Hi. My name is Cath, and I am a cupcake-a-holic.
As you may have gathered, I love to cook, and especially bake. I do love all kinds of baking, but at the end of the day, as much as I love macarons, cakes, biscuits and brownies, my true love is cupcakes. They are cute little packages of delight, sure to bring a smile to anyone’s dial. For years and years and years and years they have been my go to treat and a few of the many varieties I have made are lemon and lime, red velvet (it started the whole red velvet craze in my world), chocolate, lemon meringue and the trusty old vanilla. I love cupcakes that much that I have cupcakes on my dressing gown, apron, two bags, a tea towel and a cupcake shaped plate. I am also going to be getting a vinyl sticker for a wall in my kitchen that reads “love and cupcakes are all you need” after seeing a print that Sally from Sally’s Baking Addiction received. So yes, a little obsessed over here.
So for my first foray back into the cupcake world after a long hiatus, I asked my friend C what her favourite chocolate bar was to inspire a cupcake for her birthday. Originally I was going to call these Turkish Delight cupcakes (as that was the answer to my question), and I guess I sort of can because the flavour is essentially there. But when you search for Turkish Delight cupcakes on the interweb, there usually is Turkish Delight in/on them. So I am going to go with the much longer name of Chocolate Cupcakes with Rose Buttercream. Phew!
I couldn’t find my chocolate cupcake recipe so I searched for the “Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake” and certainly got a few hits. The one I finally chose is actually the ultimate in my opinion from Cook’s Illustrated and I found the recipe on the Pink Parsley website.
There is no beating butter and sugar until light and fluffy with this one as it is quite a liquid batter. The first step is to place the cocoa and chocolate in a bowl and pour over the boiling coffee or water (I hate coffee so used hot water instead, but apparently the coffee brings out the flavour a little bit more and you can’t taste the coffee-ness… I’ll still stick with the hot water). I let it sit for a minute before I whisk as I find it easier to let the hot liquid to most of the hard work (I do the same when making ganache).
Once the chocolate has melted, whisk until smooth and set aside to cool slightly. The recipe says 30 minutes, but I have little patience so I put the bowl in the fridge to speed up the process. It is important to cool the chocolate mixture, otherwise there is the risk of scrambling the eggs.
In a separate bowl, I whisk together the eggs, oil, vanilla paste and vinegar to ensure that I distribute the vanilla paste thoroughly and not leave any clumps behind. Then I add the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.
In another bowl, the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt and bicarb soda) are whisked together and then the chocolate mixture is added and whisked until smooth.
Done! Super simple and takes very little time. This batter makes at least 12 cupcakes (I got 12 plus one slightly larger cupcake) so fill your cupcake liners until they are 3/4 full, one large ice cream scoop full of batter does the trick for me and helps make them all the same size. I never used to use an ice cream scoop to measure out cupcake batter until I started watching The Cupcake Show podcast many moons ago and that is what Cindy used and I thought it was genius. I now have four ice cream scoops of various sizes and use them for biscuits as well.
In my oven at 165°C fan forced these took 20 minutes to cook.
I slightly adapted the swiss meringue buttercream recipe from this recipe and although I had grand visions of big cupcakes swirls, I only had enough for a rose swirl on top of each cupcake, but they looked super cute in the end so I am not going to complain.
I have explained before about making Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMB) so won’t rehash it all again, but I obviously omitted the chocolate and replaced it with rosewater and pink food colouring. I forgot to omit the salt, which is probably used to bring out the flavour of the chocolate, but it was no drama.
I add the food colouring when whisking the egg whites and then add the butter.
You can always tweak the colour if you are not happy with it after adding the butter.
Pipe the SMB onto the top of each cupcake in whatever pattern you like. As mentioned, I piped a rose on top of each cupcake (the same as on the wedding cake) and left a little of the cupcake showing.
These cupcakes were delicious. The chocolate cupcake itself was quite chocolate-y in flavour with the SMB not overpowering it at all and stayed nice and moist for days.
This cake recipe is definitely the ultimate in my opinion, and I also used it for the 40th birthday cake I made for one of the hubby’s friends which was layered with Creme de Menthe SMB and shaped as a purple corset (post will be coming).