The beauty of my life as a novice baker lies partly in the fact that I don’t like sweets. Don’t get me wrong – I love baking them, smelling them, working with them and sharing them… my taste buds just prefer the savory side.
Trust me, this is a good thing. My list of food/beverage related vices is long enough that sparing me of sweet related calories is a God-send. Now when I start making my own cheese, beer and bread – we’ll be in trouble… “we” being my waist-line.
That being said, of course I taste my goods for yumminess factor, flavors, consistency, and recipe tweaking. So I can tell you without pause that these cupcakes are delish. If there’s a chocoholic in your life, you should surprise them with these treats, you’ll make their day.
Naturally they come adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes. I always substitute a bit of cake flour when I can and add sour cream, but since it’s already there, we’re in business!
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp coarse salt
3 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbl vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
14 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
9 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
9 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup sour cream
Optional, Chocolate Curls:
Large block of semi or bittersweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full, a 1/8 cup measuring cup works great. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to a wire rack to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Store cupcakes overnight at room temperature, or frozen in an airtight container, up to 2 months.
To make the frosting: melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Set aside to cool until barely warm. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Beat in the melted and cooled chocolate and then the sour cream. Beat until the mixture is smooth and well blended. Frost how ya’ like!
To make curls: warm the block of chocolate in the microwave, at 10 second intervals until the chocolate is pliable. Using a vegetable peeler run the length of the block.