Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chocolate Buttercream Cupcakes

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There are many cupcake flavors out there, but when it comes to me and sis our favorite is always good old yellow with chocolate frosting.  They weren't made this week, the week of the 100-degree high in Boston, but earlier when sis visited and requested them.  I've tried a similar combination before, but I was looking for a better buttercream recipe.  This is it.  The one I tried last year involved a sugar syrup, but syrups and caramels are just not my friends.  This one's easier and just as freakin' good.

Yellow Cupcake
Making the cupcakes was straightforward and simple, except I halved the recipe and even then only had nine paper liners.  So I sprayed the unlined wells with cooking spray, but don't follow my example.  The cupcakes still stuck to the pan and browned faster.  There was still a bit of batter left so I dug out two silicone baking cups, only to remember why I don't like baking with silicone.  The cake always breaks or sticks to the sides when you unmold it.  Paper is just the way to go.  Afterward, I started the buttercream, cooking the egg whites and sugar a bit to dissolve the graininess, then beating the mixture into a soft meringue.

Yellow Cupcake1
The mixture is transformed into buttercream when you add the softened butter, and then flavored with melted chocolate.  We piped, then kicked back with a cupcake (or two).  Sis thought it looked like a lot of work, but you've got to put in a little love if you're not using Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines, right?

This recipe was all right, but I prefer White Velvet Cupcakes. The link for the yellow cupcakes no longer seems to be functioning, but it was from Baking911.
Yellow Cupcakes
2¾ cups All-purpose Flour
2½ teaspoons Baking powder
½ cup Butter
1¾ cup Sugar
1½ teaspoons Vanilla
2 large Eggs
1¼ cups Milk

Grease and lightly flour muffin tins or fill with paper baking cups or grease sheet pan. Blend the flour, baking powder and one teaspoon of salt. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla together until light. Add one egg and beat well (for about a minute or so) and then add the other egg and repeat. Add milk and the dry ingredients to this mixture, alternately. Mix well after each addition. Pour into the muffin pans or sheet pan, filling each halfway.

Bake at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes (cupcakes) or 30 - 40 minutes (sheet pan) until done. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before unmolding.
 
This recipe, on the other hand, was fab.  I halved it.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
From Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
4 large egg whites
1¼ cups sugar
3 sticks (1½ cups) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
 
In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine the egg whites an sugar.  Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch (about 160°F).
 
Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it hholds stiff (but not dry) peaks.  Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.
 
Switch to the paddle attachment.  With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition.  (If the frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.)  Beat in vanilla.  Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes.  Stir with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth.
 
Chocolate Variation
Follow instructions for Swiss Meringe Buttercream, omitting the vanilla extract, decreasing the sugar to 1 cup, and adding 8 ounces melted best-quality bittersweet chocolate after the butter has been incorporated (let chocolate cool slightly before mixing in).

5 comments:

  1. I agree...even though there are some wonderfully inventive cupcakes, I like to stick to the classics. I am always in the mood for a yellow cake with chocolate frosting...these look great to me!

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  2. Oh, this is my husbands favorite as well! He swears cupcakes taste better than cake--even if the same batter and frosting are used!

    They look awesome!

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  3. Do you know I have never made a cupcake???
    You seem to be THE person to contact to teach me...!
    Thanks for your comment!

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  4. You have no idea how much I want to eat cupcake right at this moment.

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  5. You have no idea how much I want to eat cupcake right at this moment.

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