Monday, January 21, 2008

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

I like this recipe because it's really good and you can cut it in half to make six cupcakes. Making only six cupcakes instead of twelve is good when you live alone and don't want to be "forced" to eat a dozen cupcakes in 24 hours. Substituting regular cocoa powder works just fine. The buttercream in the picture is vanilla, chocolate, and peppermint. Make sure the sour cream and eggs area at room temperature or the cupcakes won't rise properly. At least, I think that's what happened to me. This recipe come from America's Test Kitchen.


Makes 12 (6) Does not double well. Store leftovers in the fridge, frosted or unfrosted. Serve at room temperature.


12 cupcakes (6 cupcakes)

8 T (4 T) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

2 oz (1 oz) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

½ c, 1 ½ oz (1/4 c, 3/4 oz) Dutch-processed cocoa

3/4 c, 3 3/4 oz(3/8 c, 1 7/8 oz) unbleached all purpose flour

½ tsp (1/4 tsp) baking soda

3/4 tsp (3/8 tsp) baking powder

2 (1) large egg

3/4 c, 5 1/4 oz, (3/8 c, 2 5/8oz) sugar

1 tsp (½ tsp) vanilla

½ tsp (1/4 tsp) table salt

½ c , 4 oz (1/4 c, 2 oz) sour cream

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard-sized muffin pan (cups have ½ -cup capacity) with baking cup liners.

2. Combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and fully combined. Set aside to cool until just warm to touch.

3. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl to combine.

4. Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla, and salt and whisk until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined, then sift remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is homogeneous and thick.

5. Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.

6. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes. (To frost: Mound about 2 tablespoons icing on center of each cupcake. Using small icing spatula or butter knife, spread icing to edge of cupcake, leaving slight mound in center.)


Makes about 1 ½ cups(3/4 cups), enough to frost 12 (6) cupcakes

Can be made ahead and refrigerated. Let stand at room temp to soften before using. If using a handheld mixer, increase mixing times significantly (by at least 50%).

10 T (5 T) unsalted butter, softened

½ vanilla bean, halved lengthwise

1 1/4 c, 5 oz (5/8 c, 2 ½ oz) confectioners’ sugar

pinch table salt

½ tsp (1/4 tsp) vanilla extract

1 T (½ T) heavy whipping cream

*If you skip the vanilla bean, increase the extract to 1 ½ tsp (3/4 tsp) vanilla extract

In a standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Using paring knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into butter and beat mixture at medium-high speed to combine, about 15 seconds. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl, add vanilla extract and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.


12 cupcakes (6 cupcakes)

Follow recipe for Vanilla bean Buttercream, omitting vanilla bean and heavy cream and reducing sugar to 1 cup (½ cup). After beating in vanilla extract, reduce speed to low and gradually beat in 4 ounces (2 ounces) melted and cooled semisweet or bittersweet chocolate.


Follow recipe for Easy Vanilla Bean Buttercream, omitting vanilla bean and dissolving 1 ½ tsp (3/4 tsp) instant espresso in vanilla extract and heavy cream.


Follow recipe for Easy Vanilla Bean Buttercream, omitting vanilla bean, reducing extract to 1/4 tsp (1/8 tsp), and adding 3/4 teaspoon (3/8 teaspoon) peppermint extract along with vanilla extract.

No comments: