or what happens when SpindleRose tries to cook before finishing her morning coffee
I woke up early this morning to make buttercream for the decadent chocolate cupcakes I am taking to Claudia's summer knitting and spinning party. Except, it's kind of challenging to make buttercream without butter. Sigh. I made some coffee and headed off to the local grocery store for 2 pounds of unsalted butter. I drank about half of the coffee on the way to the store.
After I got home I decided that 20 or so fiber fiends only need 3 cups of buttercream for 24 cupcakes. So, I would make a half batch of vanilla and then a half batch of chocolate. SpindleRose hates to wash dishes; vanilla followed by chocolate means only washing the bowl and beater once. I creamed the butter and dumped in 1 tablespoon of black cocoa powder. Remember what I said about vanilla and then chocolate. Oops. Might as well make a full batch of each.
Because I am not yet awake, and because it is still hot in my kitchen, both batches of buttercream broke. Despite all efforts to keep the ingredients just warm enough to work with. I need to call H later to find out why this happened. At least it's still tasty. Mmm buttercream and coffee--breakfast of champions.
Dark chocolate cupcakes
modified from Cook's Illustrated, March 2005
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I like Sharffenberger 70%)
6 T dutch process cocoa powder (I use Penzey's)
2 T black cocoa powder (available from The Baker's Catalogue)
3/4 c all purpose flour
3/4 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
2 lg eggs
3/4 c sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t salt
1/2 c (4 oz) sour cream
1. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position. Preheat oven to 350. Line standard sized muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. Combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa in microwave safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute (or so) on high. Whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a small bowl.
4. Whisk eggs in second bowl to combine. Add sugar, vanilla, and salt and whisk until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate and combine. Sift 1/3 of flour mixture onto chocolate mixture and whisk to combine; whisk in sour cream, then sift remaining flour over and whisk until batter is thick.
5. Divide batter into cups. Bake 18 to 20 minutes.
6. Cool in pan on a wire rack until cool enough to handle (15 minutes or so). Carefully remove from pan and set on wire rack. Cool completely (at least 30 minutes) before icing.
From my good friend H. Yes, I know it doesn't look like it will work, but it will. And it's fabulous.
1 c milk
1/3 c flour
1 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
1 t vanilla
1. Whisk milk and flour together in a small saucepan until smooth. Cook over med heat, whisking constantly until thick. Chill slightly.
2. Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla at high speed until creamy. Add cooled flour mixture, beating until just blended.
Makes 3 cups.
Chocolate buttercream variation:
Beat 2 T black cocoa powder with the butter, sugar and vanilla.