Monday, May 12, 2008

Simple Chocolate Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Butter Cream


For a website titled Amicus Cupcake, this blog has had surprisingly few cupcake recipes. Of course, as I said in my initial posting, this is not a blog devoted exclusively to cupcakes, or even to baking (though you wouldn’t know it from my postings thus far). However, there is a reason that I choose a cupcake related name for this blog, and that is that cupcakes are my bread and butter. When I want to make a dessert to bring somewhere I make cupcakes. After all, they’re easy to make, easy to transport, easy to serve, and everybody loves them.

A few nights ago my friend Paul had an end of the semester BBQ to celebrate the completion of our 1L year. I decided I should bring cupcakes, I figured it was fitting since I had brought cupcakes to the beginning of the year potluck as well. I wanted a recipe that would make something simple, but delicious, and so I decided to adopt the cake recipe from my Swiss roll attempt. Even if that cake hadn’t turned out as a visual stunner, it was still delicious. I doubled the recipe so that it would make enough cupcakes (doubled it actually made exactly thirty). Then came the question of how to frost them. I didn’t want to use the mocha butter cream I had used for the Swiss roll, not for taste reasons (it was delicious), but because the recipe called for 6 egg yolks and 4 sticks of butter, and to make enough to frost thirty cupcakes would probably require at least double that, and I really wasn’t interested in stopping my friend’s hearts. Instead I settled on a Swiss Meringue Butter Cream frosting from How to Eat A Cupcake. To mix things up a little, I would make half vanilla and half chocolate frosting.

I was really happy with how these cupcakes turned out. I was afraid that since this cake recipe was originally from a recipe for a jelly roll that it might not rise enough, but it turned out not to be a problem at all, and the cupcakes rose happily in their cups. When these cupcakes come directly out of the oven, they are very fragile, and you should be careful with them. I dropped one on the floor, and it exploded into pieces. But, after these cakes have had a little time to cool off, and especially if they’ve spent some time in the fridge, they firm up very nicely.

Chocolate Cupcakes

2 Sticks of butter
4 tsp instant coffee
1 ½ cups of water
1 ½ cups of semisweet chocolate
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 TB Cocoa powder

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line a cupcake pan with liners (enough to make 30, if you have the pans for it)

2. In a large saucepan set over low heat, stir together the butter, instant coffee, water, chocolate and sugar until smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool 10 minutes.

3. Whisk in the egg, flour, baking powder and cocoa powder until incorporated.

3. Fill cupcake liners with ¼ cup of batter each. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Take the cupcakes out of the oven, and let them cool in their pans for at least 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from their pans and continue letting them cool on wire racks. Once they’ve cooled off, put them in airtight containers and move them to the fridge.

Vanilla and Chocolate Swiss Meringue Butter Cream

4 large egg whites
1 ¼ cups of sugar
2 Sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp Vanilla Paste (you can use the extract instead, the paste just gives it a more substantial vanilla flavor)
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate
1 ½ Tbs Cocoa Powder

1. Put egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a double boiler. Whisk the eggs until they are foamy and warm to the touch (about 160 degrees)

2. Remove the egg whites and sugar from the heat, and pour them into the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Turn the heat off under the double boiler. Put the chocolate in another bowl, and put it over the double boiler to melt. Once the chocolate is melted, remove it from the heat and set it aside.

3. Whip the egg white and sugar mixture on high speed until the eggs reach stiff peaks (I didn’t let mine get all the way to the stiff peaks phase, and as a result the frosting wasn’t really pipe-able).

4. Once the eggs have reached stiff peaks, replace the whisk attachment with the paddle attachment. Add the butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Once the butter is fully incorporated and the frosting is smooth, add the vanilla paste, and beat until combined. Reserve half the frosting at this point, or just frost half your cupcakes.

5. On medium speed, beat the melted chocolate and cocoa powder into the remaining frosting. Beat until well combined. Frost the remaining half of your cupcakes.

1 comment:

Evan Mix said...

Those were tasty.