Luckily for me, these chocolate cupcakes were right on schedule.
June 3, 2010
Name of cupcakes: The Fix
Occasion:HCB, and a girl just needs her chocolate
Constituents: Chocolate butter cupcakes frosted with milk chocolate butter ganache
I have baked The Cake Bible's All-American Chocolate Butter Cake countless times since receiving the book back in like, 2003 or whenever that was. It is my go-to chocolate cake recipe--delicious, tender, chocolaty, not too sweet, all the things we love about a Rose cake recipe. So coming back to basically the same recipe I know and love and can make without question the week I needed some freakin chocolate cupcakes NOW, was perfect. Good planning Marie!
These cupcakes are mixed in the classic two-stage method: all the dry ingredients are first whirled together for about 30 seconds to mix and aerate. All the butter and some liquid is next added and beat for 90 seconds to coat the flour and protect against overmixing. Lastly, the eggs and any other liquid are added in a couple of parts and then you're done. You can have cake batter ready to bake in about 2.5 minutes!
Rose has tweaked the recipe ever so slightly--The Cake Bible version tells you to take about 1/3 of the chocolate paste and mix it in with the eggs and vanilla. The rest of the chocolate paste gets beaten in with the butter. The Heavenly Cakes version has you leave all the chocolate paste together and adds a few tablespoons of water to the eggs and vanilla. All the chocolate gets mixed in with the butter. And that's pretty much the difference between the two cakes.
Of course, Rose now gives the option of using BAPF instead of cake flour, which I have taken to doing as BAPF is so much cheaper than cake flour.
cake mise en place
(actually, you only need about 1.5 sticks of butter)
(actually, you only need about 1.5 sticks of butter)
My complaint with the recipe is that it makes 16 cupcakes. Not 12, not 24, but 16. That's one full cupcake tin, plus another cupcake tin with 4 cupcakes. That made me a little grumpy so I decided to use my silicone cupcake cups and smash all 16 of them on a baking sheet (however only 15 cups fit). I discovered that these cupcake cups must be slightly smaller than the regular paper cups, because the recipe stipulates 50g of batter per cup, which would fill the cup 3/4 full. My cupcake cups were full at 45-47 g of batter, so I ended up making 18 cupcakes total. That made me less grumpy. I baked the 3 that didn't fit on the baking sheet in the toaster oven. If Mendy can, so can I!
from top left: the 16th cupcake was going into the toaster oven, after stage one of mixing, completed batter one minute later, just pulled out of the oven
Putting this batter together took longer than usual, but that was my fault. I blame it on the funk station I put together at Pandora. Is 10 am too early for funk? James Brown doesn't think so.
I've decided I don't really like using those silicone cupcake cups. The cupcakes always end up imperfectly baked, and it is hard to get the darn cupcakes out of the liners for eating. Also, I am having a hard time with my oven. Sometimes it heats to the perfect temperature, but sometimes it is too hot, and sometimes it starts out too hot but then gets too cold. The oven and I are still working things out. For these cupcakes, it remained a little too high, which led to cupcakes that domed a bit early but stayed a little undercooked at the bottom, leading to some sinking once cooled. Sigh. They were still awesome. And frosting covers a multitude of sins.
Speaking of, I decided to dig through my freezer and see what I had stashed. I found a milk chocolate buttercream that I had made in 2008, and I did a search on this blog to find out what I made it for. It was for this:
The s'mores cake! That butter"cream" was a big hardened blob of chocolate. I did have to re-melt it to get it into a tub for freezing. And this is what it looked like after it thawed out and came to room temperature:
Not so creamy.
I decided to add a bunch of cream to it, kind of ganache-like, and see what happened. It took almost an entire pint of scalded cream to get that buttercream to a frosting consistency, but when it did, it looked very pretty and glossy:
It also had an ENORMOUS amount of butterfat, but don't tell anyone.
I like to frost cupcakes with the back of a spoon, which leaves ample room for liberally applied sprinkles. I have organized all my baking stuff and now have a sprinkles box. To be fair, I also keep all my food coloring in this box, but sprinkles and food coloring box is too much to say. Sprinkles box sounds much more fun!
Out of the sprinkles box I chose the little multicolored nonpareils and went to town. After sprinkling about 3/4 of the cupcakes I realised that it could look much more interesting if I heavily sprinkled only part of the cupcake, and so did some experimenting. I think I like the ones with the sprinkles just around the edge the best.
How were the cupcakes and the excessively butterfatted frosting? The cupcakes were like good old chocolate friends: tender, light, chocolaty, not too sweet, and delicious. The frosting was a bit too rich, but still delicious, and I love the crunch of the nonpareils. Cookie called this "the anti-Cookie" as her favorite cake is white-white, but she ate one all the same. Zetta ate all her cupcake but needed me to finish the other half of her frosting, which I did. The frosting is a bit much. I do understand if one needs to get rid of it in order to finish the cake. The cake is, after all, the most important part. But the sprinkles are pretty important too.