It 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! I’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. For 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. These 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.
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.
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! 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.
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!!
- 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
- 240 g Baking from Lurpak’s Cooks Range (or soft unsalted butter)
- 200 g icing sugar (sifted)
- 240 g Nutella
INSTRUCTIONS Fot the cupcakes
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F.
- Line a 24 cup muffin/cupcake tin with paper cases. Gold ones would look really stunning.
- Remove the wrappers from the chocolates.
- Hand whisk all the dry ingredients, from flour through to salt in a large mixing bowl to blend thoroughly.
- 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.
- Take the bowl over to the prepared tins and put one tablespoon of batter into each hole.
- Center a Ferrero Rocher chocolate in each one.
- Top with one tablespoon of batter – pour it over the Ferrero Rocher chocolate.
- Bake for 20 minutes – testing the sides with a toothpick or a piece of dry spaghetti after 18 minutes.
- Let them settle for 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
For the Nutella Buttercream
- Cream the Baking or butter until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the icing sugar (I start this off by hand to keep down the icing sugar cloud) until smooth..
- Beat in the Nutella. If the mixture is too stiff, add 1 Tbsp of milk. I didn’t need to.
- 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.
- Ice the cakes and top each with a Ferrero Rocher chocolate.
- 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.