August 7, 2013

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes

I did my happy dance when I learned I was selected to be a Cupcake Explorer for Cupcake Project's ultimate chocolate cupcake. Nevermind that I was selected after she did three rounds of cupcakes. I'm OK with being chosen last. (Elementary school sports contributed to that.) Basically, I was sent a top-secret recipe to try and rate.

These are the best chocolate cupcakes I've eaten. And trust me, I've eaten my share of chocolate cupcakes. And the chocolate cream cheese frosting is fantastic. This was not the actual ultimate recipe, but I loved it. For that recipe, go here.

If possible, measure your ingredients for the most accurate rendition of this awesomeness. (Of course, these were devoured before photographs. What do you expect from an ultimate cupcake?)

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes
2 Tbsp. (1 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (7 oz.) sugar
2 oz. of your favorite chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup (2 fluid oz.) vegetable or canola oil, measured in a liquid measuring cup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup (2 3/4 oz.) full-fat sour cream
1 cup (5 oz.) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup (1 oz.) natural cocoa powder
1/4 cup (2 fluid oz.) whole milk, measured in a liquid measuring cup
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup cocoa
4 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Place 12 cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix butter and sugar until fully combined. The end result should look like wet sand.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler. Once the melted chocolate is cool enough to touch, add it to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until just combined.

Mix in eggs one at a time until just combined. Mix in oil, vanilla, and sour cream until just combined.

Sift together flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder into a separate medium-sized bowl. Use a fork or a whisk to ensure that the ingredients are mixed well after sifting.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three additions, mixing until just combined after each addition. Mix in milk until just combined.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full, and put in the oven.

Check for doneness at 18 minutes - a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake should come out clean.  If they are not done, check again every three minutes until they are done.

Immediately remove cupcakes from the cupcake tin and place on a cooling rack or on the counter to cool to room temperature.

To make frosting, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in cocoa until fully incorporated. Gradually add powdered sugar until desired texture is reached.

Once cupcakes are cool, pipe on frosting. Makes 12 cupcakes.

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