Something that I really don’t need in life: chocolate cake. I’ve never been a really big fan of it. Every birthday, I got white cake with white frosting. And that was just the way I liked it. I LOVE any other kind of chocolate, but in cake form, it really does nothing for me. I’m pretty sure I get my neutral feeling for chocolate cake from my father. I remember him only being able to eat a little of it and always saying it was “too sweet”. And I agree. It’s just…too much chocolate for me. Of course, many people disagree, including most of my friends and family. I have 3 siblings, and I guess I don’t really know how my older ones feel about chocolate cake but I know my younger brother would happily swim in a river of chocolate. Every birthday he had, he got chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, and that was just the way he liked it. I would always pout and in protest, I would eat just ice cream. When I explained the whole cupcake adventure to my brother, the first thing out of his mouth “Does that mean you’re making chocolate cupcakes every week?!” -.- No, no I’m not. Chocolate cupcakes aren’t my favorite. “Well then I’m just going to protest your cupcakes and not give you opinions.” -.- Well…I kind of wanted feedback on the cupcakes, so that was not an acceptable response for me. So for about 4 weeks now, SOMEONE has been moaning about the fact that I haven’t made chocolate cupcakes. So I decided I would make chocolate to make that someone happy.
WEEK 4- CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES (and frosting)
Since both the batter and the frosting were homemade, I had to go to the store and get baking chocolate squares. Side note: getting the chocolate blocks was the last stop on my first motorcycle ride of the season. Weird activity change, motorcycle riding to baking cupcakes…oh well, I love them both. Anyway, the first step of this batter was melting chocolate. It consisted of unwrapping and breaking chocolate, putting in the microwave, stopping, stirring and putting it back in the microwave and repeating the process a few times.
Though I will admit; the melted chocolate smelled up the kitchen really nicely. Oh, and my brother was taking pictures for much of the time because I told him I was making these cupcakes for him so he had to take part.
While the chocolate was melting, I started mixing my dry ingredients together (which is pretty much the same for ever recipe. Another thing that is always the same, the oven temperature; it’s kind of nice).
Then was time to add my wet ingredients. …this is a picture of my brother taking the eggs out of the fridge…
Me and my giant bottle of vanilla. According to my mom, it’s THE best vanilla. It’s like some fancy Mexican vanilla. That’s right, I have fancy vanilla.
One of the things I don’t like is how ugly the batter is before mixing it. It just is so insanely unappetizing. So I think this is the part where I cheer about my awesome mixer. Actually, a few minutes prior to adding the wet stuff, I was fighting with the mixer. I couldn’t get the beaters to stay in…so no cheering for the mixer this week.
But I guess it did do its job well, so I do give it some credit.
And then it was time to add the chocolate. I did try the batter before I added the chocolate and it tasted good, so I figured I would have to put on my brave face and ruin it with the chocolate.
Also, it turned out the right color. So I figured I did it right so at least they would turn out. But it actually didn’t taste that bad. It’s just…so much chocolate.
Now it was time to scoop. I didn’t actually have my pan ready with my cups yet, so I had to do that first (and my brother was snapping away).
Something I learned, well I guess I’ve known it for some time now, I fail at scooping evenly. It always says to fill them “three-fourths” or “two-thirds” full. Yeah, I fail at that. Mine are not even at all. Some are close, but others are way too much. I try to add more to the way too little ones. It just makes me smile at how uneven they are…I should probably work on that…
I then popped them into the oven. I cleaned my dishes and was going to start my frosting. The frosting started the same way that the batter did…melting chocolate. Although this time was only six squares (as opposed to eight) and it was unsweetened chocolate (as opposed to semisweet). The thing that took the longest with the frosting was melting the chocolate and softening the butter. (Sorry about the bad quality of this picture, but it’s the best I got of the frosting before completion).
My mom (once again) mixed the frosting for me. I think frosting (along with mixing) is her specialty. And, at this point, I’m not going to turn down frosting help. And it turned out perfect. It was the perfect consistency for spreading.
I then took the chocolate cupcakes out of the oven. And they were baked fantastically. And they appeared to have turned out good too. So that made me happy.
They cooled and then I frosted. It was beautiful…or something like that. :)
They turned out nice. The frosting was so crazy spreadable, that I was able to use just a knife with no troubles at all. I’ll get into my piping thing soon (when it’s a cupcake I actually like, ha).
I made the decision that I would try the cupcakes. Since I’ve been trying them ever week, I can’t not do it just because chocolate isn’t my thing. They were…well they were good I guess. I truly don’t have anything to compare them too because I don’t usually eat lots of chocolate cake. I just ate two bites and I couldn’t do it anymore. It’s not that they weren’t good; it’s just…you know, I really don’t really even like chocolate cake. My brother came and ate the rest of mine. My mom and brother said they liked them though and they were very good so I take that as a sign that they turned out well. Of course then my brother complained that there weren’t sprinkles on them (in the picture in the book, there are sprinkles). I guess some people can’t be pleased…
I’m including the recipe for this one because it did taste good. And those who like chocolate cake would probably really enjoy this.
From The Cupcake Bible
Classic Chocolate Cupcakes
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup milk
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
8 squares (1 ounce each) semisweet baking chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 20 standard muffin cups with paper baking cups.
2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add oil, milk, eggs and vanilla; beat with electric mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until well blended. Stir in melted chocolate until well blended. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling three-fourths full.
3. Bake 25 minutes or until inserted into centers comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
4. Prepare Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (recipe below); pipe or spread onto cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted, divided
¾ cups butter, softened (=1.5 sticks)
6 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate, melted
6 to 8 tablespoons milk, divided
¾ teaspoon vanilla
1. Combine 2 cups powdered sugar, butter, melted chocolate, 4 tablespoons milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth.
2. Add remaining 2 cups sugar; beat until light and fluffy, adding more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed to reach desired spreading consistency.