Friday, January 13, 2012
Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Remember the other day when I said I only wanted to make a dozen cupcakes for Dave's birthday because I didn't want lots of leftovers? Well that was until the morning of the party when I learned everyone I invited was coming which would have meant only one cupcake per person. Ever the prepared hostess and not wanting to run out of cupcakes, I knew I needed to make another batch. But making second batch of the same kind of cupcake would be (of course) ridiculous (to me only) so I set upon finding another perfect recipe. Since I had Dave's vanilla fix covered with the Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes, I figured I'd go with his second favorite flavor combo: chocolate and peanut butter. A little variety for our guests and a little chocolate for me. Plus I was interested in the peanut butter frosting. Both the cupcake and the frosting were phenomenal. The cupcake was rich and chocolatey with a fluffy texture. The frosting was amazing with a full on peanut butter flavor--almost like it was just whipped peanut butter with some added sweetness. They paired together beautifully. In fact, they were so perfectly rich with flavor individually that they begged to be paired with each other: the frosting needed to be matched with a rich chocolate to cut the intense peanut butter and the chocolate needed the saltiness of the frosting to tone down the richness of the cake. Truly a thing of beauty among chocolate and peanut butter desserts. Dave even commented on how they were so good they tasted better than our wedding cupcakes (which included both a vanilla vanilla version and a chocolate peanut butter version).
Of course it was Michelle at Brown Eyed Baker who shared these beauties. What can I say, this chick knows her cupcakes. I love that she took the chocolate cupcake to another level with the bittersweet chocolate added in, which I expanded on by using the King Arthur Flour double-Dutch dark cocoa powder. Perfection in an individual portion. Several people at the party had more than one cupcake (you've got to try each flavor) because they really were perfect. Do yourself a favor and just make these. If for no other reason than to say that you did. Then eat them all with a big glass of milk and be happy.
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
1/2 cup butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup Dutch-processed (or double-Dutch) cocoa powder
3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
Place butter, chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each increment, until completely melted. Set aside until just warm to the touch.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a small bowl to combine.
Whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add sugar, vanilla and salt and whisk until incorporated.
Add cooled chocolate mixture to egg mixture and whisk to combine.
Sift in about 1/3 of flour mixture and whisk to combine. Whisk in sour cream until incorporated. Sift in remaining flour mixture and whisk until fully combined and batter is thick.
Dived batter among prepared and lined cupcake pan. Note: I used a standard ice cream scoop to evenly distribute batter.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool cupcakes in pan for about 10-15 minutes then remove to wire racks to cool completely before frosting.
Peanut Butter Frosting
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 Tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup cream
Place all ingredients except cream in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping the sides of bowl with a spatula as needed. Turn onto high speed and gradually pour in cream. Beat on high until mixture is light and smooth.
Frost cupcakes as desired, either with an offset spatula or by piping on.
Makes 12 frosted cupcakes.
The Cookie Princess
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