#header-inner {background-position: center !important; width: 100% !important;}

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bookworm Cupcakes (the "dirt" cupcakes aka Devil's Food Cupcakes)

Because I was unable to decide between chocolate or yellow cupcakes for the baby shower, I decided to make both. Originally, I planned to use all of the cupcakes as part of the bookworm and just incorporate the different flavors...but then I got the brilliant idea to make chocolate cupcakes, but to use the chocolate cupcakes to signify the dirt that the bookworm was burrowing in. I set about finding a good chocolate cupcake recipe when lo and behold, Sugar Plum posted a Devil's Food Cupcake recipe. Emily's blog is one of my all-time favorites and it's no secret that she's an all-star baker, so I quick my search and decided to make her recipe.

I of course snuck a few bites of the batter while making the cupcakes and it tasted absolutely sinful, so I was very excited to test the finished product. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. They had good flavor and were nice and chocolately, but they lacked that moist texture that a cupcake ought to have. I doubt Emily's recipe was flawed and rather I'm guessing I must've overcooked them. I baked them for 20 minutes, the low end of Emily's directions, but maybe my oven was excessively hot or something. Boo.

The redeeming factor on these cupcakes, however, was the frosting. I thought this frosting resembled a mousse and I won't hesitate to use it again! I was particularly proud of myself since it required heating a pudding-like mixture, and we all know how THAT went last time ;)

I might give this recipe another go and try baking for fewer minutes and see if that helps to capture both the intense flavor and the required moistness!

Devil's Food Cupcakes
recipe taken from Sugar Plum

-1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1/3 cup dark or regular unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 cup oil
-1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
-1 cup granulated sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-3 large eggs
-1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
-1 cup buttermilk

Frosting Ingredients:
-2/3 cup granulated sugar
-1/3 cup all-purpose flour
-3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/8 tsp salt
-1 cup milk
-1 cup unsalted butter, softened
-1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 24 muffin cups with liners.
2. To make the cupcakes, in a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat oil, butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla, until creamy, about 2 minutes.
4. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Beat in 1 cup melted chocolate chips until combined.
5. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, until well combined, about 2-3 minutes.
6. Divide batter into muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until just set, and a toothpick inserted into cake comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
7. To make the frosting, in a small saucepan, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, and milk. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Boil 1 minute or until thickened; remove pan from heat and strain mixture into a small bowl. Cool completely in the refrigerator or freezer.
8. Beat the butter until creamy, about 1 minute, in a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed. Beat in "chocolate pudding" mixture until well combined, about 1 minute. Beat in melted chocolate until well combined and fluffy about 2 minutes. Spread or pipe frosting onto cupcakes.