Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chocolate, peppermint, and other tasty things

First, a victory dance (SUCCESS!) since I have figured out how to have the contributors to the blog contribute under their own accounts. The next step will be tracking down said contributors and getting them to blog about the delicious things they cook and bake.

On to the yummy things! I baked some cupcakes this weekend as a thank-you gift for the director of our Baroque ensemble, which I was fortunate enough to get to perform with. I went with my go-to chocolate cake, Smitten Kitchen's Double Chocolate Layer Cake. It's delicious and beautiful and easy and also makes way, way, way too much cake for most occasions. The recipe claims that it makes 2 10-inch layers, but I find that it pretty reliably makes 3 9-inch layers or 36 cupcakes, which is usually Too Much Cake. Fortunately, this recipe can be two-thirdsed relatively easily, making a much more managable two dozen cupcakes.
I topped these pretties with a pepperminty buttercream piped on with a star tip. Unfortunately, my impromptu ziploc piping bag gave out on cupcake 13... not that I let that stop me. The first dozen went in the big pink box, and the rest... well, they didn't go to waste!

Double Chocolate Cupcakes
(Adapted and downsized from Smitten Kitchen)

  • 3 ounces good quality dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 60% Chocolate Chips)
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken, or 1/2 C milk and 1/2 C yogurt, mixed together.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put cupcake papers in 2 muffin pans (24 total).

Combine the chocolate chips and hot coffee, stirring until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Let stand.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. In a larger bowl (everything will be eventually going into this one) beat the two eggs until thickened and lemon colored, about 5 minutes with a hand mixer. Add the oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and chocolate mixture, beating after each addition. Add the dry ingredients, beating until combined.

Divide batter between the cupcake cups and bake for 12-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.

Remove to racks to cool.

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