Decadent mini cupcakes with a dark chocolate muffin base and ganache frosting paired with a flavourful liquid hazelnut praline paste centre. The perfect treat during a coffee/tea break.
Special material requirements
Paper cups for mini cupcakes
Mini muffin baking tin
2 Piping bags and a nozzle (I used Ateco 32 nozzle)
Yield: 22 mini cupcakes | Difficulty: easy
400g dark chocolate (e.g. 56%)
200g heavy cream
90g all purpose flour
15g cocoa powder
30g dark chocolate (e.g. 56%)
1 medium egg
1 1/2 tsp. instant coffee
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Hazelnut praline paste
100g roasted hazelnuts
4 tbsp. water
1/8 tsp. vanilla powder (or vanilla paste)
1/2 tsp. salt
Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan on medium heat while constantly whisking.
Right before it starts to boil, take the saucepan off the heat and pour over the chocolate and let it sit for a minute.
Whisk the mixture until the chocolate has fully melted and is well combined with the cream.
Cover the bowl with cling film to touch and put it in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 175°C fan and line the muffin tin with paper cups.
Place the milk, water, instant coffee, chocolate and butter in a saucepan and let it melt over low-medium heat, while whisking regularly. You can also use the water bath method to melt all ingredients. As soon as you get a homogenous mixture, take the saucepan off the heat and set aside.
Sieve the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and set aside.
In a bowl large enough to fit the whole recipe, whisk together the sugar and the egg. Add oil, vanilla extract and salt and mix well. Then, while constantly whisking, add the chocolate mixture from the saucepan.
Next, add 2-3 tablespoons of the sieved dry ingredients at a time to the wet ingredients until everything is combined well and the mixture has no lumps.
Fill about 3/4 of the paper cups and place the tin in the oven.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. When done, take the muffins out of the tin and place on a cooling rack and let them cool down.
Hazelnut praline paste
Place sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. As soon as you get a caramel colour pour the caramelised sugar onto baking paper or a silicone mat and let it cool completely. Make sure not to burn the sugar, otherwise it will become bitter.
As soon as the caramel has cooled down and become hard, break it into small pieces and place it in a blender together with the roasted hazelnuts.
Blend the nuts and caramel in a food processor in impulses, while scraping down the sides and the bottom in between, until you get a liquid paste. It is important to blend in short impulses because otherwise the praline paste will heat up and become bitter.
Mix in the salt and vanilla powder, blend once more and transfer into a piping bag.
Take the ganache out of the fridge. If it is soft you can put it directly into the piping bag. If it is hard, microwave it a few seconds until it has the right piping consistency (soft, but holds its shape). You may want to mix it with a hand blender in case you get some lumps after microwaving the ganache.
Pipe the ganache onto the muffins around the edges, leaving a hole in the middle.
Pipe the hazelnut praline paste in the middle of the ganache.
Decorate with half a hazelnut and some gold leaf.