This is probably the most ambitious thing I’ve baked in a while. We won’t talk about the semi-disastrous pirate ship “shipwrecked” cake for my sister’s fiancé’s son’s 3rd birthday. (Hint: it wasn’t supposed to look shipwrecked.)
The recipe is adapted ever so slightly from Vegan Cupcakes take over the World, quite a good cupcake cookbook even if you’re not vegan, which I am not. So my cupcakes were sort of vegan because I had only regular milk on hand though the recipe intends for soy or nut milk to be used in actuality. It tastes just as good either way. Your friends will never guess the secret ingredient in the mousse, just as my unsuspecting coworkers didn’t. Legit deliciousness.
The cupcakes are meant to be filled with the mousse and topped with ganache, but I was running short on chocolate chips and the mousse recipe makes a lot, so I decided to fill AND top the cupcakes with the mousse. I have included the ganache recipe below if you’d like to go that route.
A note on toasting hazelnuts: it’s easiest to toast them in a skillet on the stovetop, just be sure to be vigilant, because they can burn in a second. Once they’re nice and golden brown, let them cool off for a minute then pour them onto a clean kitchen towel. Fold the towel over top and rub them until the skins come off. Obviously, you can skip this step if your nuts came without the papery peel on the outside.
Directions: Prepare hazelnut mousse first so it can chill. Make the cupcakes. Once they are completely cool, prepare the ganache.
Hazelnut cupcakes with mocha hazelnut mousse filling
- 1 C plus 2 T all-purpose flour
- 1/3 C hazelnut meal or flour (I just ground up toasted hazelnuts in my coffee/spice grinder)
- 1 t baking powder
- ¼ t baking soda
- ½ t ground cinnamon
- ¼ t ground nutmeg
- ½ t salt
- 2/3 C rice, nut or regular milk
- 1 T ground flaxseeds
- 1/3 C canola oil
- ¼ C pure maple syrup
- ½ C brown sugar
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 1 T hazelnut liqueur or 1 ½ t hazelnut extract
- 1 C chopped toasted hazelnuts for garnish OR chocolate covered coffee beans
- 1 recipe chocolate ganache (see below), prepare when cupcakes are fully prepared (optional)
To make the cupcakes:
Line cupcake pan and preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl which milk and ground flaxseed. In a large bowl sift together flour, hazelnut meal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Add the maple syrup, brown sugar, canola oil, vanilla, and hazelnut liqueur to milk mixture and beat well. Add wet ingredients to dry, mixing until mostly smooth. Pour into liners, filling them 2/3 full. Bake 22 to 24 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean. Cool completely on racks before filling.
Fit a pastry bag with a wide piping tip and fill with mocha hazelnut mousse filling (see recipe below). If using ganache, have prepared.
Poke or scoop holes in the top of each cupcake. A small spoon works for this. Fill with as much mousse as you can.
If using ganache, remove excess mousse from top of cupcake. Spread ganache on top. Two layers of a heaping teaspoon each time makes a smooth surface. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.
If not using ganache, pipe mousse on top of cupcake like you would frosting.
Mocha hazelnut mousse filling
- 6 oz extra firm silken tofu (half a package of the aseptic kind, such as mori-nu)
- 2 T milk or soy milk
- 1 T agave nectar or pure maple syrup
- 4 t instant espresso powder (I used instant coffee since that’s what I had on hand)
- 2 t hazelnut liqueur
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 6 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped, or 2/3 C semisweet chocolate chips
Crumble the tofu into a blender. Add the milk, agave nectar or maple syrup, espresso powder, hazelnut liqueur, and vanilla. Puree until completely smooth and set aside.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Once melted remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add chocolate to the tofu and blend until combined using a spatula to scrap down the sides of the blender
Transfer mousse to an airtight container or bowl covered in plastic wrap and let chill for an hour. Remove 10 minutes before using. Stir with a fork if too firm to work with.
- ¼ C milk, rice milk, or nut milk
- 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped, or 4oz semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 T pure maple syrup
Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add chocolate and maple syrup. Stir to combine.
This recipe puts me one step closer to my goal of making everything on The List of Stuff I Want to Cook actually two, if you count the mousse, which I think I just will.
- · Can something
- Make a soufflé
- Poach something in olive oil
- Bake fish wrapped in parchment
- Make crepes
- Make homemade vegetable stock
- Make a cupcake with a filling
- Make panna cotta
- Cook something Indian
- Make risotto with saffron
- Bake focaccia
- Make ice cream with vanilla beans
- Make mousse
- Make homemade ravioli
- Bake French macarons
Anyone doing any baking or working on any cooking challenges out there?
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