This is going to be quick because I have had a very long and busy day.
I have had a very long and busy several days. But who hasn’t, am I right? Being a mom is busy work. Christmas is a busy time. Kid’s birthdays are a busy time. Being a mom during Christmas with a kid’s birthday is a busy, busy, busy, time.
But chocolate makes everything better, yes?
So, let’s get dirty with some chocolateness.
These babies are for my son’s birthday party tomorrow. I still get to make his actual birthday cake in a couple days. So stay tuned for that one 😉
I make cupcakes often, sometimes from scratch, sometimes from the box where I add a bunch of extra stuff to it so it really is no longer from the box. But I’m gonna share with you a really great chocolate cake recipe that I use when I wanna be all fancy mama. It’s a bit elaborate, I’m not gonna lie. There are a lot of bowls involved… you’re double boiling things… you’re stiff peak whisking things… you’re sifting things… But, it’s just so good. And old fashioned in method. And just so good.
So make this when you have the time and really wanna wow somebody. I promise they’ll appreciate it and give you mucho huggyness.
Oh. But please be careful when you’re taking pictures of these cute little cuppycakes. They’re a feisty bunch.
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
In a double boiler (glass bowl situated over a pot of water where the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water), combine the following…
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup strong coffee
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut up
Stir this while it melts (with the water simmering) until it’s smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool a bit.
In a medium bowl, sift together…
- 2 cups cake flour (see tip at bottom of post for how to make your own)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp fine salt
In another medium mixing bowl, whip (using an electric beater for faster results) until stiff peaks form…
- 4 large egg whites (reserve yolks for later use)
- 1/4 tsp, rounded cream of tartar
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the following (using an electric beater again for the ease)
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature and softened completely
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
Cream until fluffy. Then add in (slowly, while whisking)…
- your 4 reserved egg yolks
Then, slowly add in…
- your cooled, chocolate mixture from before
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Now you’re going to add your sifted flour mixture in alternation with 1 cup of buttermilk.
Add a little bit of each at a time, whisking as you go, and be sure to end with flour.
Fold in, by spatula, your reserved, whipped egg whites.
Pour batter into cupcake tins, lined with lightly greased papers. I prefer to fill mine about 3/4 of the way full.
In each cup of batter, gently press into the center…
- a small square of milk chocolate. (Such as a ‘Hershey’s miniature’, which is roughly 1/4 ounce. OR use a handful of chocolate morsels if you have those on hand.)
And if you’re left with empty cups, fill them 1/2 way with some water to ensure even baking.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-18 minutes, or until they don’t jiggle when you shake the pans.
Allow to cool in the pans until you can handle them, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Frost your cooled cupcakes with the following frosting…
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
This is my go-to frosting. I use it for everything from carrot cake to chocolate. And I make my frosting far less sweet than traditional recipes. I prefer the frosting on my cakes to be less sweet than the cake, which is unconventional but makes sense to me. I like to taste the cream cheese… and the butter… and the vanilla in my frosting. Not just sugar. When the icing is too sweet, it overshadows the cake. But feel free to adjust the sugar amount to your liking if you taste this and disagree with me. It’s your icing!
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the following…
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature and very soft
- 2 bricks (reduced fat) neufchatel cream cheese, room temperature and very soft
Once the mixture is smooth, add in…
- 1/2 cup (rounded) powdered sugar (sometimes I’ll add an extra TB, depending on the crowd)
- splash vanilla extract
- (optional- if you’re serving these to grownups only, I love adding a good splash of coffee liqueur to the frosting. It’s pretty damn good.)
Frost your cupcakes in whatever style you prefer. I like to just dollop some on top and quickly smooth with a spatula, making them kinda big and delightfully messy. But feel free to pipe!
Top each with a little semi sweet chocolate morsel if desired 😉
Note- the warmer your cupcakes, the more melty that yummy chocolate in the middle is 😉
(make your own cake flour by placing 2 TB of cornstarch into a 1 cup measuring cup. Fill that cup with flour. Sift this mixture a couple of times. Now you have 1 cup of cake flour.)
Enjoy your weekend, guys. I know I will!