Posts Tagged ‘Cupcakes’

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes

February 20, 2011

The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake

This is easily my favorite cupcake ever. Generally speaking cupcakes aren’t a big deal to me. The ratio of frosting to cake is a turn off and yet here I am singing the praises of these and look how much frosting there is! There is even filling and I still like them. I like them a lot. A little cake, a little truffle, and some of the smoothest, silkiest frosting ever. What’s not to like?

Look at that filling!

The cake is moist, the crumb is tender. The filling and frosting which seem as if they’d be over the top are perfect together. They’re definitely worthy of a special occasion.

The people we shared these with loved them as well. The recipe originally came from Cook’s Illustrated, June 2010. You can get the recipe here. They’re a bit of work, but definitely worth the effort!


Ultimate Lemon Filled Cupcakes

June 24, 2010

Instead of writing up a whole new post about these cupcakes I’m going to pretty much cut and paste from an email to my friend Melinda.

It’s been sort of a funny day all due to some cupcakes. It’s a good thing I like to learn things in the kitchen, because it’s been a day full of learning!! LOL!

Last night I got the bright idea to make cupcakes from a recipe I’ve had my eye on for a couple of years. It graced the cover of the Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2008 magazine. It’s called Ultimate Lemon Layer Cake . I thought I’d try it as cupcakes, fill them with the lemon curd, and ice them with the seven minute frosting. That seems reasonable doesn’t it? We’re going to go watch our son ride in his first race at the track tonight and I figured I could have the fun of making them, and in cupcake form they’d be easy to give to his teammates to enjoy and then my husband and I wouldn’t be tempted by all the leftover cake.

So yesterday at about 5 pm I made the cupcakes. They are the ugliest cupcakes I’ve ever seen. They have no dome. That’s not to say they didn’t rise. They did. They just didn’t dome and they oozed ever so slightly onto the muffin pan. Thank goodness I didn’t use the silicone liners or I would have really had a mess!! Of course that little bit that oozed over stuck to the muffin tin, so when I took them out they almost all ended up with torn edges. They tasted great, but they were ugly and I was pretty discouraged. I went to a meeting and got home at about 9:30. At that point I thought, oh heck! I should make the lemon curd and if worse comes to worse I’ll chop up the cupcakes and make the mess into a “trifle”. So I made the lemon curd and put it in the refrigerator and went to bed.

This morning, I thought. Hey! They won’t be that ugly if you fill them and frost them. So I filled them, and I’m here to tell you that isn’t as easy it sounds, but it wasn’t a total disaster. (By the way the lemon curd is fantastic!!!!!) Unfortunately I have twice as much lemon curd as I need because it doesn’t take nearly as much lemon curd to fill cupcakes as it does to fill 4 layers of cake. (In the original recipe you make two 9″ layers, split them and fill them.)

After they’re filled I move on to the seven minute frosting. It seems like everything is coming along just fine but it will not cool off enough to make nice peaks! What the heck!? I decided that my new hand held mixer would be fine for this job. My old one was great for this. The new one has a nice whisk attachment. After an absurd length of time I realize the frosting is never going to cool enough because of the stupid mixer! The heat from the mixer was keeping the frosting at about 80 degrees!! So, I dig out the Kitchen Aid stand mixer, dump the frosting in there and in about 3 minutes I have beautiful frosting. The whole time I was thinking, of my grandma who used to do this with a hand powered rotary beater. Remember those?

The cupcakes are now frosted. The cake part is fine crumbed and moist, the lemon curd filling is fantastic, and even the seven minute frosting is great. They have you put some lemon juice in it and it’s the perfect amount to make it more interesting without being too much.

All that said, I enjoyed the cupcakes and had a ball making them. Now I will be so happy to give them away. This is a good enough recipe to repeat, but definitely in cake form. NOT cupcake form!! And, the frosting didn’t cover all the ugliness. There are some beauties and some toads. Frankly, I got tired of trying to make them pretty and sort of gave up. Those young athletic bikers won’t give a hoot what they look like!

By the way, someone had planned to order a cake from Byerly’s! On the one hand I should have let him, on the other hand I had a lot of fun even though it doesn’t sound like it.

Here’s a photo of the inside of an ugly one.

Last, but not least the recipe. Someone posted it here.

It’s definitely worth making. But! A word from someone one year older, and one recipe wiser. Make the layer cake as indicated in the recipe. It isn’t cupcake friendly.

September baking

September 30, 2009

Here we are observing the last day of September. It’s been a super busy month for me and I wanted to let you know that I’m still here and have good intentions of getting some baking related things posted to the blog. While I catch my breath I’ll let you know about some of things I’ve recently baked.

Earlier this month I mentioned that my two children both celebrate September birthdays. I managed to get my son’s birthday cake on the blog, but so far haven’t gotten my daughter’s cake on the web. She requested something “chocolatey” with “really good frosting”. I was tempted to make my “go to” chocolate cake from “Applehood and Motherpie”. The recipe came to me years ago via my sister-in-law who is originally from the Rochester, NY area. However, I was in the mood to try something new and different. If you’ve been reading this blog you know I try a lot of recipes from Cookie Madness, King Arthur Flour, Cook’s Illustrated, as well as a few other tried and true sources. The Sour Cream Fudge Layer Cake on page 362 of Baking Illustrated won out, and we were all glad it did. The cake is smooth, rich, and chocolatey. The chocolate butter icing is the perfect compliment to the cake and from someone who doesn’t love frosting or icings that says a lot. Someone posted the recipe here.

Sour Cream Fudge Layer Cake

Sour Cream Fudge Layer Cake

Another thing I made to celebrate birthdays was another chocolate cupcake. This time I used the Favorite Fudge Birthday Cake recipe from King Arthur Flour. I liked these better than the cupcakes I recently wrote about from Food and Wine. The texture was better and I liked the chocolate flavor better. I was so happy to give them to my daughter to share with her bicycle racing friends. I was told that her team likes having a teammate whose Mom likes to bake.

Chocolate Cupcake from KA Flour recipe

Chocolate Cupcake from KA Flour recipe

Split view so you can see how nicely they dome.

Split view so you can see how nicely they dome.

This past weekend I made some of the best homemade pizza I’ve ever made. I ordered the Perfect Pizza Blend from King Arthur Flour and it’s almost like magic. I used the recipe provided on the bag of flour. The dough was so easy to work with and the crust was crispy and flavorful. I will definitely try to keep a supply of this on hand as we like to make our own pizza and their flour mixture truly made a difference in the end result. I don’t have any pictures of the finished product, but don’t hesitate to try it out for yourself.

Homemade bagels were also on the agenda this past weekend. We had guests to help us eat up the pizza and bagels so don’t worry about the two of us looking as round as pizza and bagels! The bagels were interesting. They tasted good, and the crust was thin and slightly crispy, but they seemed too moist. The best bagel I’ve ever had is a Bruegger’s Bagel. I understand that in the eyes of those who know their bagels, they don’t even count as real bagels, but in the upper midwest there aren’t a lot of good bagels to be had. The homemade bagels were very good, but they weren’t quite what I expected. I’ll try them again someday but I’m going to do a lot more research before I dive in again. I got the recipe here. Once again, I have no photos, but I did have happy guests with full tummys who were in awe that I could or would make homemade bagels for them.

Two weekends ago I made these Sticky Buns again to share with twelve friends for brunch one Sunday morning. I can’t recommend this recipe enough. They are so simple, and everyone loves them.

I’m going to be gone a lot in October, but I’ll be home just enough to do some baking so don’t forget to stop by and say hello.

Chocolate Cupcakes

August 31, 2009
Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

I’ve been on the lookout for a reliable chocolate cupcake recipe and I believe I’ve found it in this recipe. The cupcakes have a tight, moist crumb, and and are chocolaty, but not over the top. The original recipe comes from Food and Wine. I made a few minor changes so I’ll write up the recipe as I made it. I made a different frosting recipe as well and while it was good I think it overpowered the cupcakes. I’d like to try the cupcakes with a plain vanilla frosting and see how the chocolate and vanilla play off one another.

I baked my cupcakes in silicone cupcake molds, which I sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray. They slipped right out of the molds, but next time I’ll use paper liners. It seems that the batter had nothing to cling to as the cupcakes rose while baking so while they had nice little domes some of them were a bit off center due to slipping around in the cupcake molds.

Chocolate Cupcakes from Food and Wine with changes
4 T. butter ( I used salted)
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. water
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. plus 2 T. cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 t. espresso powder
3/4 t. baking soda
dash of salt
1 large egg
1/4 c. yogurt
1 t. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray silicone cupcake molds with vegetable cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.
Measure vegetable oil and water in a glass measuring cup and add the butter. Warm in the microwave until the butter is almost melted. Set aside.
Into a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda and salt. Add the egg and beat thoroughly. Add the butter mixture and beat thoroughly, scraping the bowl. Add the yogurt and vanilla and beat thoroughly scraping the bowl.
Divide the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake molds and bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean after testing.
Let the cupcakes cool in the molds for 2-3 minutes and then tip them out of the molds to cool completely on a wire rack.

Chocolate Frosting
4 T. butter
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1 t. espresso powder
1.5 c. powdered sugar
2.5 T. milk
1/2 t. vanilla

Melt the butter in a glass mixing bowl. Stir in cocoa and espresso until completely incorporated into the butter. Add 1/2 of the milk and mix, then 1/2 of the powdered sugar and mix. Repeat until all of the milk and powdered sugar are mixed in. Stir in the vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy.

Frost the completely cooled cupcakes.