Monday, September 28, 2009

Recipe #1: Cupcakes—My First Success

I want to apologize for the horrible picture quality. I couldn't find my camera, so I used my phone. It isn't the best camera
So, I have discovered my first tool: food blogs. Though it was kind of deflating to see how well done these other food blogs are, I realize that I need all the help I can get (as I am a cooking novice).
As far as baked goods go, cakes and its midget counterpart cupcakes aren't something that really thrill me. I guess that is why I chose to make cupcakes first—I wasn't expecting much. The other reason I chose this recipe is because the writer compared the cupcake to a thin mint cupcake, and since thin mints are one of the top two best Girls Scout cookies (the other, of course, being Caramel deLites), that sounded amazing. But that comparison went out the window when I decided not to add the mint extract in because it didn't sound as appealing after tasting the chocolate, which was rich and that nice bittersweet taste. Chocolate is good enough on its own.
For this recipe, I found a blog with a beautiful picture, which is always the selling point. It turns out the cupcake itself was pretty darn delicious also. Here is a link to the site and the recipe is below with my commentary in bold. I deleted the mint extract part, but it is shown on the linked version.

Now, for my ranking, as far as cupcakes go this was a delicious blend of rich chocolate and sweet (and salty) frosting. It made a nice blend. So, for now, this recipe is innocent until proven guilty, meaning it is my chocolate cupcake recipe of choice until another replaces it. That means that I believe it is quality enough to make it into "my bakery," but there may be others out there that are better.

Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe
Cupcake Ingredients
•8 Tbsp (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
•1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa
•2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
•3/4 cup flour
•3/4 teaspoon baking powder
•1/2 teaspoon baking soda
•2 large eggs
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•3/4 cup sugar
•1 1/2 teaspoons mint extract
•1/2 cup sour cream

Optional [ok, not really optional] Buttercream Frosting Ingredients
•8 Tbsp butter, room temperature (1 stick, 4 ounces)
•1 Tbsp milk
•1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
•2 cups powdered sugar

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a muffin tin by lining it with cupcake liners. Use a double boiler or add an inch or two of water to a medium sized saucepan and place a metal bowl over it, bringing the water to a simmer. Add butter (cut into chunks), chocolate, and cocoa to the bowl. As the butter and chocolate melt, whisk until the ingredients are well combined and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to touch.
2 In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. [I didn't have a sifter, so I just used a whisk, which seemed to work well.]
3 In a large bowl (can use a mixer), beat the eggs. Add the salt, the sugar, the mint extract and beat until well combined. Slowly add in the chocolate butter mixture and beat until combined. [The first addition of the chocolate mixture was the most critical. Start slow and after you have about half of the mixture with the egg/sugar mixture, then you can add the rest of the chocolate pretty quickly.]
4 Add in half of the sifted flour mixture, mix to combine. Mix in the sour cream. [Cooking with sour cream seemed scary, but it made the cake more moist and delicious.] Mix in the remaining flour mixture.
5 Spoon the batter evenly into the lined muffin cups. [I found the cups to be fuller than I thought they would be, but they turn out ok after they are cooked.] Place in oven in middle rack. Bake for 18-20 minutes [Next time I plan on checking on the cupcakes earlier. I think around 16 minutes might be a good time to start checking on them. They seemed a little dry because they were cooked too long.], until tops spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean [I didn't try the spring back thing, but the toothpick trick is tried and true. Next time I will have to try the spring-back method.].
6 Let cool in muffin tin on a rack for 15 minutes. Then gently remove cupcakes from the tin and let cool completely before frosting.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

1 In an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Beat in milk. [I think the key here is to use room temperature butter. It makes the icing so creamy and luscious, yes luscious.]
2 Slowly add in the powdered sugar on low speed, stopping every now and then to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until light and fluffy. [Don't be afraid of adding all the powdered sugar. At first, it didn't seem that there was enough liquids to compensate for all that powdered sweet goodness, but there is. Do not worry.]Taste and add more powdered sugar if it isn't sweet enough for you.

1 comment:

  1. I have been checking your website everyday, and finally today I found you had posted the cupcakes. I will have to try them. They sound good.



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