Saturday, February 2, 2013



World Nutella Day is coming soon, and I've been getting ready by baking and creating with my favorite flavor combo:  chocolate and hazelnuts.  Today, I'm posting the frosting recipe I just created.  It's a sweet, rich, smooth milk-chocolate frosting with wonderful hazelnut flavor that goes perfectly with not-so-sweet gianduia (say john-DEW-ya) cupcakes that are filled with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread.  You may substitute good-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips for the Ghiradelli bar, if desired, to get a slightly darker frosting.

Gianduia (Chocolate Hazelnut) Buttercream Frosting
Rating:  10 out of 10


4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, soft
1-2/3 cups confectioner’s sugar, divided
About 4-5 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
3 Tbsp. natural unsweetened cocoa (I used Penzey’s natural hi-fat cocoa) 

1 Tbsp. Frangelica or generic hazelnut liqueur
3/4 tsp. Spices, etc. hazelnut flavoring
1.75 oz. (half the bar) Ghiradelli 32% cacao milk chocolate bar*, melted, cooled

   *You may substitute 1.75 oz, about 1/3 cup, semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate. 

In medium bowl, cream butter.  Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating till smooth after each addition.  Alternately beat in cream with a mixture of cocoa and remaining 2/3 cups sugar, beating till smooth after each addition.  Beat in liqueur and flavoring.  Add more cream or sugar, if needed to get proper consistency.  Gradually add cooled chocolate and beat on high till frosting is whipped.  Refrigerate for 1/2 hour before using to allow frosting to firm up.  Yield:  enough to generously frost 12 standard cupcakes and 12 minis.

TIP:  I used a 2D tip to get deep swirls.  Start in center of cupcake top, make circles going towards outer edges, then work the second layer back into the center, pulling up as you end. 

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