Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The World's Best Chocolate Cupcakes

Finally! A couple months ago a friend called and asked me for a good chocolate cupcake recipe. I was devastated to have to tell her I didn’t have one that was half as good as what you’d get from the Better Crocker Triple Chocolate Fudge cake mix. It struck me as being very sad.

Since then I’ve been searching for a recipe I could feel confident recommending. I’ve tried several that claim to be the “best ever” and have not been impressed. Several cupcake recipes on Pinterest have been especially disappointing so I returned to the old-school method of using actual cookbooks. Today, after trying one from Better Homes & Gardens Holiday Baking 2005, my disappointed-in-homemade-chocolate-cupcakes state has changed.

These are yummy.

If you won't believe me, believe Ellie.

Yes, we used leftover Christmas picks and yes, there was chocolate all over when we were done. Make sure not to over bake them and pick up a pint or two of strawberries from your local farmer's market to eat with the leftover frosting. Don't blame me if the awesomeness makes your eyes roll back so far that you can't see straight ever again.

Divine Devil’s Food Cupcakes 
Recipe from Better Home and Gardens 

2 cups sifted cake flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup buttermilk
1/3 cup water
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 ¾ cup sugar
3 eggs
1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
12 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
¾ cup heavy (whipping) cream
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temp
Chocolate-flavored sprinkles (optional)

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 350. Line 30 2.5 inch muffin cups with paper baking cups.

 2. For cupcakes: In a large bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl stir together buttermilk and water.

3. In an extra-large bowl, beat the ¾ cup butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and beat about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

4. Reduce the speed to low and alternately add the cocoa mixture and buttermilk mixture in three batches, beating just until well blended.

5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each half full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove from pans.

6. For frosting: Set a heatproof deep bowl over a saucepan of about 1.5 inches of nearly simmering water. Add the chocolate and cream whisking until melted and smooth. Add the 5 tbsp. of butter; whisk until melted and smooth. Let cool to room temperature and then chill covered for 15 minutes.

7. Beat the frosting with an electric mixer on medium-high speed 6-8 minutes or until thick enough to spread.

8. Evenly spread the cupcakes with frosting, Decorate as desired. Supposedly makes 30 cupcakes, but I overfilled them and ended up with 22.

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