I experimented in the kitchen for about four hours to come up with this recipe. It was for Kevin's birthday, so I knew I wanted to do something special and unique.
I had this idea of creating a creamy hazelnut flavored mascarpone-base frosting. I had been thinking about the components of it for the past month but never got around to trying it. I knew it was going to be fantastic, so Kevin's birthday seemed like the perfect occasion to finally put my thoughts down on paper. (In the form of a recipe, no less!)
Mascarpone cheese has a rich and creamy taste, but not rich in the sense that it would be heavy on the palate. It's quite light and refreshing. It is similar cream cheese, but a lot higher in quality and has an incredibly silky smooth texture. Perfect for a summer treat!
Combine and mix well:
8 0z (1 container) Marscarpone Cheese - At room temperature
7 TBSP Butter - At room temperature
4 TBSP Heavy Cream
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 Cup Nutella
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
You get this beautiful & creamy hazelnut frosting. It's light, smooth, and silky! This frosting is perfect for the summer time when you're looking for something rich in flavor but not heavy on the palate.
So the frosting went fantastically well! The next part was figuring out what kind of cupcake to put it on. I knew I wanted to do something with chocolate, because chocolate and hazelnut are like PB&J- simply a great & classic flavor combination! But I didn't want an entirely chocolate cupcake because sometimes they can be heavy and overpowering. Since the delicate flavor of the frosting was supposed to be the highlight, I didn't want it to be masked by a heavy chocolate taste. Then, a light bulb went off in my head: I'll do a chocolate and vanilla swirl! I found a couple of great chocolate & vanilla cupcake recipes and went for it!
The recipe called for a semi sweet chocolate, but I used unsweetened chocolate, instead. This gave the cake a dark chocolate taste, cutting out some of the sweetness. Perfect!
Melt butter with the chocolate...
...to create a gorgeous bowl of dark chocolate syrup! Add your dry ingredients and set aside your chocolate cake batter to start on the vanilla.
The vanilla batter was smooth, fluffy, and white. It looked beautiful next to the chocolate one! Spoon in the batter, alternating between chocolate and vanilla. When finished, take a fork and run it through the cups to get swirls.
They were pretty, even without the frosting!
I put the chilled frosting into a pastry bag and pipped it on. I made a batch of mini ones because Kevin, being the diva that he was, demanded them. =) They were super cute!
The frosting was a hit! A lot of people at the party were amazed by the surprisingly unique flavor and asked about the recipe... at which point I shamelessly promoted my blog. hehe.
Next time, when I use this frosting, I will be sure to make only mini cupcakes. The highlight of this cupcake was its frosting, so with the mini ones, you can do a half cake and half frosting ratio. When eating the big ones, I felt like there was too much cake and not enough frosting! =)