Monday, March 15, 2010

One bowl chocolate cupcakes

Starting out the week the right way -- with chocolate.  Because losing an hour of sleep may or may not have thrown you for a slight loop this weekend.  And because these amazing chocolate cookies didn't quite satisfy your craving for chocolate.  I present to you the quintessential chocolate cupcake (or cake, for that matter).  You probably saw these cupcakes in the Oscars party post, and they are certainly worthy of multiple awards.  They are flavorful and chocolatey to the core without being too sweet.  Moist and fluffy rather than dry and dense like many chocolate cakes tend to be.  Oh, and they truly require one bowl.  Talk about a winner of a recipe.

Note: I've used this recipe for mini cupcakes, round layer cakes, large rectangular cakes, you name it.  For mini cupcakes, I'd cut the baking time down to about 15 minutes per cupcake and start checking the center with a toothpick from there.  For cakes, a full recipe makes two 9-inch round cakes, and make sure to adjust cooking time to 30-35 minutes and check with cake tester until done.

One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
(from the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook)
-makes 30 standard size cupcakes (I halved this for the party and got 15)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 large whole eggs + 1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups warm water
Icing of your choice, perhaps this recipe for buttercream

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line two standard 12-cup muffins pans with paper liners (see pretty gold ones for the Oscars, of course).  Into the large bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Attach bowl to the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or regular beaters on your hand mixer) and add eggs and yolk, milk, oil, vanilla, and warm water.  Beat on low speed until smooth and combined, roughly 3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Fill each paper liner roughly 2/3 full of batter.  Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.  Cool pans on rack for roughly ten minutes.  Remove cupcakes in liners from pan carefully and place onto rack to cool completely, top sides up.

Frost cupcakes to your fancy.  I'll admit I cheated and bought coconut-pecan frosting from the store, to make these more German.  I used my trusty ice cream scooper to portion out icing with the intention of spreading it over the whole top of the cupcake, but it looked so artsy that I left it that way.  Cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days (but good luck getting them to last that long).

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