Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes: Version 2

These cupcakes are super moist (secret: boiling water!) and are topped with yummy, sugary vanilla buttercream frosting. A favorite of my sister's, decide for yourself which version of the chocolate cupcake you like best!

Makes approximately 24 cupcakes

Ingredients for cupcakes
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
1 cup whole milk

Ingredients for frosting
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream

Directions for cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 F.

Sift the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and espresso powder into a large bowl.

In another medium sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrap edges and continue to mix for another 2 minutes.

Add boiling water to the batter, stir until incorporated. Take care not to over mix. Let the batter sit for five minutes before dividing evenly into prepared tins.

Bake until a tester inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean, about 45 minutes, rotating pan halfway.

Cool cupcakes on the rack completely.

Directions for frosting
In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

Frost the cooled cupcakes and enjoy!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes

Nothing says comfort like chocolate cupcakes. Here is Ina Garten's famous Chocolate Ganache Cupcake recipe with a twist. Adding instant espresso to the batter and frosting adds depth to the chocolate, giving these treats the wow factor!

Ingredients for cake
1/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 (16-ounce) can chocolate syrup (recommended: Hershey's)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon instant espresso granules (add as much or little as you like!)

Ingredients for ganache topping
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon instant espresso granules

Line muffin pans with 12 paper liners. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. Mix in the chocolate syrup and vanilla. Add the flour and espresso granules and mix until just combined. (Don't overbeat!!!)

Scoop the batter 3/4 full (these cupcakes don't rise much!) into the muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes (not a second longer!) Let the cupcakes cool thoroughly in the pan.

For the ganache, cook the heavy cream, chocolate chips, and instant espresso in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.

Dip the top of each cupcake in the ganache. Let set. Eat with a tall glass of cold milk!

Do not refrigerate.