February 12, 2012

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes

I've been searching for the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe ever since I started baking more but failed to find the one...until I came across Raspberri Cupcakes's recipe of Devil's Food Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream. Wow! What a knockout, after eagerly taking a bite on one, I declared it my favourite chocolate cupcake which was rich, fluffy and simply delicious. The Swiss Meringue Buttercream was a first for me, and I've heard many people having problems with it after reading it from other blogs. But, nonetheless, I decided to try it out but left the out the raspberries just for practice and I was crossing my fingers the whole time. When it curdled into a yucky mess, my heart stopped and I quickly revved up the mixer which then became silky smooth and beautifully light in the mouth. Even though it tasted really buttery which is because I'm maybe not used to it, it still was the star on the cupcake.

And the cupcakes with the buttercream tasted so good together. I hope you excuse my scary-looking swirl but maybe its because of the violet food colouring I added which kinda made it look more like a grey colour. But of course I really need to improve my decorating and piping skills because I just purchased a piping tip set online.

Surprisingly, I made enough batter to make 20 cupcakes so here's the recipe from Raspberri Cupcakes:

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream
(Makes about 14-15 cupcakes, adapted from David Lebovitz's Devil's Food Cake recipe)
9 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Dutch-process)
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-raising, I just used plain flour)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup strong coffee (or water)
1/2 cup whole or low-fat milk

For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
4 large egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
250g (about 1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
(If you're new to making Swiss meringue buttercream, these wonderful tutorials from two of my favourite bloggers will help)

Line cupcake tray with cupcake papers and preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Sift together the cocoa powder, flour, salt, bicarb soda, and baking powder in a bowl. Using an electric mixer with a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar about 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.

Mix together the coffee and milk. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, the add the coffee and milk. Finally stir in the other half of the dry ingredients. Spoon into cupcake cases, filling about 2/3rds full. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in tin about 5 mins, then place on a wire rack and cool completely before icing.

To prepare the buttercream, Whisk together egg white and sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Clip a candy thermometer to side of bowl. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water, and whisk until mixture reaches 160°F and sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes.

With a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg white mixture on high speed until cooled and thick, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition. If mixture is runny at this point, refrigerate for 10 minutes and then continue beating until it starts to hold its shape (this can take a while). Beat in vanilla. Place in a piping bag and ice cupcakes. Serve immediately. Can be stored in an airtight container for a couple days.
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