September 21, 2010

Moist Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

At a friend's recent baby shower I made these cupcakes. My friend requested chocolate or red velvet cupcakes. We all know the best part of the red velvet cake is the cream cheese icing, so I decided to combine chocolate and cream cheese. The buttermilk in these cupcakes makes a moist and a little tangy foil to the sweet sugar/ chocolate goodness.

The day after the baby shower, I got this wonderful package in the mail from Fat Toad Farm. It contained two jars of their caramel sauce made from goat's milk. The sauces are nothing like a caramel sauce from the store, much more viscous and a greater depth of flavor. The coffee caramel sauce is over the top delicious! I poured a little on the top of a leftover cupcake - seriously decadent! I only wish I'd gotten the caramel BEFORE the baby shower.

Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes
Makes 12

3/4 c flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp melted unsalted butter
6 tbsp buttermilk
1 egg
1 egg white

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard 12-cup muffin tin (or two 6-cup muffin tins) with paper or silicone liners. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. (What is the right way to measure flour? Take a spoon and spoon the flour into your measuring cup. When you get a big mound of flour in your cup, level it off with a knife so the top is flat and measures the correct amount. This process ensures you have air mixed in with your flour and you aren't using too much flour in a recipe, which is especially important in baking.)

With an electric mixer, combine cocoa and 3 tablespoons hot water until a thick paste forms (this process intensifies the chocolate flavor). Add butter, buttermilk, egg, and egg white; beat until combined. Whisk in flour mixture until smooth. Scoop batter into muffin pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pkg cream cheese, 8 oz (I use light because it's easier to beat)
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Beat the cream cheese until fluffy and then mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla, starting slowly so you don't end up with a white dusted kitchen. You can also make this with 4 oz of cream cheese and 4 oz of butter, but I prefer the creamier all cheese version. Frost the cooled cupcakes.


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