Okay, now, really, I do make other things besides desserts. (You’d never guess it, I promise, but I swear I do). I even have the pictures on my camera to prove it! But alas, they’re still on my camera because I am yet again in the middle of making another dessert (look for this later in the week). In the mean time, this is more backlog from Spring Break: I made cupcakes for my family, and for a teacher my mom works with who’d undergone serious surgery. My mom’s staff has graciously been providing them with dinners, and along with dinners, comes dessert, this being where I come in.
As fun as this recipe was, it was also really challenging. First of all, I was trying to manage the recipe in between going to the Museum and Nature and Science and watching Up. Neither of these things is necessarily conducive to creating masterpieces. Additionally, I halved the recipe from what Deb used. Her recipe makes a two layer cake, and I was hoping for significantly fewer cupcakes than this (preferably about 24 cupcakes). I then proceeded to make a mistake, and then put in too much batter, thus, my cupcakes majorly overflowed, some of which ended up on the bottom of my oven (and while the smoke alarm did not go off at that time, it did when I made pizza later). The major problem, however, was that, unfortunately, I ended up with very little actual cupcake. So, while I would make this recipe again, I would definitely make it a cake, see how it goes, and try to make cupcakes at a different time. (I also have a number of cupcake recipes from Joy of Cooking that I am very interested in trying). So, with all of this in mind, I present to you, the failed chocolate cupcakes.
Cupcakes (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen): Makes approximately 18 (could make 24 if you are a little less liberal with the batter than I was, which is probably a good idea, considering how much they would have overflowed even if I hadn’t forgotten to halve the baking soda…)
1 1/2 oz semi-sweet chocolate (I used Lindt)
3/4 cups coffee
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cups cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp baking powder
2/3 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/3 tsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk (I used skim. Don’t eat me alive, the cupcake part [what was left of it] was still delicious. I’m sure it would be better with full fat or even 2%, but I just never have it on hand, and I tend to be both spontaneous, unprepared, and unwilling to grocery shop more than necessary)
1/3 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 300° F and put the muffin cups in the pan.
Finely chop or break the chocolate and put in a small saucepan over low heat with the coffee. Allow to melt and combine completely, stirring as necessary to prevent burning.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In the large bowl of a mixer, beat the eggs until they have thickened and have strong color. Add the oil, milk, vanilla, and melted chocolate to the eggs and beat until well combined. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat until well combined. The batter will still be runny, but this is a good thing. At this point, I had to leave, so I put the batter in the refrigerator. This is not a necessary step, but if you are interrupted in your baking process, this is a good place for a pause.
Using a tablespoon (soup spoon), spoon mixture into the muffin tins. Fill 1/2-3/4 of the way full (I would go less rather than more: do not overfill).
Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Whipped Chocolate Icing (Very loosely adapted from Maida Heatter’s Great American Desserts)
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
Melt the chocolate over medium-low heat. Allow to cool. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter, confectioner’s sugar, milk, and vanilla until well combined and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate and beat until creamy. Spread over cupcakes with a knife or use a plastic bag or frosting bag to pipe frosting over the top of the cakes.