This is chocolate going where no chocolate has gone before. Total cocoa intensity. With each bite of these babies your mind will buzz a little. A buzz of joy, that only real chocolate lovers will understand. If you join this cake with a good cup of java the world will be yours to conquer. Or at least it will feel like it.
SUPER-MOIST CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
(slightly modified from Sally’s Baking Addiction)
3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (42g) natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla paste
1/2 cup (120ml) milk soured with a squirt of lemon juice (or commercial buttermilk)
frosting (recipe follows)
sprinkles to decorate (optional)
Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. If you have a second pan, line two more muffin tins, the recipe will likely make 14 cupcakes.
Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla paste until completely smooth. Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then half of the home-made buttermilk. Gently whisk for a few seconds. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and buttermilk. Stir until just combined; do not overmix.
Spoon the batter into the liners. Fill only halfway. Bake for 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
BLACKOUT CHOCOLATE FROSTING
(from Kara’s Couture Cakes)
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup black cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
a little less than 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
black gel food color (I used Chefmaster)
Ice the cupcakes once they are completely cold. Have fun with sprinkles!
to print the recipes, click here
Comments: Sally’s Baking Addiction is a fantastic site for bakers. I’ve mentioned before that one of my nieces in Brazil is a great cake baker, to the extent that for a while she was doing it professionally. She baked super fancy and decorated cakes for birthday celebrations, in a special-order kind of deal. One day we were talking about blogs and cookbooks, and she mentioned Sally’s blog (not mine, mind you) as one of her favorite sources exactly for the reason that her recipes are so reliable. It was fun to learn that we subscribed and faithfully the same site for years without knowing we both did. But I digress. Sally’s chocolate cupcakes deliver exactly what she promises: moist, decadent, and perfectly shaped little concoctions. The most important instruction in her recipe is to fill the muffin tins only halfway to the top. Not a teaspoon more. It will seem inadequate, but resist the temptation to add more batter. They will bake perfectly, without a super inflated dome that always sinks in unflattering ways as the cake cools.
The frosting. Normally, I am not wild about American buttercream, but this is not your regular kind. For starters, the black cocoa powder is so intense, that it can stand up to the extra sugar. Also, the addition of heavy cream is a game changer. If you are counting calories or saturated fat, this is not your best option for dessert. But if your life-style allows some room for indulging, this might very well be your best option for dessert. The cake with the dark cocoa icing is a match that will rock that world you are about to conquer.
I hope this photo conveys how deliciously moist this cupcake turns out. You can pile the icing higher if you dare, but I think a bit of moderation is in order. It is very rich and satisfying. As to decoration, I pretty much opened my box of sprinkles and had a blast with them. The dark background is friendly to so many color combinations! Pure white (those tiny marshmallows looked adorable on the cake), red, pink, coral, bright mixed colors, or you can use a color scheme geared to a particular occasion. Come to think of it, St Patrick’s Day could showcase some of these with green and white sprinkles…
I close this post with a daring statement. Ready? Here we go: these are the best chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever had. There. I said it. You must bake a batch…
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