(Anything But Basic) Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes

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Cakes / Chocolate

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Happy 2018 ya’ll.  It’s been awhile but I’m back, and what a better way to kick it off than by going back to the very basics.  While I’ve been known to sometimes share over-the-top cakes (Banana Split, anyone?)  or 14 layered tortes don’t be fooled.  Sometimes a simple chocolate cupcake is really all anyone really needs #amiright?  With that, I give you the only chocolate and vanilla cupcake recipe you’ll ever need.

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Even though the cupcake craze has seemed to die down the past few years, there are really few things I enjoy baking more.  Nothing is easier to eat, and please try and convince me nothing is cuter to serve.  There are a million ways to decorate it but my husband was rather insistent I use black and gold sprinkles.  To those of you that know my husband, this request comes as no surprise.  The icing is a combination of both chocolate ganache (because more chocolate, always) and vanilla swiss meringue buttercream and it’s like eating clouds.  Chocolate-y, vanilla clouds.  You can thank me later.

Ingredients

Chocolate Cupcakes – makes about 2 dozen.  I halved the recipe and made 18

3 ounces (85 grams) semi-sweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups (355 ml) hot brewed coffee
3 cups (600 grams) sugar
2 1/2 cups (315 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (aprox. 130 grams; weights vary between brands) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking soda
3/4 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons (7 grams) table salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup (175 ml) vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups (355 ml) well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream – double if making full recipe above

3 large egg whites (1/2 cup)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Instructions

Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. and put cupcakes liners in cupcake pans

2. Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

3. Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.

4. Divide batter into cupcake liners and fill about 3/4 full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.  Let cool completely and frost/decorate to your hearts desire

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer*, whisk until combined.
  2. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water to create a double-boiler.  Whisking constantly, heat the egg mixture until it registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Carefully transfer the bowl onto the stand mixer.
  3. Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg white mixture on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes until the bowl is no longer warm to the touch and the meringue is fluffy, glossy and holds a stiff peak.
  4. Switch to the paddle attachment.  With the mixer on low, slowly add cubed butter and mix until incorporated.
  5. Add vanilla and whip on medium-high until silky and smooth.

 

If you too think there is no such thing as too much chocolate, my ganache recipe can be found here.

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