Since we’ve already passed our six-month wedding anniversary, it’s about time I talked about that day on here. It only seems like 2 minutes ago Robert was planning his stag do with StagMadness! It’s been a great marriage so far. And oh, what a day it was. Actually, it was an epic weekend that led into an epic honeymoon (and I’ll talk about that eventually, too). There’s so much I could possibly say about that day, but I’m going to start with a little wisdom for you:
Two maids of honor are better than one. Also, it helps to have a constant group text message going between you and your two maids of honor. I don’t really know how people planned weddings before there were emojis. This bride would not have survived without the crying face, head massage and poop emojis. Words just can’t express wedding stress and anxiety like an emoji can. Or several. AND, a wedding should never be planned alone, so surround yourself with special people who can make things easier for you along the way.
The wedding was amazing and I’m happy to have married the love of my love. But there was one thing that I couldn’t help but think about. A friend of a friend was recently involved in a car accident. He obviously wasn’t able to make the wedding, which was one sad moment. When we went to visit him, he told us everything that happened. It was very sad. He was planning on having kids one day with this girlfriend too. What he told us was that he would have to undergo a procedure like a penile implant to help correct the damage. It sounded painful, but as long as it was going to help him recover and get better, that was all that mattered. Things like this just make me think about my life and how fortunate I am. When you see people in difficult situations like this, it makes you appreciate life a little more.
Thanks to my two maids of honor – Abbey, my BFF since 2nd grade, and Devin, my BFF from college – in addition to a million other people like the rest of our wedding party, my family, future (and now current) family, and close friends, our wedding was nothing short of magical. When I look back on pictures from that day, I get overwhelmed with joy. (Check out our hashtag on Instagram: #robertandsarawedding) Everything was so perfect (even though a few things went wrong, it was still perfect), Robert was so handsome, and we were so HAPPY. I don’t think I was technically drunk at my wedding, but I felt like I was. I couldn’t stop smiling as I went back through our wedding photos to pick some to share with you in this post. I have to say though that finding the right wedding photographer at the time seemed pretty stressful. I remember we spent ages trying to find the perfect one. I had one friend who first recommended that we try out someone like this Snohomish wedding photographer, but I think we decided that the distance just didn’t really make much sense for us unfortunately. I mean it took us a while, but luckily we found another one and I mean just look at my photos. Aren’t they great?
The way our friends and families joined in to help us put this wedding together was ridiculous. The day of our rehearsal dinner we had to get the venue prepped, which included carting 160 folding chairs down to our venue site in the back of pickup trucks (with a bunch of us also stuffed in the back), moving chairs and tables into our tent and figuring out how to place them since they were of various shapes and sizes, stringing up lights throughout the ceremony site, prepping place cards, etc. My dad captured a photo (which you won’t see here) of my mom and I talking, trying to figure out where the tables would go in the tent. My mom is pointing at something and I look like I’m about to die with my hands covering most of my face, pulling my cheeks down from my eyes. That was my mental state for most of that day. Thankfully we were getting married at a family vineyard, so we had lots of wine at our disposal (in fact, we started off the day with a huge wine tasting before setting everything up), so my bridesmaids just kept handing me a bottle of wine to swig out of. We also had to do a run-through of our processional with the song to get timing down, and as soon as I reached Robert at the end of the aisle I burst into tears and declared the rehearsal over. It’s amazing that I kept it together for the actual ceremony. Despite my nerves that day, I had lots of moments when I looked around, saw so many people that I love who were helping us put this event together (our wedding party of 14 plus extra significant others and friends who were in town early, AND family – so upwards of 20 people), and once again I would get overwhelmed with joy. Robert and I kept bumping into each other during the setup saying, “Our friends are AWESOME. Look at this community we have built around us.” So to all of you who helped me hold it together throughout that weekend, and who helped set up and tear down the event, THANK YOU. You’re priceless and we love you.
There’s so much to say about this wedding, I think it will be easier for me if I break it up into segments. So here we go:
THE REHEARSAL DINNER
Before my father-in-law began to tackle his business full-time, he was a chef at a local restaurant, The Harvest Cafe. The owners are close with the family and were generous enough to let us take over their restaurant for our rehearsal dinner, which had a guest list of 60-70 people. We wouldn’t let Robert’s father do the food for the actual wedding since we wanted “Dad” to be there instead of “Chef William,” but we let him do the food for our rehearsal dinner. He made lots of tasty things like pulled pork sandwiches, his signature baked potato pizza and more. He’s a “go big or go home” kind of guy, especially when it comes to cooking for his family. We weren’t having hard liquor at our wedding reception (just wine and beer), so I requested margaritas for the rehearsal dinner, and that wish was granted. We wanted it to be super low-key and basically a big party, so we turned it into a karaoke event. The Corneliuses go crazy for karaoke. It was a huge hit and everyone had a blast; it was easily as fun as the wedding itself, and was a great way to have our extended families mingle before the big day. Highlights for me included singing “Bootylicious” with my bridesmaid Charlotte, and when Robert and I sang “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now.” The whole thing was a hoot.
We got married at Lakewood Vineyards in Watkins Glen, NY. The winery is owned by the lovely Stamp family, close family friends of the Corneliuses. They’re essentially Robert’s fake aunt and uncle, and their son, Ben, was Robert’s best man (and Robert grew up thinking Ben was his real cousin until he found out the truth). They don’t often host weddings there, so it meant a lot to us that they allowed us to have our event there, because honestly we couldn’t have imagined having it anywhere else. We got engaged there, almost exactly a year to the day before we got married, so that also made it more special. They have a gazebo way back in the vineyard, and that’s where we held our ceremony, with the gorgeous lake view behind us. It was a bit of a hike for our guests but we had a few vehicles carting the people who couldn’t walk there as easily. My brother drove my father and me most of the way down to my “aisle” in his Land Rover. (I find it hilarious that I was driven to my wedding in a Land Rover, since I’m a Prius owner. My brother and I could not be more different in our choice of cars.) It was perfect, even though it started to drizzle just as our ceremony began. As I was being driven down to the gazebo, it all kind of hit me at once and I remember thinking, “Oh my god. I’m about to have a Hollywood style wedding. Somehow we pulled this off, and I’m about to get married in a frickin’ vineyard and it’s magical and my dress is gorgeous and these flowers are amazing and we’re all so happy and this is going to be out-of-this-world beautiful and I almost can’t handle it.” So, Stamp family – if you’re reading this, THANK YOU for providing such a gorgeous backdrop for our wedding; we honestly cannot thank you enough.
My dress was an extremely special part of my wedding. I teamed up with Devin (one of my MOHs), because she has her own custom wedding gown design business. (Yes, really. That’s another pro tip: become BFFs with a wedding gown designer.) I went “shopping” a handful of times to figure out what I wanted. This was really helpful because when I started out I thought I wanted a shorter dress with a totally different design and absolutely NOT STRAPLESS. After shopping around I decided I actually did want a strapless dress and the rest of my vision totally changed as well. The final dress was the combination of a few things I liked, and most of it was based off of a Lazaro design that made Devin cry when I put it on. (It helped that the sample dress actually fit me really well.) I knew I wanted a strapless gown but also really liked the neckline and back created by my final dress, so my detached lace bolero allowed me to have both designs in one gown. I wore the bolero for the ceremony and then rocked the strapless look for most of the reception. I went without a train because of our outdoor ceremony and I just didn’t want to deal with it. (I also didn’t like how it would have looked if I had bustled one up in the back.) While I think trains can be gorgeous, it was definitely the right decision for me. I was deeply involved in the design process with Devin, and even went to NYC with her and Abbey to pick out my fabrics. I was probably her most difficult customer being so involved, but she was a peach and tweaked everything until I was satisfied. (Sorry, Devin!!! haha) The seamstress she works with was also amazing and made the dress fit me like a glove. Thank you, Devin, for helping me create the gown of my dreams! It was perfection. I might be a little biased because she’s my bestie, but if you’re looking for a custom gown you should definitely hire her to create your own “dream gown.”
HAIR & MAKEUP
Originally our very good friend Kelsey, a professional hair and makeup stylist in NYC, was supposed to do my hair and makeup for the wedding. We were all extremely pumped about it, and then we found out that Kelsey couldn’t even come to the wedding because of a major work obligation. Cue epic sad face here. I decided I wanted to do my own makeup, so I visited my local Clinique makeup counter with my mom and Abbey to figure out the “look” I was going for, and then just bought whichever pieces I didn’t already own. This worked out very well because I learned a bit more about doing my own makeup and ended up with some new items that I can now use again and again. The lady working the Clinique counter was an absolute saint, spending an hour and a half with me, going through 4 different eye looks and 5 different lip colors until I landed on my perfect natural-looking “bridal” face. I was so happy with the final result. My bridesmaids and I all helped each other out with our makeup the day of, specifically my bridesmaid Kelley who also has experience as makeup artist, and I think we all looked pretty foxy. For our hair we were able to hire a friend of Robert’s brother, Brandi, and she did a great job. My hair was exactly the kind of soft, romantic look I was going for.
Not only did I have a custom wedding gown, but Robert also had a custom suit. One of the main clients that he works with through his job at Simone Associates is a high-end suit company called Tom James. Luckily they really love him and offered to let him design a custom suit for himself at a price we could actually afford. We jumped at the opportunity and Robert looked totally handsome in his suit. He got to pick out everything about it, down to the buttons, thread color, lining, slope of the shoulders, pocket shape and placement, etc., and he ended up with a whole ensemble that included the suit, vest, shirt, tie and shoes. It is tasteful and classic, fits him perfectly and should come in handy for future events.
I’m not really a flowers kind of girl. Rather than a dozen roses on Valentine’s Day, I’d much rather have a box of gourmet chocolates or if it’s going to be a plant, I’d prefer one that will stick around in my living room for years to come. So when it came time to pick wedding flowers, I was not about to be all “I’ll have roses and orchids and nothing else.” I was more like, “I’m not sure what I want … I just want it to be on the cheaper end and have it match our color palette.” Amy Maloney is the mother of my very good friend from college, and even though she lives in Maine she offered to be our wedding florist. She is a rock star and totally knocked it out of the park. It turns out our color palette was not the easiest to match to flowers because it was mostly blues. Last spring Amy and I attended the Philadelphia Flower Show together so we could look around and talk about the direction I wanted to go in with our flowers. Through our discussion we decided to focus on greens, blues and earth tones to match our color palette of the teal family with gold accents. We also discussed using a lot of nontraditional pieces, and I encouraged her to try to incorporate edible pieces into my bouquet, like lettuces and herbs (because I thought that was more representative of me than any flower). She totally delivered and included KALE ROSES in my bouquet. How amazing is that?! I knew I could count on her to take my jumbled thoughts about flower preferences with our vague color palette and turn it into something spectacular. In addition to the kale roses, my bouquet, the boutonnieres for the men and the corsages for the ladies included lotus pods, eucalyptus seeds, guinea fowl feathers, scabiosa pods, curly brown twigs and other cool things. She actually forgot to make me a special bouquet for the toss during the reception, but was able to throw together a gorgeous bouquet right after the ceremony using wildflowers from around the vineyard. She’s a magician. I didn’t think about the flowers too hard throughout the planning process because I was busy stressing about other things and had complete faith in Amy to make it all happen, and the flowers ended up being one of my absolute favorite aspects of our wedding. Thank you, Amy – you did a gorgeous job!!!! If you’re in the area of Brunswick, Maine, you should hire her FOR SURE.
If you can’t tell by now, we’re surrounded by talented people in our life. We called upon our friends Matt and Sarah, a musical power couple, to do our ceremony music. Matt played keyboard while Sarah played cello, an absolute dream come true. They played some classical standards before the ceremony as people were getting seated, and then for our processional we chose “White Dress” by Ben Rector (for obvious reasons, but also because it was on one of the first “mix tapes” that Robert made for me, and the bounciness of the tune was the kind of thing I wanted to walk down the aisle to), and “I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles for our recessional. They did a fantastic job and we were extremely happy with our choices. It took a while to settle on those songs, and the process involved many a commute to work (for me) with tears streaming down my face while listening to a song that was being considered. Now I can’t listen to either of those songs without getting a little teary-eyed, thinking about the wedding. The song I walked down the aisle to was especially fun – there’s a bridge in the middle where it slows down before coming back in with a peppy beat. We used that moment in the song for me to appear with my dad from farther up in the vineyard, and then we began our long walk down to the ceremony sight for a dramatic entrance. (You can kind of get an idea of what that looked like from the pictures.) It was really cool, but gave me way too much time where I had to avoid crying. (Remember my meltdown at the rehearsal?) My dad did a good job of distracting me by talking about his iPod or something. I did a decent job of holding it together, but then when I got to the “real” aisle I told myself to just focus on Robert and that ended up being the thing that made me tear up. (These are all good tears, by the way.) The ceremony went smoothly if only because I didn’t start balling. I had to wipe a tear or two from Robert’s face and his cheeks may have been quivering at one point, but you didn’t hear that from me …
Like I mentioned above, we didn’t want Robert’s dad being in charge of the food for our wedding so he could just be a guest/parent and have a good time, but we did let him help us plan our menu. We used a lot of “Chef William Creations” and landed on a solid menu, even though we had to cut a lot out to stay within our budget. Here’s what we ended up having:
• a kale salad with apples, candied walnuts, dried cranberries, goat cheese and a vinaigrette made with Chef William’s Cranberry Mead Honey Mustard (my favorite product of his!) – This is actually based on the kale salad in the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and we chose this because it’s our favorite go-to salad to make at home.
• Raspberry Green Tea Glaze chicken
• balsamic roasted brussels sprouts
• champagne rice
• pasta primavera made with Chef William’s Vino Rosso Bruschetta
It was a fairly small menu but hit all of our needs and we had plenty of it. We got a lot of compliments on the food, but especially on the kale salad! Who knew? We used Premiere Catering from Ithaca, NY. They were really wonderful about helping us meet our budget. We did compromise a little and let Robert’s dad take care of the appetizers. I heard they were great but I have no idea what they were because I didn’t see any of them. It’s true what they say about being hungry at your wedding; I couldn’t eat all day because of my nerves, and then I was running around at the reception so much and must not have eaten enough, so I was STARVING most of the night. As for booze, we offered wine from Lakewood (obviously), which was a treat because I honestly think they have the best wine on Seneca Lake, and then we had a few kegs of beer, including some local ones.
I loved our cake. Cake is kind of my thing (it is in the name of this blog, after all), so I needed my wedding cake to be perfect. Guess what? It was. After doing cake tasting in the area last spring (3 tastings in one day), we settled on using Jess from Glen Mountain Market. We chose her because her cake samples were the most high-quality all around based on those we tested, and also because of her charming personality; we knew we would enjoy working with her. And she was an absolute dream to work with. We asked her to create a cake based on a flavor profile of one we tasted elsewhere, so she made some sample cupcakes for us when we visited town later in June and we were able to finalize it from there. Our cake was a golden cake with a whipped chocolate filling and hazelnut buttercream, topped with chopped roasted hazelnuts and decorated with sugar pearls. We wanted a more rustic-looking, natural cake as opposed to something covered in fondant and ribbons, and she nailed it with the presentation. One thing we forgot to do before the wedding was adjust our cake numbers: Our final headcount was about 50 less than what we had anticipated, but we never changed our cake order to reflect that … So we had a lot of extra cake. I wasn’t complaining, though! The cake was SO GOOD and a lot of people told us it was the best wedding cake they had ever eaten. I took leftovers to the hotel on our wedding night, ate a bunch over the next couple days before leaving for the honeymoon, and also took a large container of it for our road trip to the airport. There was no way I was letting it go to waste. After the wedding when I would see people who were there and we’d talk about it, I’d always ask them, “Did you try the cake?!” I wanted to know that everyone loved it as much as I did.
Luckily for all of us, Jess was kind enough to share the recipe with me (and let me share it with you). That’s right: I have my wedding cake recipe. It’s basically the best gift someone could have given me, and now I’m passing it onto you. Below you can find the recipe for the cake, and I’ve included instructions for making it as cupcakes. It should also work for three 8-inch layers, but you’ll have to adjust the baking time accordingly. Isn’t Jess the sweetest?! Who else has a baker who gives her the recipe for her wedding cake and then emails her back and forth to answer all of her questions so she can make it as perfectly as possible? If you’re getting married in the Watkins Glen area, please hire her to bake your wedding cake (or for some other kind of event). And if you’re just visiting the area, be sure to stop by Glen Mountain Market for a meal because they honestly have some of the best baked goods, coffee drinks and sandwiches I’ve ever had. (Get the BLT on focaccia; you won’t be sorry.) Thank you Jess!!!! So many hugs to you for gifting me with the ability to remake my wedding cake whenever I’m craving it (which is always).
PHOTOS + PHOTO BOOTH
All of the photos in this post were taken by my uncle. We hesitated about asking him to be our photographer because we wanted him to be able to fully enjoy the wedding, but when we were faced with zero options for a photographer that didn’t eat up half of our budget, we broke down and asked him. Thankfully he said he would do it, especially since he doesn’t normally shoot weddings and wasn’t extremely confident in his ability to do so. He is a natural at capturing people in both posed and candid shots (especially outdoors), so we had total faith that he would do a wonderful job, and he did. It was nice to be able to have someone so close to us shoot the wedding, particularly for our posed shots afterwards, because we felt totally comfortable with him. Another bonus of having your uncle shoot your wedding is that he can give you ALL of the raw camera files and then your Photoshop wizard of a husband can make them look like photos from a magazine. So thank you, Uncle Bill!!!! (He does a lot of senior portraits and such in the Philly area if you’re looking to hire someone for that kind of thing.)
Since we were saving a bundle by having Uncle Bill be our photographer, we decided to splurge a little and get a photo booth. This also took some pressure off of Uncle Bill since it offered a way for us to get fun pictures of everyone at the wedding. It was absolutely money well-spent; it’s so nice to have pictures of (almost) everyone who attended, laughing and being silly and having fun with props. The photos are a perfect representation of what our wedding actually felt like, which was the best party we’ve ever been to. We used SnapPod NY, and I would highly recommend them. I think they were there and set up an hour earlier than necessary, even though you pay by the hour, so … bonus hour! The machine spits out two copies of the photos, one for you and one to place in a scrapbook, which they provide. If you went in with a large group, our guy manning the machine had it print out extra photos so everyone could have a copy. And then at the end of the night they give you a thumb drive with digital files of ALL the photos. It’s a really sweet deal and was a highlight of the night. Robert created a video of all of the photo booth pictures, which should give you a good idea of what kind of night everybody had.
Everyone who contributed to our wedding totally killed it, and that includes our DJs, Past and Present Productions. We actually chased them down at the end of a wedding show before they left so we could book them. About a month or so before the wedding we met with them to discuss in detail what we wanted and what the order of events would be, and then we provided them with a list of “must play” songs and “do not play” songs. One of our “must plays” was “Call Me Maybe,” because I knew my bridesmaid Kelley would run to the dance floor for that one if she wasn’t already there (and I would join her, of course). After the father-daughter dance and all of that stuff was taken care of, they came right out of the gate with “Call Me Maybe.” Instantly almost our entire wedding party was on the dance floor. After that they played another one of my “jams,” and it just never stopped. All night Robert and I were running around trying to talk to people, go in the photo booth with people, and attempting to be on the dance floor for as many songs as possible. We had the DJs booked to play until 11pm, knowing that we could add more time on at the end if we needed it. When 10:15 rolled around and I realized we hadn’t even cut the cake yet, I had my mom ask them to stay until midnight. Then Robert’s best man surprised everyone by buying another hour of DJ time, so a large group of people stuck around and partied with us until 1am. It was exactly what we wanted: an epic dance party of a wedding, with people of all ages dancing through the night.
We weren’t leaving for our honeymoon until a few days after the wedding, but we wanted to splurge on ourselves a little bit by staying at the nicest hotel in town for our wedding night. The Harbor Hotel in Watkins Glen is conveniently located right across the street from Robert’s parents’ house, which also meant we could easily walk home after checking out of our room. We did downsize ever so slightly by going with a room with two queens instead of a king and without the lake view, but we see the lake all the time so we didn’t care about that. We did, however, book a room with a jacuzzi. The room was absolutely lovely; it’s a gorgeous hotel. It’s definitely pricey, but if you’re visiting that area and you want to treat yourself, I’d highly recommend staying there. The staff was also extremely accommodating. As I mentioned above, I was STARVING most of the evening, and I am not to be reckoned with when I am hangry (not that I was in a bad mood at the end of our wedding or anything). BUT – I needed to eat. On our way to the hotel, Robert popped into his parents’ house to rummage around for some “real” food (we already had a nice big chunk of wedding cake to take with us to the hotel), and found us a container of his dad’s seafood chowder in the fridge. When we showed up at the hotel (around 2am), we asked if we had a microwave in our room. It turns out we didn’t, but they offered to bring us one, which they did, along with bowls, utensils, cloth napkins and crackers for our soup. (They had also already decorated our room with candles and rose petals and all that jazz.) One of my favorite memories of the evening is eating that random soup in our hotel room while hashing over all the details from the night and remarking together on how wonderful everything was.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
TOO LONG, DIDN’T READ:
Our wedding was epic.
We had SO MUCH FUN.
Our friends and family are the greatest.
You should make our cake. (recipe below)
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
So essentially our wedding was full of nonstop partying. There were so many tears of joy, lots of laughter, great food and wine, beer, CAKE, ugh! So much wonderfulness. By the end of the evening, Robert, both of our parents and I could not stop saying “It was so perfect – we pulled it off! That was amazing. How did this happen?!” A lot of people said it was the best wedding they’d ever been to, they loved the food, it was the best wedding cake they’d ever had, etc. We feel so fortunate to have had a wedding as amazing as the one we had. Despite all of the stress, money and planning that went into it, Robert and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Not only that, but I now have an incredible husband. I am so lucky to call this amazing person my partner in crime – He makes my life better every day, and he loves me the way a person could only ever hope to be loved by someone. I don’t know how I managed to snag him, but I am so grateful.
PS – ROBERT MADE SOMETHING AWESOME
Speaking of my husband, he also has a blog post up today about our wedding. Remember our friend Kelsey, who was originally supposed to do my hair and makeup? Well she came to visit us for a weekend and we did a photo shoot of me and Robert in our wedding outfits, and Robert turned that into one of his fantastical Photoshop creations. You can read all about it here.
Thank you to Jessica Thorpe from Glen Mountain Market in Watkins Glen, NY for sharing the cake recipe with us!
- 1¼ cup (163 g) all purpose flour
- 1¼ cup (163 g) cake flour
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ lb unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1½ cup sugar
- 6 egg yolks, room temperature
- 1⅓ cup milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 egg whites, room temperature
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 cup hazelnuts (for garnish)
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅜ cup water
- ⅝ lb cold unsalted butter
- 2.5 oz semisweet chocolate, melted
- 6 egg whites, room temperature
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup water
- 1¼ lb cold unsalted butter
- 5 tsp hazelnut extract
- Preheat the oven to 275°F.
- Place the hazelnuts on a sheet pan and roast for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until they have developed a deeper brown color and are fragrant.
- Let them cool slightly. Then place them in a kitchen towel and rub furiously until most of the skins have come off.
- Roughly chop and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare 2 cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
- Sift the flours, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
- Beat together the butter and 1½ cup sugar until light and fluffy. This should take about 5 minutes.
- Add the egg yolks one at a time while continuing to cream the butter mixture. Mix one additional minute after they have all been added.
- Add in the vanilla extract, and then alternately add the milk and flour mixture, mixing just until combined. (I did 3 installments of the flour mixture and 2 installments of the milk.) Do not overmix.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Slowly add the additional ⅔ cup sugar while continuing to whisk until medium glossy peaks are achieved.
- Starting with ¼ of the egg white mixture, gently fold that into the rest of the batter. Fold in the remaining egg whites ¼ at a time. Try to keep as much air in the egg whites as possible.
- Spoon the batter into the cupcake pans, filling them about ¾ full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until they are lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let them cool completely before frosting them.
- Beat egg whites with a whisk until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar while continuing to whisk until firm, glossy peaks form.
- Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Then stop stirring and DO NOT stir again. Let the sugar and water boil until the temperature on a candy thermometer reaches 248°F.
- Remove the sugar syrup at exactly 248°F and pour into the egg white mixture while whisking quickly, being careful not to pour the syrup on the whisk or bowl edge.
- Add butter to the egg white and sugar syrup mixture at a medium pace, one tablespoon at a time. If the mixture appears to curdle, whisk quickly until it comes back together. The idea here is to bring the temperature of the egg and syrup mixture down with the addition of cold butter, but not too quickly or too slowly.
- Add the melted chocolate while continuing to whisk.
- Continue to whip the frosting for ten more minutes, or until very glossy and light with no air pockets.
- Follow the directions above for the chocolate filling, but add the hazelnut extract instead of the chocolate near the end. Feel free to use more or less hazelnut extract to get the taste you prefer.
- Using a large pastry tip or something similar, take a chunk out of each cupcake from the top and fill that space with the chocolate filling.
- Frost the tops with the hazelnut buttercream.
- Top each cupcake with some of the chopped roasted hazelnuts.
- Use your leftover cake scraps and frosting to make cake truffles and roll them in your leftover hazelnuts.