Despite the fact I have a good job and have been out of college for some time now, certain foods and their prices make me cringe still. Perhaps I need to get over it as it’s not like any of these cringe-y sort of items have an everyday home in my diet, but I should be comfortable with trying new foods. If it turns out I wasted $9, oh well, it happens, right? I’ve certainly wasted that amount on coffee and a vegan scone that went uneaten, or a bad frozen convenience meal, or a bad choice on a menu.
I finally bought a bag of raw, in-the-skin hazelnuts. Around the same time I bought hazelnut oil on sale, thinking I would finally make that recipe from Veganomicon (you know-homemade chocolate-hazelnut spread to put on everything!) However, I became chicken very quickly for some reason, and then this challenge rolled along, right when I was beginning to think I had best use up the nuts before they spoiled in the fridge (they’re fine, but I’m a worrier like that.)
Add that to me puttering around on Facebook, of all things, and landing on my old high school classmate Marni’s page. She had made a zebra striped cake — I wanted zebra striped cake! Yes I have yet to attempt a full sized one, but that is where the cross-section inspiration for these cupcakes came from. Thus, thanks Marni, you’re still as bad-ass as ever. Make sure you all go show her some love ’cause her site has real pea cupcakes. Yes, real peas in sweet pea cupcakes. GO. Well, after you see the cupcakes here.
All of these little things came together into what I affectionately nick-named Fancy-Pants Hazelnut Chocolate Cupcakes, but if you want to go by the original name (what I thought I was going to call them before them came out all schmancy,) you can call them Hazelnut Chocolate-Hazelnut Cupcakes.
They are comprised of layers of hazelnut and chocolate-hazelnut batters, topped with a Frangelico-laced hazelnut frosting, toasted hazelnut pieces, chocolate-hazelnut ganache and whole toasted hazelnuts.
The light, airy texture of the cake and how you can actually peel the flavor layer apart, the floral note in the hazelnut frosting, the crunch of the nuts, the creamy goodness of the chocolatey top. Wow.
I will definitely be making these again sooner rather than later.
- A Bunnycake Easter Plushie by DOGBONEART, the very same maker of the shirt I’m wearing! Yay Pirate Cupcake! — also seen on Ace of Cakes.
- A whimsical piece by CAKEASAURUS.
- as well as a pair of cupcake earrings from LOTS OF SPRINKLES.
- a collection of all new printed cupcake liners, 200 in all from Sweet Cuppin’ Cakes Cupcakery.
- PLUS, IronCupcake:Earth can not forget our good friend, CAKESPY, who is now going to be doing a piece for our winner each month until further notice – sweet!
Last and certainly not least, don’t forget our corporate prize providers:
Head Chefs by Fiesta Products
Hello Cupcake by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson
Jesse Steel Aprons
Taste of Home Books
and last but not least, a t-shirt from Up with Cupcakes.
And as a special thank you, we would like to once again thank Diana Evans for her participation in the February challenge. An incorrect link was posted and we want to be sure that she gets the recognition she deserves. Thanks again Diana!