I've been baking mucho lately. I should probably work more and bake less, but that is no fun. I've found two excellent chocolate cupcake recipes. One is Smitten Kitchen's flourless Chocolate Soufflé Cupcakes. These are so rich that they don't need frosting but they do need something to fill the little sunken center on top, so I plopped in a scoop of ice cream. The second is a well-traveled Cooks Illustrated recipe for Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes, which I found the following half-recipe for on Cookie Madness. This is now my go-to recipe for chocolate cupcakes. I guess that's why they're the ultimate.
My Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes
- 1 oz / 28 grams bittersweet chocolate
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/2 Tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 oz / 42 grams bittersweet chocolate
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons / 15 grams cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons hot coffee
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons / 58 grams bread flour
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons / 72 grams sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large egg, room temp
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine chocolate, cocoa, and hot coffee in a mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth and refrigerate for 15 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Whisk oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth, then stir in flour mixture. Divide batter between 6 baking cups and place 1 rounded spoon of ganache on top of each cupcake. Bake at 350F/180C for 17-19 minutes, until just firm to the touch.
The Ultimate recipe includes a creamy chocolate frosting recipe that I didn't make because I'm afraid of eating raw eggs. Instead, I topped with dulce de leche cream cheese frosting. Though, I would also suggest a cream-based mocha frosting or a perhaps even a marshmallow frosting, if you're into that sort of thing.
Dulce de Leche Frosting
from Joy the Baker
- 56 grams / 1/2 stick of butter, softened
- 113 grams / 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 ounces (this is half of 3/4 cup) dulce de leche
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups powdered sugar
Beat cream cheese on medium speed for about 30 seconds, until very soft. Scrape down sides of bowl and add butter and dulce de leche. Beat on medium until well incorporated. Add the salt and powdered sugar. Beat on medium for about 3 minutes, until fluffy and lighter in color. I noticed that it wasn't quite thick enough for frosting so I continued to add powdered sugar until I got the right consistency. This makes enough for about 12 cupcakes. The frosting also went well with vanilla cupcakes with chocolate ganache centers.