Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dreaming of Sweets

Okay, I gave up all things sweet for Lent and even though there are only a few weeks left,for any of you that know me personally, you now I am battling great cravings. With that in mind, I have been fondly remembering the homemade cupcakes I made several weeks ago, and thought I would share the recipie with you so that someone could benefit from the chocolate-y, creamy goodness!

I found these recipes in a cookbook I have cherished to the point of tattered pages and crinkled cover: "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman - Check it out!

Chocolate Cake
8 Tablespoons of Butter, softened
2 cups flour (All purpose or Cake)
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 & 1/4 cups milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter muffin tins.
2. I used a double broiler but you can also use a small saucepan to melt the chocolate over very low heat. When chocolate is almost completely melted, remive from heat and stir until smooth.
3. With electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. beat in egg yolks, one at a time, then the vanilla, and finally the chocolate. Mix the dry ingredients and then add them to the chocolate mixture by hand, alternating with the milk. Stir until combined and smooth.
4. Beat egg whites until white and fluffy. Use a rubber spatula to gently, but thoroughly, fold them into batter. Pour into muffin tins, filling over halfway.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool before icing with Butter Cream Frosting - see recipe below!

Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting
8 Tablespoons butter, softened
4 cups cofectioners' sugar
6 Tablespoons cream or milk (I originally used milk, but it ended up slightly thinner)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Depending on how soft the butter is, use a firk or electric mixer to cream the butter. Gradually work in sugar, alternating with the cream*.
2. Stir in vanilla. Mix well after each addition, and if mixture seems too thick add milk/cream, if too thin, refrigerate it.
*If you want a double chocolate experience, add 2 ounces melted and cooled unsweetened chocolate to mixture after adding about half the sugar. Make it mocha by substituting 2 Tbs. very strong coffee for 2 Tbs. milk/cream with the chocolate.
Happy baking! (And know I am insanely jealous of you)

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