sweets for every tooth.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Birthday=Chocolate Cupcakes

Cupcakes are just fun, aren't they? Especially when it's someone's birthday. Sooo much easier to deal with than a cake, too: no plates, forks or large knife required. Spent about 2 hours this morning (yes I'm crazy) looking at different recipes and flavor combos, trying to decide what I was going to create. During this process I was wearing my gym clothes. Sometimes I feel like if I wear gym clothes as I'm baking, it makes it healthier. This time I actually went to the gym after baking. Win!

I decided on chocolate cupcakes with a vanilla frosting. But I had my stipulations. Chocolate cupcake must be moist! Frosting must not include powdered sugar! (Too sweet for my liking.) What did I come up with? A vegan chocolate cupcake with coffee (since I made my first chocolate cake with coffee I have been incapable of omitting it. Adds unbelievable depth and brings out even more chocolate flavor), and an AhMazing Vanilla Frosting made with the help of a little stove-top action. The result? A very happy birthday boy. Here's what you'll need:

Vegan Chocolate Cake
Makes 24 Cupcakes or 2 8-inch Round Cakes

2 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Instant Coffee Powder, optional but so good (I like Starbucks VIA because it is suuuper fine and contains actual coffee grounds)
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
2/3 Cup Canola Oil (or any vegetable oil)
2 teaspoons White Vinegar
2 Cups Cold Water
1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.
2. In a large bowl with a pouring lip (if you have it), sift the dry ingredients together.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, water, vanilla extract and vinegar.
4. Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients being careful not to over-mix. The batter will be quite wet, but fret not, because wet batter=moist cupcakes!
5. Pour batter (see why I recommended a bowl with a pouring lip?) into lined cupcake tins, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Bake at 350 for 20-24 minutes until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
6. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks. Cool completely before frosting.
AhMazing Vanilla Frosting

1 Cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Whole Milk
¼ Cup All-Purpose Flour, sifted
1 ½ Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

1. Cream the butter in a mixer on medium speed until soft. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

2. In a small saucepan, combine ¼ cup milk with the flour and vanilla extract. Whisk until there are no lumps. Over medium heat on stove, slowly add the remaining ¾ cup milk, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a low boil.

3. Reduce to low heat, and continue whisking until mixture begins to thicken. Once it begins to thicken, immediately remove from heat. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. If you need to speed up the process, let the mixture set for 5 minutes on the counter, then move to fridge for 10 minutes or so. Don’t let it get too cold though!
*If you find there are lumps in the mixture, whisk them out or pass it through a fine strainer before moving on to step 4.

4. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the milk mixture into the butter and sugar mixture. Increase mixer speed and beat until frosting is light and fluffy. Now lick the beaters. Mmmm.

OkiDoki, time to frost! Again, make sure your cupcakes are fully cooled before frosting. Then have fun with decorations! I did some lettering with frosting and also sprinkled extra cocoa powder on top of a few of them. A tiny bit of instant coffee powder sprinkling could be delicious as well, and really bring out the mocha aspect of the cupcake.

1 comment:

Megan said...

mmmm yummy! and I use coffee in my chocolate cakes too! where are the oscar recipes? I'm excited for those!