Sunday, March 16, 2008

Let Them Eat Cupcakes...

So the focus of my life most of the time besides my allergic bacterial rat and my cute yet grubby car-working hubby is typically food. How to make it, when and where to eat it. Though lately more how to make it and more specifically cupcake it rather than other types of sweets.

Every time I have yet another cupcake, and it's often since cupcakeries are popping up like rashes around here...I think oh this is lovely, this is divine, and then 5 bites later, ugh this is gross, this is too sweet. I am so over them.

Until the next time...when I spot a cupcake in a window or the word 'bakery' as I drive by. And I perk up. And inevitably I'm eating another cupcake.

So lately I've started learning how to bake them. Anyone can mix up some boxed cake mix and slap on some Betty Crocker frosting (the bomb by the way)..I've been doing it for years. But really baking cupcakes? Like from scratch? With melted chocolate and buttermilk? Whaaa?

My 2nd experiment was already posted below and they came out wonderful...rave reviews from the peanut gallery, aka aforementioned husband and my ladies at work who haven fab with the feedback.

So I've started collecting recipes. When I eat cupcakes anywhere now it's almost more of a taste test. How do they get the frosting to be so buttery? Where did they get this CUTE cupcake paper?

Today was a lazy Saturday and so I decided to put all my hard research to work for me. I combined a handful of double chocolate/devils food/uberrichgoingtokillyou chocolate recipes from cookbooks and the internet and made these.

Double Chocolate Cupcakes.

and then I reserved half the batter and made two variations for testing.

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes
Chocolate Kahlua Cupcakes

The jury is still out on what is the favorite. Got experimental on the frosting too.

Fun baking facts I've learned...the hard way mostly!!
--Mini cuppies only take slightly more than 1/2 the baking time of biggies.
--Test your oven's temperature. No seriously. I thought ours was off by maybe 10 degrees. Try FIFTY. So now when I want 350 I have to put in 400. Crazy huh? No wonder our chicken always took forever to cook.
--When recipes say 17-22 minutes, start checking at 15 and keep testing til clean. Depending on your oven and your ingredients, it might 15, don't learn this the hard way.
--Let cupcakes cool for a few minutes in the pan before removing to cooling rack. Don't leave them too long in the pan or else the heat might continue to cook them a little too much.

So without further ado, the successful end-result recipe and notes on variations.

Basic Double Chocolate Cupcakes

2c hot brewed coffee
1 1/4c unsweetened cocoa powder (Hersheys)
3/4c well shaken buttermilk
1/4c sour cream
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2c baking sugar
2c flour all purpose
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs & 1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla

in med bowl, mix hot coffee with cocoa til paste forms.
in another med bowl, mix buttermilk & sour cream, whisk til combined.
in third med bowl, mix flour, baking soda, powder, salt in med bowl.
cream butter in a stand mixer, add sugar and beat til fluffy, about 3 minutes.
add eggs to mix, then vanilla, blend til combined.
add buttermilk bowl to cocoa coffee bowl, whisk til liquid and creamy.
add flour bowl and cocoa buttermilk bowls to stand mixer, alternating, til combined. do not overbeat, just blend til combined.

spoon into liners. bake 350 for 17-20 min or until tester comes out clean.

--add peppermint extract into batter for a chocolate mint cupcake. use any type of frosting.
--add kahlua into batter for a chocolate kahlua cupcake. for kahlua frosting, beat heavy cream until thickened. add kahlua, cocoa powder, confectioners sugar. beat til soft peaks form. don't overbeat or it will turn into butter.

mixing coffee and cocoa w/buttermilk cream

sugar and butter creaming.

mixing cocoa and buttersugar.

in the cups!

frseh outta the oven & cooling..

kahlua variation with kahlua whipped cream.

chocolate cuppies with kahlua whipped w/shavings.

mini kahlua with cream and espresso bean.


How To Eat A Cupcake said...

I LOVE Kahlua whipped cream!! I like the way you frosted them!

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Ohhh yeah...... on the Lemon Raspberry cupcakes, I used Wilton 1M tip! :)

Amelia said...

Hey, you did a great job frosting the Kahlua cupcakes! Would love for you to show me your technique /=]

Janna & Derrick said...

Super cute!
Looks like you have some followers now! Yay!
Are you not totally digging your icing gun?

Mara said...

Oooh YES...the Wilton 1M...that is on my list to get like ASAP!!! It seems everyone uses the 1M for all their big puffy fabulousness.

Janna...actually I like my icing gun but I want to start moving towards the pastry bag thing...I need to learn to do that instead, because my icing gun is too small, I'm always refilling it and the big tips don't work on it..I even tried getting larger couplers to no avail. So I ordered some pastry bags and couplers and need to get some larger tips...!

Did I tell you I am taking a cake decorating class at end of month?? I better learn something good from it! hehee. Miss you guys!