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.

Nutella Espresso Sticky Buns

nutella_espresso_sticky_bunsIt’s Fiesta Friday over at Angie’s blog The Novice Gardener and we are all invited! I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to bring to the party. A bright and cheeky salad with blood oranges and halloumi? A bold as you dare Thai curry? Perhaps a steady and comforting fish pie…. Nope, I’ve decided to take something tall, dark and handsome to prop me up and look and smell gorgeous while I mix and mingle with all the other party goers.

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When I first made this recipe I remember thinking what an inspired combination the flavours were – coffee and Nutella in a sticky bun! But when I made it, I felt that the dough wasn’t rich enough and well, I just had to tweak it here and there.

I have attached my C.V. and hope that you find that my experience is relevant for this role.  In my current role, I manage operations, oversee projects, run the office and support the Managing Director in both a private and business capacity. I have also worked in a private family office, supporting the Principal and his family. The majority of my experience has been in small offices. I have excellent interpersonal skills and am able to communicate with people at any level. As an experienced administrator, I am able to prioritise and manage my workload effectively and to deadline. I am organised and detail oriented; a team player, willing to support and pitch in as necessary to get a job done.  Please don't hesitate to contact me should you have any questions about my experience and suitability for this role. I would also be grateful if you would keep me in mind for any other roles that you think I may be suitable for. I am available for interview at short notice and would relish the opportunity to discuss my experience with you. Sincerely Selma Jeevanjee Since then, I have taken a bread making class with Nina Oortman where she introduced me to fresh yeast. It doesn’t last more than a couple of weeks but it has no chemicals in it and is super easy to work with. In the UK, you can ask for it from the in-store bakeries or buy it in little blocks from the dairy section in Eastern European grocery shops. It’s called “Drozdze” in Polish.  Store opened packs of fresh yeast in an airtight container in the fridge as otherwise, the smell of yeast will permeate everything.

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Fresh Yeast – 100g packet

To convert recipes which call for active dry yeast, multiply the number of grams by 3 to arrive at how much fresh yeast you will need.  There are 3.5g in a teaspoon. You need 20% more instant yeast than active dry.  (This site explains it in more detail – http://makebread.com.au/fresh-yeast-conversion/) I’ve given measurements and instructions for all three types of yeast in the recipe below.

Please don’t be afraid to work with yeast – it’s so easy that once you try it, you will wonder why you didn’t do so sooner. Kneading dough is actually quite easy – it’s more like stretching the dough. Keep one hand at the base of the dough, use the other to pull it away from you. Then bring it back over on itself, give it a quarter spin and keep going,  There are lots of videos on YouTube if you want a demonstration – as my son told me the other day, “YouTube is your friend, Mum…you should pay it a visit!”

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Cocoa Nibs

I’ve used cocao nibs to take the sweet edge off the sugar and the Nutella – and it’s good for you too. They have quite a bitter flavour and I think they would be wonderful in smoothies, shakes, granola, hot chocolate, biscuits and mole type sauces.

My recipe for Nutella Espresso Sticky Buns can be made in one go – I prefer to make the dough, fill and slice it and then prove it in the fridge overnight. A long, slow prove makes for a tastier dough. Then in the morning, pop them in the oven and hey presto, you have delicious, warm, gooey buns for a decadent mid-morning pick-me-up.

As I prepared the dough  in the evening, the lighting is not the best but the photos below give you an idea as to how easy it is.

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1. Yeast mixed into water and milk
2. Butter, egg, sugar and espresso mix
3. Pour into yeast mix
4. Stir to blend together

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1. Add wet ingredients to the dry
2. Mix in the bowl
3. Scrape onto floured board
4. Kneaded and ready for first proving.

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1. Proved dough doubled in size   2. Without the cling film
3. Scraped out on the lightly floured board   4. Flouring the top

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1. Dough rolled out
2. Covered in Nutella
3. Sprinkled with sugar espresso mix
4. Sprinkled with cocoa nibs

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Rolling up the filled dough

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Before and after the second proving

nutella_espresso_sticky_buns

1. After overnight proving in the fridge
2. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts
3.Sprinkle with remaining brown sugar mixture

nutella_espresso_sticky_bunsnutella_espresso_sticky_buns

Click on the link to be taken to Angie’s blog The Novice Gardener and join the party! Mix and mingle with the the guests – who knows who you might meet! http://thenovicegardener.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/fiesta-friday-5/

If you blog and would like to join the party, here are the guidelines http://thenovicegardener.wordpress.com/fiesta-friday/

nutella_espresso_sticky_buns

Nutella Espresso Sticky Buns

  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

adapted from The Pastry Affair and Perfect Cinnamon Rolls

INGREDIENTS

For the dough:

  • 100ml luke warm milk
  • 50ml luke warm water
  • 15 g fresh yeast (or 5 g active dry yeast or 6 g instant yeast)
  • 60 g melted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 45 g/3 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 30 g/ 2tsp espresso powder
  • 250 g plain flour plus extra for dusting

For the filling

  • 30g/ 2 tsp muscovado or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 150g  Nutella
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa nibs
  • chopped roasted hazelnuts

INSTRUCTIONS

YEAST

  • Fresh yeast – place luke warm milk and water in a cereal sized bowl and crumble in the yeast. Stir until yeast has dissolved. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  • For active dry yeast – place milk and water in a bowl and sprinkle over the yeast. Set aside for 5 – 10 minutes until frothy
  • For instant yeast – add straight into dry ingredients

THEN

  1. Melt the butter in a cereal sized  bowl and allow to cool a little; crack the egg into the butter, add the sugar and espresso powder and whisk well to blend. Scrape into the milk/water/yeast bowl and mix.
  2. Measure flour into a large bowl and make a well in it.
  3. Pour in the yeast mixture and using the fingers of your dominant hand, stir in the flour, spinning the bowl round as you go. It is going to be a wet and sticky dough to begin with.
  4. Once the flour is incorporated, start stretching it in the bowl (to develop the gluten) by picking up a bit, stretching it out and then laying it on top. Spin the bowl a quarter turn and keep repeating this until the dough starts to feel like it’s coming together – this should take 4 or 5 minutes – keep going – it will come together!
  5. Scrape it out onto a well floured surface. Scrape all the bits off your fingers onto it. Start to gently knead the dough – it will be sticky and you may have to keep dusting it with small amounts of flour. Try to use as little as possible.  I used an additional 30g (2 Tbsp) of flour. Knead for another 5 minutes or so.
  6. When it feels nice and elastic, form it into a  tight ball,  pop it back into the bowl and cover with cling film. Set aside for  1- 2 hours (depending on how warm your kitchen is) to double in size. Mine took 2 hrs.
  7. Mix sugar and espresso powder for the filling and set aside
  8. Butter a 26cm/10″ cm round baking tin and set aside
  9. Lightly flour your work surface and  measure out 12″ x 16″ on it.
  10. Scrape out the dough onto it using a rubber spatula ad lightly flour the top.
  11. Roll it out gently and evenly, adding a little more flour if it gets stuck or is sticky – but it really won’t be. The dough is  soft and lovely to work with. I sort of  pat it out into a rectangle and then roll it out.
  12. Warm up the Nutella – 30 seconds or so in the microwave should do it. It should be soft enough to spread easily onto the soft dough.
  13. Spread it over the dough, leaving a 1/2″ border around the edge.
  14. Sprinkle over ⅔ of the sugar and espresso mixture
  15. Sprinkle over the cocoa nibs
  16. Start rolling up, as tightly as you can, from the long side of the dough.
  17. Cut into 1 ½” slices – I got 11 because I didn’t trim off the ends – all that lovely dough!!.
  18. Arrange in the baking tin, cover with cling film and pop in the fridge to prove overnight. Or you can leave the tin in  warm place for 45 – 60 mins to rise.
  19. Pre heat oven to 190C 375F
  20. Remove the tin from the fridge and sprinkle the top with some chopped hazelnuts and the remaining sugar mix.
  21. Bake for 15-20 minutes and enjoy them warm.
© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013 – 2015. 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.