Ambassador Cupcakes

Ambassador Cupcakes | Selma's TableIt was Jake’s birthday a few weeks ago and I made him these fabulous Ambassador Cupcakes to take to a party that one of his friends was throwing for him. He is not a big fan of chocolate cakes and icing, though he loves chocolate, but when I mentioned that I could make them with a Ferrero Rocher chocolate  inside as well as on top of them, his eyes lit up, so that was that! Ambassador Cupcakes | Selma's TableI’ve been making birthday cakes for Jake, for friends and for their children for quite a long time now. I thought that you might like to see a selection of Jake’s birthday cakes over the years including the train that nearly turned me into a train wreck which I mentioned in my post on the Spiced Honey and Orange Cake. I have a star shaped pan that has come in very useful for celebration cakes in general and I have put it to good use over the years. Ambassador Cupcakes | Selma's Table Ambassador Cupcakes | Selma's TableFor these Ambassador Cupcakes, I was inspired by Michelle’s (Giraffes Can Bake) spectacular Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes but I was up against the clock so needed  to make something simpler and that would also travel well on public transport. So I had a quick trawl of the internet, found a recipe that looked quick and easy and tweaked it a little. Ambassador Cupcakes | Selma's TableThese Ambassador Cupcakes really are a special occasion cupcake. They require 48 Ferrera Rocher chocolates which really ratchets up the cost however, they look fabulous! If you are going to make these and don’t have a piping bag or nozzles, then please, do get some. You can buy a roll of disposable piping bags and a set of basic nozzles inexpensively from most large supermarkets and on-line too. Yes, of course you can scrape the icing on with a spatula or fill a sandwich bag, snip off a corner and squirt it on but if you are going to go to the expense and effort of making these, then for a few pounds more you can make them look really lovely too. I just wish that I had been more organised and ordered gold paper cases – that would have looked stunning and very in keeping with the Ferrero Rocher image!  Remember this TV commercial?

I don’t know about you but my icing techniques leave a lot to be desired. I made the cupcakes the night before and the Nutella buttercream early in the morning – I hurriedly iced a cupcake for Jake to take up to him in bed, with his cards and present and realised that I needed a crash course in icing techniques.

In My Kitchen Oct 2014 | Selma's Table

Jake’s early morning cake

I scoured YouTube and and thought I would share the best one with you! Below is a great video tutorial by Xanthe Milton on 4 icing techniques, including that rose swirl (which would have been too girly for Jake – sigh) which looks so fabulous on larger cakes.

Ambassador Cupcakes | Selma's Table I ended up using the last technique which she likens to an old fashioned swimming hat. My nozzles are quite small in comparison to Xanthe’s – larger ones are on my hit list – but I got a lovely effect, nonetheless! Ambassador Cupcakes | Selma's Table And a little tip; the easiest way to fill a piping bag is to fit the nozzle and coupler if you are using one, onto the piping bag, then set this inside a tall glass, peel back the bag over the glass and fill. Ambassador Cupcakes | Selma's Table

I am taking these to share with the Fiesta Friday revellers. Angie of the Novice Gardener is having a well deserved day off with strict instructions from most of us to not bring anything to the party!! Our co-hosts this week are both Canadians! Globe-trotter Julianna whose blog, Foodie on Board is full of the most delicious global recipes and gorgeous photographs too and Hilda of Along the Grapevine who makes foraging and living off the land aspirational and delicious!! We are in good hands!!

Ambassador Cupcakes | Selma's Table

Ambassador Cupcakes

  • Servings: 24 cupcakes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Adapted from  Ferrero Rocher and Nutella Cupcakes by Cookies, Cupcakes and Cardio INGREDIENTS For the cupcakes

  • 200g plain/AP flour
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 90 g unsweetened cacao powder, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp fine salt
  • 3 Tbsp light olive oil
  • 180 ml buttermilk (or 180 ml milk plus 1 Tbsp of lemon juice – let this sit for 10 minutes)
  • 180 ml warm water
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 48 Ferrero Rocher chocolates (24 for inside the cupcakes and 24 to decorate them with)

For the Nutella Buttercream

INSTRUCTIONS Fot the cupcakes

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Line a 24 cup muffin/cupcake tin with paper cases. Gold ones would look really stunning.
  3. Remove the wrappers from the chocolates.
  4. Hand whisk all the dry ingredients, from flour through to salt in a large mixing bowl to blend thoroughly.
  5. Make a well in the centre and add all the wet ingredients all at once. Blend on a low speed until well combined. The mixture will be quite liquid.
  6. Take the bowl over to the prepared tins and put one tablespoon of batter into each hole.
  7. Center a Ferrero Rocher chocolate in each one.
  8. Top with one tablespoon of batter – pour it over the Ferrero Rocher chocolate.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes – testing the sides with a toothpick or a piece of dry spaghetti after 18 minutes.
  10. Let them settle for 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

For the Nutella Buttercream

  1. Cream the Baking or butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the icing sugar (I start this off by hand to keep down the icing sugar cloud) until smooth..
  3. Beat in the Nutella. If the mixture is too stiff, add 1 Tbsp of milk. I didn’t need to.
  4. Fit a piping bag with an icing nozzle of your choice (I used a “star” nozzle ) and set it inside a tall glass. Peel back the bag around the glass and fill it with as much icing as you can comfortably handle. Twist the end closed and set aside in the fridge until you are ready to ice the cakes. You don’t want the icing to be too hard so don’t leave it in there too long.
  5. Ice the cakes and top each with a Ferrero Rocher chocolate.
  6. Store, covered in the fridge for at least ½ an hour, to set the icing.

© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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66 thoughts on “Ambassador Cupcakes

  1. Pingback: In My Kitchen – October 2014 | Selma's Table

  2. I remember those cupcakes that Michelle brought to the fiesta. Bookmarked the recipe in fact. Specifically for my son. He and Jake have similar tastes in food. He would die for these cupcakes. I have to hide my Fererro from him! Your icing technique is perfectly fine! :-)

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    • Michelle’s recipe is really lovely but I just didn’t have the time to make it. My icing was fine after I watched a few videos – Jake got something quite homespun looking – good thing he was still half asleep when I bounded in with all the birthday goodies!!

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  3. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #37 | The Novice Gardener

  4. Wow, those are spectacular cupcakes Selma. My daughter would have loved them when she went through her Ferrero Rocher phase! Love the old photos of you and Jake, too. That is a very handy tip about putting the piping bag into a glass to fill it. I really enjoy blogs that tie food to the events in our lives.

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    • Thanks Ardys – Those chocolates make anything look spectacular! I originally began this blog to tie in memories with food – sometimes I flounder in the depths of writers block…that is why I love the IMK posts so much – it gives me something more tangible to write about!

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  5. OMG! Are you kidding me, Selma?? Ferraro Roche in the cupcakes? These are just over-the-top and I can’t believe you just watched a youtube video and then suddenly were able to ice them! You are amazing! SuperWoman of the cupcake world, in fact! Well, your son is one lucky guy, and so are we at FF, because we get to ogle them endlessly throughout the evening! :D

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    • Haha!! Icing is one of those things – when you see how it is done it’s a lightbulb moment and all becomes clear!! Especially the technique I used which is so easy. Putting one of the FRs in the cupcake makes it even more celebratory, don’t you think? Thanks again for co-hosting!

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  6. Look at these sinful, yet utterley gorgeous cupcakes. Jake’s one lucky guy,and I’m sure he well knows that. So much chocolatey goodness oozing in every bite, I would have thought I died and went to heaven after just one bite. Great tips on frosting and the piping bag too. Wonderful post!

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    • Thanks Loretta – they are a bit naughty aren’t they? I don’t ice them as much as others do – I find lots of icing nice to look at but not so much to eat. The bag in a glass trick is a good one – so much easier to fill! Loving your Toronto pics…have a lovely weekend!

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    • Hard to believe how quickly the time goes – always feel a little nostalgic for those days when I was the Oracle of Everything! It is a very different story now – teenagers!! Argh!! Glad you like the cupcakes, Ngan xx

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  7. Jake is indeed the luckiest boy ever!!!!! I love Ferrero Rocher chocolate so much (even a bit more than nutella), so there is no doubt I will DEFINITELY make this cupcake when I am back home in San Francisco :)

    Selma, you are a genius!!!!! This cupcakes look so scrumptious I wish I lived close by :)

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    • The Ambassador would want a pyramid of these, I am sure! Younger me makes present me feel very old!! The Train cake was 14 years ago and the ship cake was 11 years ago – can’t believe how much Jake has changed either!

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    • Judi, I finished this one at about 3 in the morning – dementedly baking, measuring and cutting out sheet cakes, trying to glue it together with icing, then icing it – not as simple as it sounds and decorating it too – I had a friend who kept running off to the shops to find sweets that would serve as decorations. NEVER AGAIN – Jake was only 3…

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  8. Absolutely fabulous. Thank you for the pictures too, you really have some healthy hair to go along with your cooking talent!!! :) And Jake, omg. Too precious. I really do like the concept of adding a distinct element on its own to the cupcake, the chocolate, it makes it special and as you said, costly, but worth it. And neat to look at once you bite into it. I just had a mocha tart the other day that tasted like the whole thing was made of Ferraro chocolates it was so rich and I thought, this is great but a little too much. So one per cupcake is about right!

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    • I agree, which is why the simple chocolate batter appealed with a nutella icing – it was just right to go with the FRs! In high school, I was known as ‘the girl with the hair” it was really long then and people used to spot me everywhere because of it!! How cute was Jake before puberty turned him into a man cub? He was so pretty and blonde too. When he was little and in his buggy, people used to think I was his nanny – he even got asked once, if I was his mummy as he was crying for some toy or other and I had said no and was ignoring the tears!!

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    • This was the first birthday that I did not spend with him :( It is the beginning of empty nest syndrome and I am not loving it. Enjoy the exhaustion – you will miss it in a few years time!! And happy birthday to your child too!!

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  9. Beautiful collage of cakes of birthdays past, and gorgeous cupcakes. That ad still makes me laugh. When it was out, my husband was Ambassador and I was the chef behind the scenes – cooking for days on end in preparation for these diplomatic functions. The image of the beautiful people, all able to scarf down rich chocolates had nothing to do with the frumpy, weight conscious diplomats I had to entertain!
    You say your reason for blogging was to revive memories, and you certainly did that for me. That train cake is very like one I made for my daughter’s first birthday. Loved it!

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    • Wow, Hilda, what an interesting experience. You must have met some amazing people. Where were you then? I have a friend who used to work for a royal household. They have celebrities visiting all the time – oh the stories she could tell about their eating peculiarities! They spent weeks planning, testing and preparing teeny tiny, delicious bites for one who came to tea. She didn’t touch a single morsel, which I thought was very sad and a little rude. Thanks again for hosting!

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  10. Fantastic cakes, Selma – you’re putting us all to shame! I do remember the ad, and I am always on the lookout for those trays when I am at the embassy to renew my passports, but so far no luck ;-)

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  11. What a fantastic mom you are baking such gorgeous cakes for your child. I never could muster a courage for baking a cake and decorating it for special ocassions. That is one heck of an ambassador cup cake! Happy birthday to Jake once again.

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  12. I love the whole chocolate inside the cupcake. I know a few people who would love these cupcakes. Your icing looks fine and I could definitely do with watching that video too!

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    • The video really helped – I didn’t realise that my tips were too small until I watched the video so that really helped me to decide on the way I could ice the cupcakes! And the cakes are so easy to make which is such a bonus!

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    • Teresa, do you not get Ferrero Rocher chocolates in Peach Heaven (as I now refer to where you live)?! Or had you not seen these cakes on the internet? They are rather lovely and you would make the most wonderful job of styling them too…I need to come over and see what beauty you have been making recently…x

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  13. Pingback: Advent Calendar Day 19: Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes | The Glen House

  14. Pingback: Selma – The Sparkling Diva | simplyvegetarian777

  15. Pingback: Tribute to Selma-Ambassador Cupcakes | The Glen House

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