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In between all the wedding related festivities I’ve been attending lately there have been a fair few thirtieth birthdays

My friend P recently had his thirtieth on a glorious summery day at a bowls club. I thought that some cupcakes would be a nice addition to the day, provided I could make them masculine enough!

P wasn’t too fussed about the flavours of the cupcakes, but there were a couple of gluten free people in attendance, so a flourless cupcake was mandatory. A chocolate hazelnut cupcake seemed like a winning combination.


I also whipped up a batch of my favourite vanilla/vanilla cupcakes, based on a recipe from Thomas Keller. While the vanilla cupcakes were pretty delicious too, the chocolate hazelnut cupcakes definitely stole the show.

As a side note, everyone thought the green frosting topped vanilla cupcakes were mint flavoured – a great idea for a future cupcake!

So all in all, these were very successful. They had a great hazelnut flavour and were surprisingly light for a flourless cake. The frosting is a favourite of mine (which I used here). I’ll definitely be making these again!

Flourless choc-hazelnut cupcakes

The cupcakes are based on a recipe from Taste.
The frosting is adapted from Ad Hoc at Home, by Thomas Keller – full explanation and pictures are on my post here.
Made about 25 mini cupcakes.

For the cupcake:

200g dark chocolate, chopped
150g butter, chopped
6 eggs, separated
170g caster sugar
150g hazelnut meal

For the icing:

380g caster sugar
180ml eggwhites (from about 6 large eggs) at room temperature
370g butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
140g dark chocolate – I used 70% cocoa
hazelnuts to decorate

  • Preheat oven to 170°C . Arrange the cupcake liners into a muffin tray.
  • Combine chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
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    • Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and creamy. Add chocolate mixture and beat to combine:
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    • Beat in the hazelnut meal:


    • Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Stir one-third of eggwhites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Gently fold the remainder through chocolate mixture:
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    • Spoon into prepared pans and bake for about 20 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre has moist crumbs clinging. Allow to cool completely before icing.
    • Make the icing. Combine sugar and eggwhites in a heat proof bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water (the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl). Whisk until sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot to the touch (approx. 65C/150F to 70C/160F). This took about 5 minutes.
    • Working quickly, pour the mixture into a stand mixer and whip on high speed. Continue whipping until the mixture is thick and holds stiff peaks and the whites are cool to the touch – about 15 minutes.
    • Switch to a paddle attachment and on medium speed, gradually add pieces of butter. Make sure each batch is incorporated before adding more.
    • Keep beating until all butter is incorporated and the frosting is thick.
    • Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and allow to cool slightly. Pour the chocolate over the frosting and blend to combine.
    • Fill a piping bag and pipe frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Top with half a hazelnut.
    • Enjoy!

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