It's hard to pick which is better: the cake part of the cupcake or the icing. In this case, the answer is clear. This famous chocolate and toffee frosting recipe comes from Crabapple Bakery in Melbourne, Australia. The frosting is pretty rich and flavorful, so choose a simple cupcake flavor to complement it. White, vanilla or milk chocolate all taste great with Nutella shard frosting.
- 1 750-gram jar of Nutella
- 1 tablespoon Frangelico
- 1/2 cup whipped cream
- 1 cup crushed hazelnuts
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
(Yields frosting for about one dozen cupcakes)
Combine the Nutella and Frangelico in a mixing bowl. Fold in about one-fourth of the whipped cream. Once that's been beaten smooth, mix in the rest of the whipped cream. When the frosting is fairly light and fluffy, you're done mixing. Paint it liberally onto the cupcakes. A piping bag and a star tip will make for a more professional-looking cupcake, but bedhead can look as good on cupcakes as it does on people -- smearing it one with a spatula will do the job fine.
Next, you'll make the toffee shards. Spread the crushed hazelnuts onto a greased baking sheet. Add the water and sugar to a saucepan, and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring the sugar-water to a boil, then drop the heat and let it simmer until it turns a crispy, golden brown. Remove it from the heat and allow it to settle. Once it looks a little clearer, pour it over the hazelnuts. Wait for the toffee to harden, then snap it into thin shards. Garnish the cupcakes with the toffee pieces.