Chocolate Kahlua cupcakes with mocha hazelnut buttercream
My mom enjoys Kahlua and Ferrero Roche candies, so I mixed the two to come up with this recipe. I had purchased Jif’s new Mocha Cappuccino hazelnut spread recently, so decided to use that in place of nutella (which I don’t have). The flavor is nice, but nothing remarkably different from nutella–or any store brand hazelnut spread, for that matter.
Because my mom prefers light and fluffy frosting, I made sure to whip the buttercream for a good 5 minutes or so to incorporate plenty of air to keep it fluffy. I served the cupcakes as dessert for her birthday BBQ and they were a huge hit.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and position the racks toward the center. Line cupcake pans with papers.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt and sugar, whisking to blend; set aside.
In a heavy-bottomed, medium pan, melt the butter on medium-high heat. Once melted, add the half of the Kahlua (5 tbsp) as well as the cocoa--gradually--whisking to combine. The mixture should come to a simmer, but not a boil. You want it to thicken.
Once thickened, cool the cocoa mixture for about 15-20 minutes at room temperature, whisking occasionally to release more heat
In your stand mixer, whip together the eggs and milk.
Once the cocoa mixture has cooled some, slowly add a little bit of it to temper the eggs, whisking constantly. Continue to slowly add the remaining mixture, whisking to combine. If you don't want to whisk by hand, and have a stand mixer, then set the speed on low and slowly pour the cocoa mixture in.
Add the dry ingredients in 3-4 stages, mixing well to combine. Add the remaining Kahlua and vanilla extract and mix well.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about halfway full. Bake for about 20-22 minutes. When done, transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.
For the mocha hazelnut frosting, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add 1 cup of sugar gradually, beating until combined.
Add the hazelnut spread and vanilla extract, then add the remaining sugar in 1/2 cup increments to your own taste. Whip until fluffy.
Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes using a star tip and finish with sprinkles.