
  • 275g of self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder 
  • 195g of caster sugar
  • 50g of cocoa powder
  • 100ml of sunflower oil
  • 180g of water
  • 25g of hazelnuts (finely chopped)
Ingredients for the core
Ingredients for the swiss meringue buttercream
  • 250g of dairy-free butter (I use Naturli)
  • 300g of icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 70ml of aquafaba (chickpea brine)
  • 60g of vegan Nutella
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Method (cupcakes)
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c fan and line a cupcake tin with cupcake cases.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, caster sugar and cocoa powder.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the oil and water, stir together.

4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix until combined. If the batter feels to thick, add a dash more water a little at a time.

5. Chop the hazelnuts with a knife or place into a food processor and blitz for a minute until roughly chopped.
Stir into the cake batter.

6. Fill the cases 3/4 full with the batter. 
Make sure to tap the tins on the worktop to remove any air bubbles. 
These cakes will rise so make sure to give them room.

7. Pop the cakes into the preheated oven and bake for 28-30 minutes. 
You will know they are done when you put a knife or skewer in and it comes out clean and they are springy to the touch. 

8. Place the cupcakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool fully before frosting/filling. 
You can even place the cupcakes into the fridge in a sealed container to chill overnight before decorating. 

Method (Core)
1.  Core each cooled cupcake with an apple corer or knife and add in some of the vegan 'Nutella' spread.

Optional step: Spread some 'Nutella' over the cupcakes and roll in chopped hazelnuts. 

Method (swiss meringue buttercream)
1.  In a large mixing bowl, add in the dairy-free butter and whip until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, a hand mixer will work great too.

2. Add in the icing sugar and cocoa powder and whip on high speed for a couple of minutes to incorporate it.

3. Add in the aquafaba and vegan 'Nutella' and whip for 5 minutes until it turns light and creamy. Don't over whip it or it can become too soft. If it does, just add in more icing sugar until its thick and creamy. 

4. Transfer the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star tip nozzle and pipe a swirl on top of each cupcake.
Decorate each cupcake with a sprinkle of chopped hazelnuts and a vegan chocolate truffle (optional).

Serve these cupcakes fresh or store in a sealed container in the fridge. The buttercream will firm up in the fridge, so allow them to come to room temperature before serving.
Best eaten within a few days.


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