Question: What do you do when you’re not sure you’re going to even see an oven for the next several months?
Answer: You go mad baking and force feed whoever is within a five mile radius.
I did this recently. I’m still not sure when I’m going to see an oven again – within the next few weeks and months I’m going to become a traveling vagabond and have some adventures while I build up my (other) career.
In the name of not-knowing-when I can experiment again, I wanted to go mad with vegan stuff. I also wanted to try and recreate the taste of nutella without nutella. This was the outcome. It’s a recipe based on some wonderful stuff from this awesome site, the tolerant vegan. I messed with the recipe slightly to make a spin on it (also: didn’t have vegan hazelnut spread, Ireland is terrible), so all credit should really go to its original creator!
Shout out to the vegan chocolate spread that I DID find: Plamil Chocolate Spread. This stuff is ridiculous. It is SO good. Anybody outside of Ireland probably has way more choice than we do though, so experiment with whatever form of vegan cocoa spread you have to hand!
I found that this made 12 cupcakes. You can include or disinclude the frosting, bearing in mind it’s a VERY awesome experience all on its own, there’s so much going on in just the cupcake part – depends on if you want sugar blowout or sugar apocalypse in terms of dessert!
12 cup cupcake tin
blender, to macerate your hazelnuts
errant cats, to watch you in bewildered fashion while you’re working
INGREDIENTS FOR CUPCAKES:
175g Plain Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
115g Soya Spread or Vegan Butter Substitute (I used this)
200g Golden Caster Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
235ml Hazelnut Milk
1 Tbsp Vinegar (White, Cider)
150g Roasted Hazelnuts
115g Vegan Chocolate Spread
INGREDIENTS FOR FROSTING:
115g Soya spread or vegan butter substitute
150g Vegan Chocolate Spread
400g Icing Sugar
75 ml Hazelnut Milk (to splash in, as needed)
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1. Preheat your oven – 170 degrees celsius without a fan, 150 if you have a fan oven. Line your cupcake tray. Dump hazelnuts into blender and have at them until they’re starting to resemble coarse chopped meal – much like the picture below. I should really taken my own picture of my own destroyed hazelnut meal but I was too busy pushing a cat off a jar of chocolate spread.
2. Cream together your sugar and your soya spread until light and fluffy – easy to do with (or in) an electric mixer, debatably also possible by hand (prepare your elbow grease). Now add your vanilla extract, your hazelnut milk and your vinegar and combine to a smoothness.
3. Next, sift your flour, salt and baking powder together, and add a third to the wet mix. Beat to even consistency. Repeat this twice more til all your flour and wet mix are evenly combined. Lastly, stir through JUST 100g of your hazelnut meal.
4. Spoon the mix into your cupcake liners, aiming to have them about two thirds full. Drop a spoonful of chocolate spread into each full liner & swirl. Pop in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the batter clean (chocolate staining totally acceptable, just not wet crumbs). Set the cupcakes on a wire rack to cool, for at least an hour or until cold to the touch if you’re icing.
5. Finally, to make the icing, blitz all listed ingredients together save your milk. Once relatively combined, add your milk in drops to get your desired texture. Remaining hazelnut meal can be sprinkled on top of your cakes, saved for future ‘on toast’ creations and/or eaten in small handfuls on its own. Enjoy!