Nutella, the chocolate hazelnut spread that Italians seem to love spreading on everything, is a food item that our family has deemed strictly off-limits. It’s not because we don’t love slathering a chunk of leftover crusty baguette with a spoonful of the stuff to go with our morning coffee; instead, it’s because we love it too much, and are simply not responsible enough to have it in the house. Like Cheez-It Crackers, marinated mozzarella, and peanut butter granola bars, we just can’t have a jar around without eating it in one sitting, and so we choose to skip it altogether.
But when it’s your birthday, you get to throw good sense and rationality out the window and eat your favorite things, no matter what they are. And that’s what today is: It’s Jillian’s birthday. I wanted to bake her something special, something that combined all of her favorite sweets into one over-the-top cupcake that would make her senses explode and her body start racing furiously to produce extra insulin. The Nutella buttercream was a no-brainer for Jillian’s ideal cupcake, but the real surprise here is inside, where an entire Ferrero Rocher hazelnut chocolate candy is baked right in. They’re weapons-grade bombs of sugar, fat, and butter, perfect for special occasions or to tell someone you love them. Happy birthday, Jillian.
P.S. Do not keep tasting the buttercream as you work, or by the time the cupcakes are ready, the sugar overload will have made your heart explode.