Saturday, February 13, 2010
As I've mentioned a few times on this blog, I am a lover of all things desserts. Brownies, cookies, and pies are high up on the list, but my all time favorite dessert is chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. OK, I know it's not the most exciting dessert, but something about the contrast of the rich chocolate and the creamy sweet frosting is incredibly satisfying.
This is the chocolate cake recipe that I always make. Although Ina Garten is a culinary genius, she is not known for making low-fat recipes (take a look at this). But as I was preparing the batter for these cupcakes, I realized they are actually relatively low in fat: 14 (unfrosted) cupcakes require just 1 egg, and only 1/4 cup of oil. So that's 1/14 of an egg and .85 teaspoons (NOT tablespoons) of oil per cupcake. The frosting is a bit more sinful, but only a small amount is needed per cupcake. Me? I start with a small amount, but always have more on the side for dipping. Yum.
I'm not a big fan of sprinkles, but since I was making these cupcakes for a birthday party, I decided to be festive.
Chocolate Cupcakes (adapted from Ina Garten)
*3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
*1 cups sugar
*1/4 cup + 2 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
*1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken
*1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
*1 egg at room temperature
*1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/2 cup strong brewed
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
*2 cups confections sugar
*1/2 stick butter, at room temperature
*1/2 tablespoons milk
*1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
To make the Frosting:
1. Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes, until light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.
2. When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, add 2 more tablespoons of the confectioners sugar, one at a time. Drizzle in the milk, and mix it until combined. Add one more tablespoon of the sugar, then drizzle in the vanilla and mix until combined.
To make the cupcakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Add salt. Mix with an electric mixer (if using stand mixer, use paddle attachment) on low speed until combined.
3. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
4.Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center cupcake comes out clean. Place cupcakes out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
5. Frost with vanilla frosting and top with sprinkles.