Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dreams in Chocolate

Ever since lent started my need for chocolate has increased. As you can guess I haven’t been successful in my attempt to give it up. I have been dying for an excuse to make devil’s food cake cupcakes ever since I got my magnolia bakery recipe books. The idea of a rich chocolate cake smothered in caramel icing makes my mouth water.

My younger brother is one of my biggest supporters as he benefits directly from my baking addiction. This year he has also started playing rugby, and he is constantly asking me to bake something for him to bring to his matches. And… I found my excuse. I knocked out 72 Devil’s food cupcakes one evening last week.


·         2 cups plain flour

1 cup of good quality cocoa powder

1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda

½ teaspoon of salt

¾ cup of butter (unsalted)

1 ½ cups of tightly packed brown sugar

½ cup of sugar

3 large room temperature eggs

1 ½ cups of buttermilk

2 tsp of vanilla extract (or more if you are a vanilla monster like me)

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius

Line three 12 cup cupcake tins (yes this makes a lot of cupcakes) with pretty cases, (I really don’t like the plain white ones). Sift all of the dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl and set to the side for a while.

Cream the butter until smooth, (this can take about 5 minutes, it should be pale and creamy). Add the sugars and beat until fluffy. Add each egg, one at a time and make sure they are well combined. You can’t really over beat the mixture at this stage so make sure they are well combined.  

I would always mix the wet ingredients together ie: the buttermilk and the vanilla. The next step is to add the dry ingredients in three parts alternating with the wet ingredients. I recommend taking the extra time to divide it into three parts because when all dumped in at once you risk over beating to get them well combined. Mix until combined and then no longer because an over mixed batter equal hard cupcakes!!

Spoon the mixture in to the cases and bake for about 25-28 minutes depending on your oven. Test the center of the cakes, a skewer should come out clean!! Cool on a wire rack before icing!

·         Caramel buttercream icing

·         1 cup of unsalted butter

·         Numerous bags of icing sugar. (depends on the consistency you want)

·         1-2 tins of Caramel. (you can make this yourself, or boil condensed milk. I personally love the carnation pre-made caramel, it ‘s perfect for when you’re feeling a bit lazy!)

·         ½ cup of milk (milk is optional)

Note: I am sure there is a very scientific method to making frosting. I however do not follow it. I judge by eye and consistency, and I use an electric beater on a low speed to make sure it is as creamy as possible.

Par-melt the butter, cream until very soft and creamy. Add some icing sugar until you get a good semi-stiff mixture. Next add 1 or 2 tins of caramel depending on the intensity of the flavour you want. I recommend doing this in small bit and alternating it with icing sugar to ensure it is well combined. You can add milk if your mixture gets to stiff too fast and you need more icing. If you decide to add the milk do so in small bits.

Spread or pipe icing in whatever fashion please over the fully cooled chocolate cupcakes and decorate as desired.

Or if you are like me, and can’t wait dollop a spoonful on a still warm cupcake amd enjoy the melt in the mouth experience!


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