It’s not often we get fancy on the blog, but, when mascarpone cheese is on the table, everyone has to know.
“Yes, Hilary, you told us. It’s mascarpone cheese,” everyone said, after like the third time I mentioned it. Hey, it’s new for me.
Apart from this truly delicious mascarpone and toasted almond dip I occasionally make, I’ve always been a straight up cream cheese and buttercream frosting gal. Inspired by the abundance of Nutella I still have in my house, I was inspired to pair two Italian delicacies together.
I know this is my second Nutella post in a row, but I can’t help it. I literally have an art print of a girl hugging a jar of Nutella with Lumineers lyrics underneath (I belong with you, you belong with me. Nutella, you’re my sweetheart).
The creaminess and slight tang of the cheese went perfectly with the perfection that is Nutella. I made these cupcakes in miniature (their voices are lower when they yell at me from the kitchen) and topped them with toasted hazelnuts.
To fill them, I used an apple corer. It’s exactly what it sounds like. A little cylinder that you poke into an apple (or cupcake) to remove the core. I ended up with a plate of little cupcake nubs that were far too easy to eat. I definitely recommend an apple corer when stuffing desserts. You could probably even find one at your local Dollarama.
This fleet of mini cupcakes accompanied me to a work meeting and a cute wine/cheese night with some girlfriends. Plus, a few scarfed down by C. when I wasn’t looking. They were simple to make, but these things wow. It’s definitely the top shelf cheese.
Nutella-stuffed cupcakes with almond mascarpone frosting
1 2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup of plain or vanilla yogurt
3/4 cup of milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Nutella
1 small tub of mascarpone cheese, 275 g
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup butter
3 cups of icing sugar, more or less depending on consistency
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup of toasted hazelnuts (optional, but adorable)
Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a miniature muffin tray with cupcake liners.
Mix your flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, blend butter and sugar together until creamy. Then add egg, vanilla, yogurt and milk.
Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into the mixture until just blended. Pour into cupcake liners and bake for 12-15 minutes or until just golden on top. Test doneness with a toothpick. If it comes out clean or with tiny crumbs, you’re ready!
Set aside cupcakes to cool slightly. They will need to be a bit warm for the Nutella filling to work.
When the cupcakes are warm, but no longer hot, core them using your apple corer. Stick the corer two-thirds of the way into the cupcake, pulling out and discarding the cupcake nub.
Using a small spoon (or piping bag if you have one), drop Nutella into each hole until full. Since the cupcakes are still warm, it will melt easily into the hole. Set aside until completely cool.
To make the frosting, add mascarpone cheese, almond extract, butter, one cup of icing sugar and salt together. Mix with an electric mixer. Add icing sugar by the half cup until it has reached the consistency you like. Pipe or smooth onto cupcakes with a spoon.
Top with toasted hazelnuts. Very much optional, but they add some crunch and some glamour.