Friday, June 8, 2012

Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes {Foodie Friday}

Monday was my last day of class. That’s right. My LAST DAY EVER!! I am so pumped. In some ways it seems crazy to be done already and in other ways it seems like an eternity.
The last night of class our professor scheduled some extra time at the end of class for us to have a party. Last night we had a banquet to celebrate with all the MBA grads, but this night was just for our class to celebrate. When we were deciding what to have for our party I volunteered to bring cupcakes. DUH! I have never made cupcakes from scratch before. The only cake I have ever made from scratch was the delectable Tuxedo Cake. I have had my eye on these cupcakes for several several weeks. Maybe months. This was the perfect time to make them. I knew these were going to be awesome the moment I licked the bowl. It did not disappoint. I love how they all baked up perfectly. In the past I have had a lot of trouble getting the same amount in each cupcake well. For this batter I used 2 scoops with my cookie scoop. A lot of times the batter is too runny to use the cookie scoop, but this batter was thick and perfect. I topped them with orange colored Easy Vanilla Buttercream frosting. AU’s school colors are black and orange (lovely!) I didn’t want them to look too Halloweeny, so I went with Chocolate cupcakes with orange frosting instead of Vanilla cupcakes (died orange) with black frosting. It was the right decision.

Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes

*Makes 24-30 cupcakes

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, Dutch-process or regular unsweetened
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon hot water
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks plus 1 tablespoon (17 tablespoons total) butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with paper liners. In a glass liquid measuring cup, combine the cocoa powder and hot water and whisk until smooth. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is smooth and the butter is completely melted. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer (or to a stand-alone bowl, using a handheld electric mixer) and beat on medium-low speed until the mixture is cool, about 4-5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing each addition just until incorporated. So basically you’ll add 1/3 of the flour, mix, then add 1/2 of the sour cream, mix, add another 1/3 of the flour, mix, add the rest of the sour cream, and finish with the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling no more than 2/3 full. If you live at a high altitude or have had overflowing cupcakes in the past, err on the side of filling the liner of one cupcake 1/2 full and baking it alone first to judge how the cupcake will rise in the oven. Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes. Remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

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