Saturday, April 13, 2013

Rocky Road Chocolate Cupcakes

I saw a poster the other day which said something along the lines of 'You can't be sad when you're holding a cupcake' - I couldn't agree more.

The cupcake craze has been around for so long now that some people I know would go as far as to say its become overrated. Urm, really?! I am going to dispute this very strongly...! Six odd years since I first remember really being delighted by the sight and taste of a pretty cupcake, I still often get the urge for a simple vanilla cupcake topped with beautiful buttercream frosting, and I'm definitely happy when I'm eating it.
Here in Dubai, together with my sister, I reckon we've been to every cupcake focused store at least twice (if not three, four, five times). If I have friends or family come over to visit, you can bet part of their city tour is going to include a trip to a cupcake store. We even have franchises of Hummingbird and Magnolia's in Dubai! More evidence of my cupcake love? - where I used to work before getting married, there was a (Middle-eastern grown brand)  Kitsch cupcake store right underneath my work place, and most evenings included a necessary trip to purchase a cupcake or two to take home with me.
Maybe its more of a girl thing, but I've loved the concept of cupcakes, and all their multitude of flavours and combinations, for many years now, and I don't see that love ending soon! And that brings me onto these cupcakes...
As I don't often veer towards chocolate cupcakes when given the choice (I think its coz I'd rather eat chocolate cake!), rocky road chocolate cupcakes are better for me. If you're unfamiliar with 'rocky road', its simply a chocolate bar type of dessert made up of chocolate, marshmallows, nuts, dried fruits, coconut flakes and biscuit among other things. When transformed into a cupcake it allows you to play with a multitude of toppings!

I chose hazelnuts here instead of other nuts, as I felt it complemented the nutella perfectly, but feel free to use whichever nuts you want. Want to know how I cheated on the frosting? Instead of using chocolate buttercream I simply topped the cupcakes with a spoon of nutella. This actually works really well with these cupcakes, and I prefer it to chocolate buttercream.

So, pile your chocolate frosting with mini marshmallows, hazelnuts, chocolate chips and drizzled chocolate, and you get a perfectly decadent chocolate cupcake. It will definitely be love at first bite!
Rocky Road Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 9 cupcakes
Half cup (90g) soft butter
Half cup (110g) caster sugar
Half tspn vanilla essence
1 large egg
Half tspn baking powder
1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
3 tblspns cocoa powder
4 tblspns milk
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Cream together the butter and sugar in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla essence mixing well. Slowly sift the flour, baking and cocoa powders into the mixture incorporating well and finally add the milk. Divide equally into cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes for normal sized cupcakes.  Leave to cool before adding the toppings.
For the topping:
Half cup chopped hazelnuts
Half cup mini marshmallows
Half cup chocolate and white chocolate chips
Melted Chocolate for drizzling
Mix the hazelnuts, marshmallows and chocolate chips together in a medium bowl. Spoon a tablespoon of nutella onto each cupcake. Pile the rocky road mixture on top and drizzle the melted chocolate over with a teaspoon. Keep in the fridge for about three minutes to let the chocolate set before serving.

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