May 20, 2010

Everybody Loves Cupcakes

Did I mention that in addition to the Brick Path quilt, I'll be making my friend Roxanne's wedding cupcakes? Her future husband likes rich, chocolatey goodness while she picked vanilla, so I'm making Devil's Food Chocolate Cupcakes with Fluffy White Icing and Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Frosting. I decided to give a new recipe a whirl for the chocolate cupcakes, so I did a trial run last night. They won't look this sloppy when I make them on Saturday...I was tired and decided to dip the cupcakes in the frosting rather than actually ice them with a spatula....which is why this cupcake has a little soft-serve swirl going on.

Below are the recipes for your baking pleasure. It's far and away the best recipe for chocolate cupcakes I've tried...although I did a little tinkering. I'm one of those people that can't leave a recipe alone...I have to tweak something just to experiment and give it my own spin. I read in another cookbook that using brown sugar instead of white really amps up the chocolate flavor and makes the cake super moist. So that's what I did.

Chocolate-Chocolate Cupcakes

adapted from Dorie Greenspan's "Baking"

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 stick (8 T) unsalted butter, at room temp
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Fir the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan with muffin cups.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until it is blended into the butter. Add the egg, then the yolk, beating for 1 minutes after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Beat in the vanilla, then reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear. Scrape down the bowl and add the buttermilk, mixing until incorporated, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Scrape down the bowl, add the melted chocolate and mix it in with the rubber spatula. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin molds.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes are dry and springy to the touch and a knife inserted into their centers comes out clean. Transfer to a baking rack and frost when cool.

Fluffy White Icing
from Nick Malgieri's "The Modern Baker"

4 large egg whites
Large pinch of salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup

Half-fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Combine the egg whites, salt, sugar, and corn syrup in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk by hand, just to mix together.

Regulate the heat under the pan of water so that it boils gently and place the bowl on the pan. Whisk gently just to keep the mixture moving until it is hot (about 130 degrees F). and all the sugar is dissolved. Place the bowl on the mixer with the whisk and whip the icing until it has cooled and becomes white and fluffy. Frost cupcakes.


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