Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes!!

I had been on the search for the best chocolate cupcake recipe for a while. I have tried a number of recipes, however I found one that comes from an old Cooks Illustrated, which has got to be the best I've found (so far!!). I really like cream cheese frosting with my chocolate cupcakes (or my red velvet cupcakes or my vanilla cupcakes or my carrot cupcakes ...), you could also do a devils chocolate icing if you want an extra boost of chocolatey goodness!! I've included the recipe for cream cheese icing as I think it is more colourful for Spring!

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

~ makes 12 cupcakes, do not double, if you need 24 make two separate recipes ~

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), cut into 4 pieces
2 oz bitter-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 t baking soda
3/4 t baking powder
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a standard size muffin pan with cupcake liners.

1. Combine butter, bittersweet chocolate and cocoa in a heat proof bowl. Place bowl over a pot of lightly simmering water, you may also use a bain maire / double boiler for this purpose, if you have one of these.

2. Heat the chocolate mixture until it has melted. Whisk to achieve a smooth consistency. Remove from heat and set aside to cool (to the touch).

3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder.

4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk eggs to combine. Whisk in sugar, vanilla, and salt until fluffy and fully incorporated.

5. Add chocolate mixture to sugar and egg mixture and whisk until fully combined.

6. Switch to paddle attachment. Add 1/3 sifted flour mixture. Mix to just combine.

7. Add sour cream and mix to just combine.

8. Add remaining flour mixture and mix to just combine.

9. Divide batter, evenly, among muffin pan cups.

10. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a cake tester, inserted into the center of the cupcake, comes out clean.

11. Remove and cool for 10 minutes then remove cupcakes to wire rack and let cool to room temperature, prior to icing (about 30 minutes).

Cream Cheese Icing:
1 package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 t vanilla
2 cups icing sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until very well combined (whipped).
Add vanilla and mix well to combine.
Slowly add the icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until fully incorporated.
Taste, for sweetness and consistency.
Add more icing sugar if you find that it is too loose or not sweet enough!
Once desired consistency is reached, add food colourings to colour the icing to the colour of your choice.

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