We’ve once again reached Friday and my never ending war against dog hair has ended for another day. In fact I’ve begun to modify the lyrics of Butterfield’s Lullaby, better known as Taps, for this war:
“Day is done, dog hair has won;
On the floor and the sofa and the bed….”
Its clearly a work in progress.
Anyhow, once again, I’m donning the frilly apron and the tiara to serve as fill in food goddess while our Doyenne of Digestibles is off doing fabulous things with fabulous people – or whatever it is she’s actually doing.
Per a request from last week, we’re going to do cupcakes tonight. I’ve got two recipes – one for a dark chocolate cupcake and one for a vanilla flavored white cupcake. Both the recipes are the same as for layer cakes, so if a layer cake is your thing, or even a sheet cake, just adjust accordingly. We’ll start with the chocolate one.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/3 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups hot coffee
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place cup cake liners/cups in the wells of four to six muffin pans (depending on how big you want your cupcakes). In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and eggs and mix until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, cocoa, baking soda and salt and mix. Add 1/2 of the flour, then 1/2 of the sour cream and mix. Repeat with the remaining flour and sour cream. Drizzle in the hot coffee and mix until smooth. The batter will be thin. Pour into the prepared cupcake cup lined muffin pans and bake until the tops are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (a few crumbs are okay). For a layer cake this would about 35 minutes, but for cupcakes it shouldn’t take as long. So check at the 20 minute mark and then every five minutes thereafter so you don’t burn them. Halfway through the baking, quickly rotate the pans in the oven to ensure even baking, but otherwise try not to open the oven. Let cool in the muffin pans for 10 minutes. The remove onto wire racks and let cool completely before frosting.
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
16 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 cup cooled coffee
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Drizzle in the melted chocolate and mix. Add the coffee and vanilla and mix. Add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Mix until well blended and fluffy. To frost the cake, use a spatula to cover 2 of the cake layers with frosting. Stack them together. Flip the third cake layer over and rest it on the top to create a very flat top for the cake. Frost on the sides and top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
I like to sprinkle multi-color sprinkles on my chocolate frosted chocolate cupcakes, but your mileage may vary.
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
3¼ cups cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
6¼ cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1¼ cups milk
16 tbsp. salted butter
2 12-oz. cans evaporated milk
Heat oven to 350°. Making sure all ingredients are at room temperature. Place cup cake liners/cups in the wells of four to six muffin pans (depending on how big you want your cupcakes). Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together; set aside. Beat remaining unsalted butter and 2½ cups sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add flour mixture and milk alternately in 3 batches, beating smooth after each addition. Divide batter between the cups in the muffin pans. Bake until golden. For a layer cake this would be about 30–35 minutes.but for cupcakes it shouldn’t take as long. So check at the 20 minute mark and then every five minutes thereafter so you don’t burn them. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes; remove cakes; let cool completely.
To make icing, cook remaining sugar and salted butter in a pot over high heat, stirring constantly, until light brown, 7–8 minutes. Carefully stir in evaporated milk; reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring constantly, until smooth, 8–10 minutes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until icing registers 240° on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat; beat with a wooden spoon until thick, glossy, and spreadable, 20–25 minutes. (A dollop dropped on a plate should ooze only slightly.) Ice bottom layer of cake; top with second layer and ice the outside. Chill cake until set.
Here’s an easier, as in less complicated way, to make a caramel frosting. Take 8 ounces of caramels, remove the wrappers and place aside in a mixing bowl. Bring 8 ounces of heavy whipping cream with a teaspoon of vanilla to a boil. Remove it from the heat and pour it over the caramels. Let sit about five minutes and then whisk the melted caramels and heated cream together until smooth. You now have caramel ganache.
In a mixing bowl cream one stick of unsalted butter and a teaspoon of vanilla. Whisk in the caramel ganache until it is thoroughly incorporated and you have caramel buttercream. Then frost.