August 31, 2009

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

I have found the perfect chocolate cake to beat all chocolate cakes! It's delightfully textured, intensely chocolatey and stays moist, even after sitting out overnight. Where is this mythical cake recipe from? Perhaps a complicated French cookbook or a very detailed family secret recipe? NOPE! This is the good ol' back of the Hershey's cocoa box recipe - Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake. And it is.

I wanted to make cupcakes for a friend's party this weekend and Alex picked a chocolate-mint combination. I scoured my cookbooks and online baking blogs to find the best recipe and ended up on the cupcake mecca - How To Eat a Cupcake. I mean, if you want to bake a cupcake, this is the best place to go, right? As soon as she said this was her favorite chocolate cupcake recipe, I was sold.

Please please make this recipe next time you need chocolate cake or cupcakes! You won't be disappointed. The batter is runny, but don't let that scare you. It was easy to mix up and they were done in about 22 minutes. I topped them with my new favorite frosting - Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Many people are intimidated by this recipe, but it's so easy to make if you follow the instructions. I used HTEAC's recipe, along with some of the instructions from Dorie's book. I used my Wilton gel colors for a faint green tint and pure peppermint extract for that perfectly minty kick.

Chocolate Cupcakes
makes 30 (I halved everything and got 16 cupcakes)
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used peppermint)
1 cup boiling water
Line muffin cups with paper baking cups. Heat oven to 350°F.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Fill cups 2/3 full with batter.

Bake 22 to 25 minutes for regular cupcakes, 13-18 minutes for mini-cupcakes. Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream (from How To Eat a Cupcake)
Makes about 3 cups - enough to frost 12-16 cupcakes
3 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoons peppermint extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (I forgot to put this in and it turned out just fine)

Put egg whites and sugar in a double boiler over simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm. It should look like shiny marshmallow cream and be at about 160 degrees.

Pour heated egg mixture into a clean & dry bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks, about 6 minutes. It's very important to mix for the whole time! The meringue needs to cool off.

Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat on medium-high for about 6 minutes after all the butter has been added. The frosting might curdle or separate during this time, but have no fear - it will come back together!

Beat in extracts. Reduce speed to low; beat 2 minutes to eliminate air bubbles. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.


pinkstripes said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love mint+chocolate. Great looking cupcake.

Joelen said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Mint and chocolate are awesome together and your cupcakes look great!

Katrina said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

These look great, love the green!