Who doesn't like cupcakes? When Clara from I Heart Food 4 Thought selected Dorie's Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes, I was thrilled. Especially since I would get to bake them for my birthday! Well, it was yesterday, but it was still really fun to bake cupcakes for my birthday like I was a kid again. However, these are a little more grown-up.
Since I've gotten more confident in my baking skills, I was able to look at these cupcakes as a blank canvas - open to possibilities like flavored fillings, different toppings, etc. One of the Nesties on the Money Matters board suggested that I stick an Andes mint in the middle, which was totally brilliant! Alex suggested that I use our Spicy Hot Cocoa for some, which was also brilliant. I bought the Spicy Hot Cocoa at a conference expo in August from an organic fair-trade company and it's absolutely delish.
It added a great chocolaty flavor and spicy heat to my "Hot" Chocolate cupcakes. I also sprinkled in just a little more cayenne to balance out the extra chocolate. For the Chocolate Mint Cupcakes, I pushed one Andes mint down into the batter, and then smoothed it over to cover. I also melted a few Andes mints into the glaze. In the end, the mint in the cupcake didn't melt like I had hoped, so I think next time I might break up little pieces into the batter.
Many of the Dorie bakers said that these cupcakes were dry and there was a lot of speculation on the posting board about the chemistry of flour by volume or weight and butter versus oil. I decided to replace the 1/2 cup of buttermilk with 1/2 cup of plain yogurt to increase moisture. The baking time was also listed at 20-25 minutes, so I tested them at 18 and found that there were done. I'm so glad that we have the Questions and Comments sections on the TWD site. It's been incredibly helpful with all the recipes.
The only things I weren't crazy about was whisking the butter into the glaze (hello tired arms!) and the buttery taste that came as a result. I think that 2 tablespoons were a little too much, flavor wise. The actual butter taste was pretty prominent compared to the chocolate and I didn't like that. The mint glaze didn't have that problem because of the extra candies mixed in, but next time, I might cut down on the butter. Could I possibly say "butter" one more time in a paragraph? Butter. Butter. Butter. Parkay. (anyone? anyone? Bueller?)
Overall, I liked how they were densely fudgey and more adult tasting than everyday fluffy cupcakes. The added yogurt really kept them moist and I'm glad I didn't over bake them. The Andes mint in the middle was fun, and I liked the spicy back-of-the-throat-heat that we got on the "Hot" chocolate ones. I was surprised that I ended up liking the glaze more than I like regular frosting. That's tough for me to admit because I'm a frosting girl all the way! The ganache glaze was rich without being too sweet, and it really upped the sophistication on the cupcakes. Great selection, Clara! I will definitely make these again.
***This will be my last TWD post for a few weeks. That makes me very sad, since I was so excited about baking next weeks Rugelach. I travel for part of my job and most of my November will be spent on the road. I'll be sure to try lots of baked goods along the way and report on the oh-so-exciting life of a grad school recruiter. "Ooooh, this hotel room has cable! Fancy!"