This cupcake is based off a recipe called Devil Food Cake by David Lebovitz but with some modifications. I chose this cake because it would compliment the sweetness of hazelnuts and Nutella.
9 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup strong coffee/espresso liqueur/coffee liqueur/ or water
1/2 cup whole or low-fat milk
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside. Mix the coffee/liqueur/water and milk together in a bowl. Set aside.
The beauty of this recipe is the versatility on that 1/2 cup of liquid. From what I read, you can use any of the above listed options. I used 1/2 cup of Godiva liqueur because I did not want to use the water and I did not want a coffee flavor (though I love cafe). Don't worry- the alcohol burns out and this expedites the baking time! These are fine for kids.
Mix together sugar and butter in a bowl. Add one egg in at a time until well blended. Using an electric mixer (this needs to be really fluffy), add half of the dry ingredients, mix well, and then add the milk/coffee mixture. Add the other half of the dry ingredients and blend till fluffy.
Pour into lined cupcake tins, about 3/4's full or a little more. Bake for 20 minutes and test. If you used alcohol, it will take less time to bake because the booze evaporates pretty quickly. Do not overcook!
Once they cool, you'll find the top is a lil crispy. This makes cutting off the top very easy. Once you cut off the cupcake top, carve out a tiny circle in the center of the top. Set the top aside.
Take the nutella and put a generous coat on top of the cupcake, with a little more in the center for the hole. Put the cupcake top back on. If you need to, dab a little more nutella in the hole.
Garnish with a whole hazelnut and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.
I thoroughly enjoyed this cupcake because the cake it self was not super sweet and you simply cannot go wrong with Nutella.