Monday, June 01, 2009

Dark Chocolate Cuppycakes with Vanilla Buttercream

I had people coming over for a scrapbooking group on Saturday, so I decided to try this recipe. I frosted them with vanilla buttercream that I made based on the recipe here.

These came out pretty good... as the Cast Sugar blog mentions, they are sort of like brownies in cupcake form.

Cupcake recipe thoughts:
- I used 85% cacao Lindt chocolate because I had no time to go anywhere besides my local grocery, but will probably try the Trader Joe's Valrhona chocolate recommended in the recipe if I make these again. They came out really good, so I probably will.
- The chocolate mixture in this recipe requires a little bit of fussing, so don't try this one if you have never ever baked anything before. Pick a simpler one first. :)
- I used cupcake pans with silicone baking cups and did not use any parchment paper as the recipe suggested. My cuppycakes seemed to come out fine.
- I might want to tweak this recipe a little bit next time to see if I can get the cupcakes a little more moist... maybe 2 sticks of butter instead of one and a half?

Frosting recipe thoughts:
- The frosting recipe calls for 2 tsp of vanilla extract, but I ended up using 2 and a quarter tsp because it was too sweet and not vanilla-y enough for my taste. I would have happily gone up to 2.5 tsp or more, but I didn't want to keep mixing the stuff and make it all funky. I want to use ground vanilla beans in the frosting next time.
- I used about 6 cups of confectioner's sugar in the frosting. The recipe calls for 6-8. I am going for 8 next time in order to make it thicker, but I think it needs REAL vanilla in order to do this and not be overly sweet, at least on these rich, chocolatey cuppycakes.

General baking thoughts:
- At first, I felt like the vanilla buttercream was too sweet for these cupcakes, but in the end it kinda grew on me.
- I think these cuppycakes would also be good with the really yummy cocoa cream cheese frosting that I've made in the past. May have to try that sometime.
- I have switched washing methods for my silicone baking cups due to feedback from that she could taste soap residue on my pink lemonade cuppycakes. I thought maybe she was just REALLY sensitive to soap taste (because I ate another one of the cupcakes after that and failed to detect the soap taste). Then later, I got a cupcake that tasted soapy to me as well. Apparently, a couple of the baking cups did not get adequately de-soaped. Ew! I did not notice any soapiness with these chocolate ones after switching washing methods... but I think you might only really notice with something like the pink lemonade ones that have a more delicate flavor. Hopefully the issue is resolved now. *blush*

For posterity, in case the blogs I linked to ever happen to go away, here are the recipes...

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

3 to 4 oz. Valrhona 85% cacao (or any bittersweet chocolate)
12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 1/8 c. sugar
4 eggs
5/8 c. flour
1/8 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
3/4 tsp. baking powder
Pinch salt

Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper and laying out cupcake cups. Preheat oven to 350 F.

Chop chocolate and transfer into the bowl of a standing mixer. Add butter to the chocolate and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until chocolate melts and butter is combined.
Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Let mixture cool for 10 minutes. Beat in an electric mixer for 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing for 10 seconds between each.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into the mixture, return to the electric mixer, and mix until blended.

Scoop batter into cupcake cups and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature
6-8 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup milk

1. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment
2. Beat butter at medium-high speed until creamy
3. Add half of the sugar, the vanilla and the milk. Beat until combined
4. Gradually add remaining sugar until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like.


We had a few extra cupcakes with no frosting because we ran out. So I tried another recipe for vanilla buttercream this evening on the remaining cuppycakes.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting #2:

3 c. + 3 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. milk
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

This is just a variation on the buttercream recipe I liked so much with the pink lemonade cupcakes. It turned out much better than the first vanilla buttercream, in my opinion. I want to try using heavy whipping cream next time instead of milk. :)

No comments: