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The Last Chocolate Cupcake Recipe You’ll Ever Need!

April 12, 2010
This past weekend was a weekend of double takes. First, I made chocolate cupcakes for the 29th birthday of this blog’s founder and eponymous star, Sarah… I followed up Act 1 with an encore of decadent chocolate on chocolate cake for my Bible study. I know, I’m not really exercising my range here. But I don’t really care, it’s chocolate.This double duty was matched by the fact that I had Pad Thai not once, but TWICE this weekend. (anyone jealous?) However, I’d like to quote the iconic old Hollywood actress Mae West who once said, “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!” Amen sista. And this weekend was definitely wonderful. Particularly the chocolate cupcakes (IMO)…

This cupcake recipe is from the latest issue of Cook’s Illustrated magazine (which, as many of you know, serves as my culinary cornerstone, nay, my culinary Bible… sorry Jesus). It’s touted by CI as being the “Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake,” and needless to say, such bold sweeping claims must be tested and proven in my kitchen before they are to be believed… and I’m happy to announce that this recipe lived up to its name… frickin’ ULTIMATE!!

Let’s start with the Ganache Filling:

2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1/4 heavy cream
1 TBSP confectioners’ sug

1. Place chocolate, cream and sugar in medium microwave safe bowl, and heat on high for 20-30 seconds… enough to melt the mixture. Whisk until smooth and put in the fridge for no more than 30 minutes… enough to firm it up.

Chocolate Cupcakes:
3 oz of bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1/3 cup of cocoa powder (I refuse to use dutch-processed, since they fluff it with all that alkali and make it taste nasty)
3/4 cup of hot coffee
3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking SODA
6 TBSP of veg oil (I subbed it with coconut oil, because it’s so much healthier and tastier! made a difference!)
2 large eggs
2 tsp of white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract1. Place chocolate and cocoa in medium bowl, pour the hot coffee over the mixture and whisk until smooth. Set in fridge and let it cool completely… 20 mins. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in med. bowl and set aside.

2. Whisk oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla into cooled cocoa-chocolate mixture until nice and smooth. Add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

3. Divide batter evenly among muffin pans… only makes 12! Bummer. Then place one slightly round teaspoon on top of each cupcake… don’t worry about pressing it in (like I did), because it will sink! Promise! 🙂
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 17-19 minutes until cupcakes are set and are slightly firm to the touch. Let the cupcakes cool for 1 hr (take them out of the muffin tin after about 10 minutes).
Swiss Buttercream Chocolate Frosting:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
12 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1 tbsp pieces
6 oz of bittersweet chocolate (melted and cooled to 85-100 degrees)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Combine sugar, egg whites and salt in double boiler… allow the water in the double boiler to be simmering. Whisking gently but constantly, hear mixture until slightly thickened, foamy and 150 degrees… 2-3 minutes… give or take.
2. Place ingredients into stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat mixture on medium speed until consistency of shaving cream… don’t overwhip! add butter 1 piece at a time until it’s smooth and creamy. Frosting make look curdled after half of butter as been added. It will smooth out though. Once all butter is added, add cooled chocolate and vanilla and mix until combined. Increase speed to med-high and beat until light and fluffy… about 30 seconds… Voila!
3. Now it’s time to frost those puppies!! Place about 2-3 tablespoons of icing on each cupcake. Using a non-serated knife or metal icing knife thing (technical term, but I need to get one of those!!!), push out frosting from center towards the edge of the cupcake, then smooth out the edges of the cupcake! dazzling darling… simply mauvelous! You can grate some chocolate, make some pretty curls or put Sprinkles on top… but they are ready to be served!
Below are examples of the cupcake… this actually a picture of one of my rejects – notice the weird hole (this was the last one to be eaten… which was promptly devoured as I wrote this post!)…

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2010 9:56 am

    These are amazingly delicious and my favorite of all the presents I got! I finished the last one last night. 😦

  2. April 15, 2010 2:36 pm

    I'm sad I was too full of pad thai and sausage salad and friend spring rolls to try one. Next time!

  3. April 15, 2010 3:25 pm

    If you liked the cupcakes. . . you should try their brownie recipe – not the one that CI does using cocoa powder, but the other one. . . that uses only baking squares. It's like crack.

  4. April 16, 2010 11:28 am

    Shelly – I'll have to check that out… mmm, brownies.

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