The Hummingbird Bakery is one of those legendary places that I’m yet to experience in person.
Tarek Malouf created the American-style bakery in London after spending a Thanksgiving in North Carolina. While he was there he sampled the local banana cream and apple pies, and realised that nobody else in London was making this stuff. In 2004 he found a spot on Portobello Road in Notting Hill, and the bakery quickly became known for its cakes, pies, brownies and cookies. These days they have a bunch of locations in the UK and their cupcakes fly off the shelves faster than they can make them. Seriously – 22,000 cupcakes each week!
I bought the cookbook a couple of years ago, and every couple of months I’d flip through the pages and drool. It took us way too long to actually make something from its pages, but when decided to host brunch for our friends we turned to this book for inspiration. After much deliberation we chose the hazelnut and chocolate cupcakes which heavily featured my favourite food group: Nutella.
The best thing about this recipe is that once you’ve made the cupcakes you scoop out the insides, fill it with Nutella, and then the next thing you know there are choirs of angels and this one guy is suddenly playing a harp.
Here’s the recipe.
- 100g plain flour
- 20g cocoa powder
- 140g caster sugar
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 40g butter, room temperature
- 120mL whole milk
- 1 egg
- 120g hazelnut and chocolate spread (such as Nutella)
- 36 whole, shelled hazelnuts
- 250g icing sugar, sifted
- 80g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 25mL whole milk
- 80g hazelnut and chocolate spread (such as Nutella)
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F). Line a 12-hole cupcake tray with paper cases.
- Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
- Slowly pour the milk into the flour mixture, beating well until all the ingredients are well mixed. Add the egg and beat well (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula).
- Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- When the cupcakes are cold, hollow out a small section in the centre of each one and fill with a dollop of hazelnut and chocolate spread.
- Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. TUrn the mixer down to a slower speed. Slowly pour in the milk, then when it is all incorporated turn the mixed up to high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.
- Stir in the hazelnut and chocolate spread by hand until evenly mixed into the frosting. When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the frosting on top and finish with about 3 hazelnuts per cupcake.
I recommend serving them with macarons from La Belle Miette because diabetes isn’t going to just make itself, is it?
This is also part of Task #71 of my 101 Things in 1001 Days project: Cook something new from ten different cook books.