A recipe collection isn't complete without one for chocolate cake. At times when you're at loss of what to bake for family, friends or occasions, always go back to a chocolate batter. It's bound to be a crowd pleaser.
There's just something about chocolate. Perhaps it's the sweet, tart and comforting, velvety taste. Or maybe it's the aesthetically pleasant deep and dark colour of whatever cocoa touches. Hmm..it could be the very nature of chocolate desserts themselves. Chocolate is a classic and it knows no cultural barriers. Heck, a bit of phenylethylamine doesn't hurt either. It's been found that chocolate contains 380 known chemicals. That compound and a few others are just the ones discovered to increase the level of happy chemicals (endorphin, serotonin) in our brains. Dark chocolate in moderation is good.
Dark chocolate in desserts is fantastic! But keeping in mind the downside of chocolate and sugar, it pays to search for the best chocolate dessert recipes. That way, the occasional indulgence won't go to waste.
After baking through 5 different chocolate cupcake recipes, I've finally arrived at one I am more than happy to keep. The taste of chocolate is just right (strong but not too sweet) and the texture is light and fluffy. My kind of cupcake. What I've noticed is that the chocolate flavour tends to come out stronger in recipes containing melted chocolate in addition to cocoa powder. Cakes with cocoa powder have a milder chocolate taste - or chocolate in the background as I like to call it. The original recipe makes 12 cupcakes but it's probably convertible into 2x20cm cake layers. Just bake the batter for 40-45 minutes.
adapted from Baking: From my home to yours
makes 12 cupcakes
1 cup cake flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
113g unsalted butter, room temperature
5/8 cup white sugar
1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), melted and cooled
- Place muffin paper cups in a 12-hole muffin tray and preheat oven to 175C.
- Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl until well combined. This step is to ensure you don't have discolouration or bursts of salt in your cupcakes.
- On medium speed, cream butter and sugar until well combined (2-3 minutes). They should turn pale and fluffy.
- Beat in the vanilla extract.
- Beat in the egg and then the egg yolk. Beat until the batter has 'absorbed' the liquid.
- On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients until just incorporated.
- Pour the milk gradually and beat until well mixed.
- Still on low speed, mix in the rest of the dry ingredients, again until just incorporated, and finish off by folding with a rubber spatula.
- Fill the cups 2/3 of the way and bake for 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Leave for a few minutes, then unmold and place on a rack to cool to room temperature.
I came across 17 and baking a few weeks ago and have been inspired by Elissa's creations ever since. I stumbled across one of her older posts and thought that it was such a cute idea.
I used my favourite buttercream recipe and modified it to orange.
For a less creamy alternative, either glaze the cupcake with melted chocolate or dust cocoa powder and icing sugar.