Thursday, January 18, 2007

SHF #27: Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Toffee Hazelnut Sauce

This month's Sugar High Friday caught my eye. How could it not? It's all about chocolate!! And I love me some chocolate - the more chocolate, the better is what I say.

It wasn't easy choosing one recipe. I rifled through cookbooks and websites, I viewed and reviewed my pantry, and I thought long and hard about chocolate.

Oh what a difficult, tragic life I lead.

I wound up mixing a few ideas together - like I usually do - and came up with something sure to fit any craving: chocolate, nuts, salt, and rich caramelly toffee. Okay, I suppose this wouldn't satisfy a fruit craving, but I suppose you could chuck some raspberries on there.

As to the brand of chocolate, I went with my current favorite "almost as good as Scharffen Berger" high cacao choice: Nestle Chocolatier bittersweet chocolate. This is an affordable option when you want rich, smooth, true chocolate taste without having to go to a specialty store and spend a bit more than you intended. Let's face it: just about everyone is on a budget and you can't always manage highest-quality. You won't sacrifice taste using Nestle Chocolatier, especially in baked products.
Not only did I use Nestle's chocolate, but I also used their Molten Chocolate Cake recipe to make the cupcakes.

Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes

3/4 cup unsalted butter
8oz Nestle Chocolatier bittersweet chocolate (either morsels, or chopped bar form)
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup plus 1 T sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1 T AP flour

Preheat oven to 425*. Grease a muffin tin liberally with Crisco.

Place eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium-high speed with the whisk attachment until fluffy and light yellow, about 8 minutes. The mixture will drizzle into the bowl in a slowly-dissolving ribbon when it's been mixed enough.

While the eggs are being mixed: In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the chocolate and stir constantly, until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.

Switch to the paddle attachment (or, if not using a stand mixer, a sturdy spatula).
Slowly add 1/3 of the chocolate to the egg mixture, stirring slowly. Once the chocolate is incorporated, add the rest of the chocolate and the flour. Mix on low speed until a somewhat thin batter is formed.

Divide the batter among 12 muffin cups.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until set around the edges and slightly jiggly in the center. Place pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
Gently run a knife around the edge of each muffin and turn out onto a rack to cool for about 5 minutes.

Serve warm with Salted Toffee Hazelnut Sauce, ice cream, or whipped cream.

(note: this recipe can also be made in 6 6-oz ramekins and will have a "molten" liquid center)

Salted Toffee Hazelnut Sauce

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
1 t vanilla
1 t kosher salt

Place all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Over medium heat, stir until the butter and sugar melt.

Continue stirring occasionally until the mixture comes to a full boil - 5-7 minutes. Once it reaches a boil, let it boil without stirring for 1 minute.

Remove sauce from the heat and let cool about 10 minutes.

Spoon over cupcakes.


Brilynn said...

A very worthy entry to SHF!

Chellie said...

Thanks! :) It's my first shot at SHF so I figured I'd go all out. Now just to figure out what to do with the other 11 cupcakes.... LOL

David said...

Chellie: Great entry...and that sauce looks amazing! Thanks for being a part of SHF!

Anonymous said...

OMG! That looks fabulous! Gorgeous pic! I love the shiny gooey sauce. I have to say that you have found the key to my heart.... caramel and hazelnuts!

Freya said...

Yummy! These look great!
p.s. This is my first time on SHF too!

Anonymous said...

Those look beautiful! On my list to be made in ramekins :)

Anonymous said...

I can just imagine the flavor of these cupcakes. Yummy!

L Vanel said...

I love the salted hazelnut toffee sauce.