Vegan Hazelnut Cupcakes Recipe

Vegan Hazelnut Cupcakes Recipe
Staff Writer
Vegan Hazelnut Cupcakes
Rebecca Bent

Vegan Hazelnut Cupcakes

We want to say these cupcakes are totally European with all these hazelnuts, mocha mousse filling, and dark chocolate. So much so that you’ll need to eat these wearing a black turtleneck and driving a tiny but amazingly fuel-efficient car, but who are we kidding… they’re just really yummy. The filling recipe is a variation of the Chocolate Mousse Topping and it makes more than you’ll be able to stuff into twelve cupcakes. But since when did people start complaining about a little leftover chocolate mocha mousse? Use it for dessert the next day.

Adapted from “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World” by Isa Chandra Moskovitz and Terry Hope Romero.

Ingredients

For the mocha hazelnut mousse filling:

  • 6 ounces extra-firm silken tofu (half a package of the aseptic kind, such as Mori-Nu)
  • 2 tablespoons plain soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar or pure maple syrup
  • 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons hazelnut liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped, or 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄3 cup hazelnut meal or hazelnut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2⁄3 cup rice milk or nut milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
  • 1⁄3 cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon hazelnut liqueur, or 1 ½ teaspoons hazelnut extract
  • Rich Chocolate Ganache Topping
  • 1 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts, for garnish

Directions

For the mocha hazelnut mousse filling:

Crumble the tofu into a blender. Add the soy milk, agave nectar or maple syrup, espresso powder, hazelnut liqueur, and vanilla. Purée until completely smooth. Set aside.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips. If you don’t have a double boiler, so take a small saucepan and fill halfway with water. On top of that place a small sauté pan. Fill the sauté pan with chocolate chips and bring the water to a boil. Use a rubber spatula to mix the chocolate as it melts. Once melted, remove from the heat and let cool for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the chocolate to the tofu and blend until combined, using the spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender every so often. Transfer the mousse to an airtight container or a bowl covered in plastic wrap. Let chill for an hour to firm. Remove from the refrigerator 10 minutes before you are ready to use it. Stir with a fork if it is too firm to work with.

For the cupcakes:

Line cupcake pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together rice milk and ground

flaxseed. In a large bowl, sift together flour, hazelnut meal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

Add the maple syrup, sugar, canola oil, vanilla, and hazelnut liquor to the rice milk mixture and beat well. Add wet ingredients to dry, mixing till mostly smooth. Pour into liners, filling them two-thirds of the way. Bake 22-24 minutes till a toothpick inserted through the center of one comes out clean. Cool completely on racks before filling.

Fit a pastry bag with a wide piping tip. Fill the bag with the mocha hazelnut mousse filling. Have the Rich Chocolate Ganache Topping prepared and a frosting spatula ready for frosting cupcakes.

Use a finger to poke holes in the top of each cupcake. Fill each cupcake with as much mousse as you can. Use your finger or a knife to remove any excess cream from thetops of the cupcake. Spread the ganache onto cupcakes — two layers of ganache (a heaping teaspoon each time) can help create a smoother surface. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Place the cupcakes in the fridge to set the ganache. An easy way to do this is put them all on a cutting board and place the whole thing on a shelf.

 

Vegan Shopping Tip

As an alternative to sugary, salty, processed foods, try shopping for fruits and vegetables that are in season.

Vegan Cooking Tip

For a healthier alternative, substitute honey or molasses for sugar in baking recipes, and use a 3:1 blend of canola oil to olive oil instead of butter when cooking over the flame.