Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chocolate Cupcakes

It's been a long time since I made cupcakes, but a new era may have begun. The post-birthday week celebrations weigh-in was a setback--not a monster one, but indulgences did show up--and I'm refocusing on my goal to be 10 pounds thinner on Jan. 1, 2009, than I was at the beginning of this year.

I figure cupcakes are the way to go if I want a small indulgence of the cake kind without derailing my late-year slim-down efforts. These little beauties are not much more than half the size of a modest piece of snack cake, and delicious. I frosted them with mocha buttercream leftover from my birthday cake (which I have not yet blogged about, but will get to eventually), yum:

Chocolate Cupcakes
Steps 1-3 can be done ahead of time, which makes final prep quick and easy. Makes one dozen, double the recipe if you want more.

Step 1)
Melt together and set aside to cool to room temp (slightly warm is okay):
6 T unsalted butter
4 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

Step 2)
Sift together and set aside:
3/4 cup flour (whole wheat pastry or all purpose, or a combination)
1/4 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 T cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Step 3)
Combine and set aside (it will curdle, that's okay):
1 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 2 T hot water
2 T plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla

Step 4)
Beat together at high speed until very light and fluffy:
3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar (do not pack down)

When the eggs and sugar are nice and fluffy, reduce mixer speed to medium and slowly add the cooled butter/chocolate, then half the dry ingredients, then the coffee/yogurt mixture, then the rest of the dry stuff. The batter will be runny.

Divide batter evenly among twelve cupcake cups with paper liners, and bake in preheated 350 oven until done (about 18 minutes).

Cool on a rack, and frost as desired.

I'm thinking lemon cupcakes would be good for the next batch. But first I have to go buy a new cupcake tin. I threw the old one out, because after years of exposure to ocean-side air it was looking pretty funky (thank god for paper liners!). One reason the chocolate cupcakes are on the small side is I very carefully did not overfill them (I got 15 from the recipe): I wanted to be absolutely sure that no part of the batter had any kind of contact with anything other than the paper liner.