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What can I say?? I just love to bake!! Ever since I would go to Grandma's house as a little girl and bake highlight cakes or help Ninny make her famous vanilla cookies, I've been obsessed with baking! Not only from recipe books, but freestyle too! With a father as a chef, i suppose it is in my genes! Some of my favourite memories from growing up were those moments after dinner when my dad would get his sweet tooth pang and have me help him whip up a batch of toffee fruit kebabs, or irish caramels! I used to love how he never followed recipes, he always just knew what ingredients worked with one another and how to play with quantities. So, from an early age, i had learnt from the master and i was well on my way to bake on my own! When i was 7 years old, i used to bake chocoloate cakes to sell to the mothers of my friends when they came to watch our Saturday morning minkey hockey games! Before i knew it, i was being commissioned from my school teachers to bake cakes for them at $2 a pop! This blog holds just a few of my favourite tried and tested recipes which I've thoroughly enjoyed both baking and eating! So enjoy!!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes

Need a chocolate fix?  Look no further.  Unlike a normal, boring chocolate cupcake, these ones have a special surprise ooozy nutella centre!  Sooo ridiculously good, and not at all chocolate over-kill (honest!).  Whenever I'm on cupcake duty for events or friends birthday's, these are always high in demand!

Cooking time:  20 mins
Preperation time:  15 mins
Serves: 12

 - 100g plain flour
 - 20g cocoa powder
 - 140g caster sugar
 - 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
 - a pinch of salt
 - 40g butter, at room temp.
 - 120ml milk (the recipe said whole milk, but I just used semi and they turned out okay!)
 - 1 egg
 - 120g nutella
 - chopped hazelnuts to decorate

For the icing:
 - 250g icing sugar
 - 80g butter, at room temp
 - 25 ml milk
 - 80g nutella

1. Preheat the oven to 170 C / 325 F / Gas mark 3

2. Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a bowl and mix together. You can use an electric hand whisk for this. It should be a slightly sandy/grainy texture.

3. Pour the milk into the mixture and mix. Then add the egg and beat until it's all incorporated.

4. Spoon the mixture into cupcakes cases in a muffin tin, filling to about halfway or 2/3 full. They rise quite a bit. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

5. Leave to cool completely, then cut out a little circle in the centre of the cupcake. Pop the loose piece of cake out, insert a dollop of nutella, then put the cake piece back ontop so you have a filled cupcake.

6.  To make the icing, mix all the above ingredients together until incorporated and continue mixing for about 5 minutes. The more mixing, the fluffier the icing! Use a palette knife to ice the cupcakes, then top with a few hazelnuts and serve!

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