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Monday, July 27, 2009

baking vs. dating? and the perfect chocolate cupcake

Making cakes from scratch seems like a daunting task for many, even me at times.  Over the past few years I've tested out a lot of recipes that claimed to be "the one" and usually I feel like they are a waste of time and disappointing.  Writing this I am starting to see the similarities of baking and dating...

That would have the makings for the best blog ever.

But back to the cake, I'm lucky because I do have in my possession the best chocolate cake recipe.  It is the perfect in every way.  I use it for every occasion where chocolate cake is necessary.  

Lately, every cake I've made has been a white or yellow cake usually by request of whoever I'm making it for.  Today seemed like a good day for chocolate cake but I wasn't really wanting a cake to sit around so I decided to use the perfect chocolate cake recipe to become the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe.  
Beatty's Chocolate "Cup"cakes
~from The Barefoot Contessa at Home

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake tins with foil wrappers.  

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.  In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.  With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  

Divide the batter into the cupcake pans (1 standard ice cream scoop per cup is the right amount).  Bake in the middle of the oven for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, remove from pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.   

And the frosting...

6 oz.  good semisweet chocolate
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 egg yolk, room temperature
1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

Place the chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

In a bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes.  Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioner's sugar, then beat medium speed until smooth and creamy.  Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water.  On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended.  Don't whip!  Spread immediately on the cooled cake. 

So much for waking up early to go to Pilates this morning,  I ate a cupcake as soon as I got home!  So if anyone loves chocolate (and doesn't count calories) please come get a cupcake.

Now for future reference, does anyone have the perfect white or yellow cake recipe???


Running 365 said...

I still haven't found many perfect recipes of any type. I do have a really good chocolate one that is similar to the cupcakes you made, but mine doesn't always do well for tiered cakes. I usually try a different recipes everytime I bake or cook and keep looking for those "go-to" recipes. I do have the perfect brownie recipe!

She Can't Decide said...

thanks for the comment on my blog! I agree with you, antique mirrors are so great! They have the best sheen.

p.s. your blog makes me hungry!

Ariani Viviani said...

Obrigada pela receita, não acho que seja o melhor bolo de chocolate do mundo, mas pode estar entre eles. Só acho que fica um tanto quanto macio demais para ser cupcake.