This is definitely a crowd pleaser, in my experience, regardless what time of year - it always seems to be the season of Ferrero Rocher. Everyone seems to love the delicious combination of chocolate and hazelnuts (and Nutella!), so I’ve combined them into one of eveyone's favourite desserts - cupcakes!
Thanks to the olive oil, this cake has a slightly nutty flavour which I like to enhance by icing it with Nutella and sprinkling roasted hazelnuts on top.
You can get raw hazelnuts at Bulk Barn and simply roast them in the oven with a bit of vegetable oil. (Do keep an eye on them – they can burn very quickly!) Once cooled, I roll them in a towel to get the dries skin off of the hazelnuts. I then crush them the old school way by putting the hazelnuts in a towel and beating and rolling them with a rolling pin. (Careful - this can get messy!) You’ll want to keep some of them whole or at least chunky simply for the aesthetics.
You can find many great olive oil chocolate cake recipes online, in fact, Nigella has a great recipe that can be found here.
Or, if baking a cake from scratch isn't you're thing (because, really, who's got time for that??!) you can use your favourite boxed chocolate cake mix and replace the vegetable oil with olive oil. (I also replace the water with milk and sometimes add an extra egg to make it richer.)
I also only fill the cupcake liners just over halfway with the batter. As they bake, the cupcakes will rise to the perfect size without overflowing or the tops joining with the cupcakes next to each other.
Once the cupcakes are cooled, you can then ice them with Nutella and sprinkle the roasted hazelnuts on top if you like.
This is perfect for any occasion. My 9 year old nephew loves these cupcakes as he loves anything with chocolate – especially Nutella!