Decadent Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A few days ago, my daughter came home and told me that it's her friend's birthday next week and could we please make her some cupcakes. Hmmm... As I was mentally going through my schedule and thinking about whether I would be working that day, she then proceeds to let me know that I don't have a chocolate cupcake recipe on the blog and that this would be a great opportunity to do one. Hahaha. Sold!

These cupcakes are moist, they are rich, they are your personal little treat you don't have to share. Surely you weren't thinking of splitting one, were you? We've made it less sweet so it can take on a bit of frosting, but even then, we were enjoying these beauties sans icing, and it was amazing.

It was actually surprising how fast I could pull this through. As long as you've taken out the butter and eggs to come to room temperature, mise-en-place took 15 minutes, beating and mixing another 15, baking a final 15, and these cupcakes were done in under an hour. I wasn't even done wiping the counters down and I had to take them out of the oven!

So yes, they are as superb as they are speedy! We need not sacrifice effort for outcome in this case. This blog is called 'Fueling with Flavour' after all, not 'Desserts under an hour' ;)

This recipe makes 24 cupcakes, and is adapted from Joy of Baking's chocolate cupcake recipe.

75 g (3/4 cup) Dutch processed cocoa powder
1 tbsp instant espresso powder (or instant coffee granules)
360 ml (1-1/2 cup) boiling hot water
260 g (2 cups + 1 tbsp) all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
170 g (3/4 cup) butter, at room temperature
225 g (1-1/4 cup) granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract

1. Line 24 cupcake cups into 2 muffin pans.
2. In a small bowl, stir in the cocoa and espresso/coffee powder into the hot water, then set aside to let cool.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides often.

5. Now is a good time to preheat the oven to 175C or 350F.

6. Into the mixer, add the eggs, one at a time, followed with the vanilla.
7. Add the flour and beat only until incorporated, taking care not to over mix.
8. Slowly, pour in the cooled cocoa mixture, scraping down the sides to fully incorporate.

9. Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full. Place a tea towel on the counter and gently 'bang' the muffin pan on it to settle the contents and create a flat surface, ensuring the cupcakes rise evenly.
10. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cupcake.
Do not overbake or they will turn out dry.
11. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

 Now to frost or not ... that is the question.

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