February 24, 2010

Chocolate-Chocolate Cupcakes

I've been dreaming of mini chocolate cupcakes for a few weeks now.  So I decided to try Chocolate-Chocolate Cupcakes from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From my Home to Yours.  Her recipe makes regular sized cupcakes, but I used a mini cupcake pan and cooked them for less time.  I overcooked mine slightly, so they are probably more moist when not overcooked and when regular size, but they were still scrumptious!

Chocolate-Chocolate Cupcakes
from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

For the cupcakes:
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 c. sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

For the glaze:
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Fit the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan with paper muffin cups (my preference), or butter them, dust them with flour and tap out the excess.  Alternatively, you can use a silicone muffin pan, which needs neither paper cups nor greasing. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet and set it aside.

To Make the Cupcakes:  Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until soft and creamy.  Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until it is blended into the butter.  Add the egg, then the yolk, beating for 1 minute after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.  Beat in the vanilla, then reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear.  Scrape down the bowl and add the buttermilk, mixing until incorporated, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients.  Scrape down the bowl, add the melted chocolate and mix it in with the rubber spatula.  Divide the batter evenly among the muffin molds.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes are dry and springy to the touch and a knife inserted into their centers comes out clean.  Transfer the muffin pan to a rack and let the cakes cool for 5 minutes before unmolding them.  Cool to room temperature on the rack before glazing.

To Make the Glaze:  Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.  Transfer the bowl to the counter and let stand for 5 minutes.

Using a small whisk or rubber spatula, stir the confectioners' sugar into the chocolate, followed by the pieces of cold butter.  The glaze may be very thin at this point, or it might be perfectly spreadable.  If it is too thin to spread or use as a dip (I often dip the tops of the cakes into the ganache, then give the cakes a little twirl as I pull them out, so they have a squiggle of glaze in the center), stir it over ice water for a few seconds--really, less than a minute.  With a small metal icing spatula, give each cupcake a crown of shiny ganache, and let the glaze set at room temperature (or in the fridge if you're in a hurry).  If the glaze loses its gloss and you miss it, give the tops of the cakes a puff of hot air from a hairdryer right before serving.

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