Isn’t that a pretty cupcake?
This is a somewhat convoluted way to a chocolate cupcake – it’s actually a cake recipe – but the result was worth it. These would be perfect for Valentine’s Day or any celebration. These do take some effort but anything decadent does. The recipe is from Baking by Dorie Greenspan, one of my go-to cookbooks. It is from the Celebration Cakes section so that should tell you something right there.
Here goes nothin’….
For the cake:
(I made 1 1/2 of a batch so my photos will look like a lot of batter for the ingredients listed. Well, it is! I needed quite a few cupcakes for the firemen.)
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
10 TBS unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 oz bittersweet chocolate melted and cooled
1/2 cup buttermilk OR whole milk at room temperature
1/2 cup boiling water
4 oz semisweet or milk chocolate, finely chopped or 2/3 cup mini chips
For the frosting:
(since I was making cupcakes I only made one batch of frosting)
1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 large)
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup of water
1 TBSP pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°
Put cupcake liners in a cupcake pan and spray with cooking spray. My batch and a half ended up making 30 cupcakes so best guess is that one batch will make 20? I also have a husband that insists upon a bowl of batter so it might have made 32, who knows. But back to baking….
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set this aside.
Using my stand mixer I beat the butter until it was creamy. Then I added the sugars and let it go at med-high speed for three minutes. The eggs went in, one at a time, beating for a full minute after each one.
Then the vanilla. Don’t be afraid if it looks a bit curdled at this point. Mine is also quite yellow because of my homegrown eggs. The yolks do that. They are startlingly bright in anything I cook.
Next, add the melted, cooled chocolate.
Add the dry ingredients in thirds alternating with the buttermilk/milk starting and ending with the flour mixture. It is going to look VERY thick at the end of this process. Don’t worry.
Mix in the boiling water. This thins the batter considerably.
Now using a spatula, add the chopped chocolate or chips and stir them in.
Fill the cupcake cups 2/3rd full and bake for about 18 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack.
Making the frosting is a simple but you must be very careful because you are working with boiling sugar water and it is H.O.T. I was alone when I was doing this so I do not have photos.
Put the egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer.
Get your candy thermometer.
Put the sugar, water and cream of tartar in a small pan on the stove and stir to combine.
Bring the mixture to a boil over med-high heat, cover and let boil for 3 minutes.
Remove the lid and insert the candy thermometer.
When the temperature hits 235° start whipping the egg whites.
IF THEY GET TO THE STIFF PEAK STAGE BEFORE THE SUGAR MIXTURE HITS 242° TURN THE MIXER TO LOW TO WAIT FOR THE SUGAR WATER.
When the sugar water hits 242°remove it from the heat and SLOWLY pour it down the side of your bowl. Stand back in case it spatters. DO NOT POUR IT DIRECTLY ONTO THE WHISK.
IT IS HOT.
IT WILL BURN.
Trust me on this one.
Add the vanilla and keep beating until you have a light, delicious, airy bit of fluff in the bowl, about 5 minutes. Mine took about 4 minutes. Watch it so you don’t overbeat it. This is Italian Meringue and it is about the most heavenly thing you can put on a cake next to Italian Buttercream. I could have eaten the whole bowl if I didn’t have cupcakes to frost. I won’t discuss what happened to the leftover frosting.
Nope, no discussions about that whatsoever!
I frosted the cupcakes very fluffily if that is a word.
The Italian meringue tastes like vanilla air so I wasn’t afraid of loading it on. It will pipe and hold a shape as well.
I decorated them with red sanding sugar and silver edible glitter. Obviously the colors can change with the season and I have this idea in the back of my head to dip them in a chocolate coating. Doesn’t THAT sound like heaven on a plate? I’ll have to work on it.
They went off to the fire meeting and I heard they were well received.
I will not comment on whether I taste tested two or three.