Sunday, April 4, 2010
Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream
What does a cupcake say to you? To me, it says I'm all yours in my sweet and delectable goodness. Unlike any other dessert, which can be shared, a cupcake is unique in that it offers an individual sized treat meant for you and only you. I like that.
A cupcake also says perfection. Perfection in baking and also in frosting. The cake has to be moist and the frosting, a perfect peak of goodness. This thought made me quite nervous as I embarked on my first ever attempt at making cupcakes. I have long been a cupcake fan but I wasn't brave enough to take it on. That changed this weekend. One of our friends was hosting a baby shower and I offered (a little hesitantly) to bring the cupcakes. I needed a tried and tested recipe for a chocolate cupcake and I knew exactly where I could find this. One of my favorite blogs, Canelle et Vanille offered a chocolate cupcake recipe which looked absolutely spectacular (all of her picutres look spectacular btw). It was a recipe originally from the Magnolia bakery in New York and after seeing Aran's pictures, I knew I had found what I was looking for.
The baking of the cupcakes went quite well, it was the frosting which had me in a bind. I had no experience with frosting before, so my first attempts at piping these onto the cupcakes weren't exactly pretty. I abandoned the piping and just slathered them on instead. And then for an extra cute as a button touch, I adorned them with a sugar candy. I was delighted with the results even though mine didn't look as pretty.
Chocolate cupcakes (Original recipe from Magnolia Bakery can be found here.)
2 cups All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (I used dark brown instead since I only had that)
4 large eggs at room temperature
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Line 2 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake papers and set aside. ( I had only one pan so I baked these in two batches, reusing after cooling the first batch for 20 mins).
- Melt the chocolate. I melted mine in the microwave and let it cool for around 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl, sift the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the molten chocolate, mixing well until incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are well incorporated, but do not overbeat.
- Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.
- Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake about 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the cupcake center comes out clean.
- Cool the cupcakes in the tins for about 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
- Pipe or spread the icing on top of the cupcakes.
Vanilla Buttercream frosting (Recipe from Magnolia bakery can be found here, I halved it)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3-4 cups of confectioners sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 2 cups of the sugar, milk and vanilla.
- On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.
- Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of spreadable consistency.
- I added a few drops of blue color to the icing.
Makes 24 cupcakes.