I'll try to make this one quick because unfortunately I have no pictures. And if you're anything like me a blog without pictures is most likely a blog that goes unread...
As I mentioned before, I had a beautiful vision for Nutella cupcakes for my dad's birthday, but my dad isn't quite as adventurous and prefers to stick to the tried and true. While this is not a horrible tactic, you end up being stuck eating chocolate on chocolate cake your whole life...it's not torture, but it's not necessarily exciting either.
Anyway, long story short...it's finally Father's Day. The day the kids get to decide what to do for the dads. Every year I try to broaden my dads horizons...a more fashionable shirt, maybe some dark wash jeans...but this year--this year, I decided that his taste buds could use a little "broadening." And it wasn't like I was going to feed him some dark chocolate lemon-pepper cupcakes...we're talking Nutella here. European, hazelnutty goodness. Stuff my mom has to buy for him by the carload.
Since I had no idea how to make these cupcakes, I did some research and I came across this blog "Sweetest Kitchen." She had taken her peanut butter cupcake recipe and tweaked it for Nutella. I liked her method because she decided to top the cupcakes with marshmallow frosting. I had never made that before and it looked delicious.
Find the official blog/recipe here: Nutella Cupcakes
Unfortunately, the Nutella cupcakes we're exactly a success. I think the Nutella made the batter too runny or it prevented it from rising properly. In any case, the cupcakes came out looking like a flattened crisp cookie on top of a slightly undercooked brownie. Mind you...the cupcakes themselves tasted amazing, but they looked atrocious and they didn't have a cupcake texture. If you were hoping for cupcakes they were an ultimate fail, but if you were willing to eat them with an open mind they were really quite good.
I don't have a double boiler. So I shouldn't have even tried to make this frosting. For some reason I thought I could make do or cheat the system somehow. I'm an oldest child. It's what we do. Make things work. Anyway, I tried to boil water in a sauce pan while I whisked the ingredients in a glass boil over the top, but I just couldn't get the hang of it. No matter what I did the frosting was a goopy, runny mess. BUT it wasn't too devastating, because the recipe was AWFUL. I don't know what was so wrong about it...I mean you'd think sugar + eggs + vanilla couldn't equal anything but = delicious. I thought I was crazy so I made everyone taste it, but they agreed. Maybe if it had fluffed like it should've then it would've tasted better? In any case, I won't be making that frosting again...and I'm going to be getting a double boiler to settle this issue once and for all.
I've made a marshmallow frosting that tastes delicious if you want to try these cupcakes but have been deterred because of my strong-yet honest-critique. You can find the recipe here:
FYI, it's very sweet and a little runny...meaning you can't pipe it on or expect it to be fluffy. BUT it tastes good and frankly that's the most important thing when it comes to baking.
I'll chalk this up to one of my failures...but it serves a good purpose
1) As I've said before, baking is amazing because even when it's a disaster it's still edible.
2) Purchase a double boiler. If I'm gonna be a "hobby baker" and keep a blog, I'm going to have to stop avoiding the recipes that call for one.
3) And the big Kahuna...sometimes (although not always) it is better to stick with what you know. Plain chocolate is a sure thing and if it's your birthday and that's what you want...then risk be damned.