Saturday, January 11, 2014

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Courtney's birthday was last month and when I asked her what kind of cupcakes she wanted me to make for her party, her response was "chocolate cupcakes - just PLAIN chocolate cupcakes, mom."  (Apparently, she didn't think that I would be able to make a chocolate cupcake without fancy fillings or topping or icing.)  Message received - PLAIN chocolate cupcakes with PLAIN chocolate icing - and blue sprinkles.  No problem - how hard can it be to make a plain cupcake?  (Harder than you think for this girl.)

This is my very favorite chocolate cupcake recipe.  It originally came from a Cook's Illustrated magazine.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
8 Tablespoons butter                                        ¾ teaspoon baking powder
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate                        2 eggs
½ cup cocoa                                                     ¾ cup sugar
¾ cup flour                                                       1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon baking soda                                   ½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sour cream

Combine butter, chocolate and cocoa in a bowl.  Microwave until melted.

Whisk together eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla.

Add egg mixture to chocolate mixture.

Combine dry ingredients and add half to batter.

Add sour cream.

Add remaining dry ingredients.

Scoop into paper lined muffin cups.

Bake 18-20 minutes at 350.  (I got 18 cupcakes out of my batter.)

Cool on wire racks.

Frost with swiss meringue chocolate buttercream
and top with blue chocolate decorations and blue pearls.
(That is as plain as it gets for this girl.) 

I packed my PLAIN chocolate cupcakes in a box and off to the birthday party we went.  

The cupcakes were a big hit with the girls.

The cupcakes were not the first treat of the day however.  We started out the morning of Courtney's birthday with a Cheerio cake.  (Yes, a Cheerio CAKE!)  I decided to pay a little tribute to her love of Cheerios on her 15th birthday so I created my version of a cereal cake.

First, I melted some marshmallow and butter in the microwave to create a "glue" to hold my cereal together.  I divided my melted marshmallow into two separate bowls.  I added some chocolate cheerios to one bowl and some honey nut cheerios to the other.  I pressed the cereal into a greased 6 inch cake pan and voila - Cheerio cake.

It was a great birthday - It started with a Cheerio cake and ended with chocolate cupcakes.  (I still can't believe that my little girl is fifteen.)


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