Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

My friend Winston makes the cutest cupcakes ever so I asked her for some cupcake recipes. She sent me this recipe for her chocolate cupcakes.

Winston's Chocolate Cupcakes

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
2/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

Heat oven to 350 F. Place paper baking cups in each of 24 regular size muffin cups. In large bowl, beat sugar and butter with an electric mixer on low speed. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the eggs vanilla and water to the butter and sugar mixture and beat on low speed, scraping the bowl. Add in the dry ingredients and beat for 3 minutes, scraping bowl constantly. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

This resulted in a lot of cupcakes, which I decided to freeze. I covered each one in sara wrap, then foil and then put it in a zip lock bag. Whenever you need a couple cupcakes, just unwrap the cupcakes and defrost at room temperature and they are as good as new.

For the frosting, I opted for a Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting. I got the recipe from Martha Stewart.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 T sugar
pinch of salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Combine egg whites, sugar and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips). Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.

Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form.

Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.

With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all of the butter has been added, whisk in vanilla. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes.

Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth.

Here are the frosted cupcakes. What I love about this cupcake is that it's not too sweet. It feels like you are eating a chocolate whoopie pie or a ho-ho's.

If you want to save some of the buttercream for future use, transfer it to an airtight container and freeze it for up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes. Trust me it will look like a hot mess when it defrosts and the liquid and solids separate, but beat it enough and it will look like frosting again. =)

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