Monday, February 14th, 2011
Did you have a lovely weekend? We did, although the days went far too quickly! We’re keeping Valentine’s Day very simple with homemade pizza and some of our favorite tv shows, but I had to make at least a little dessert for us, of course.
I made these cupcakes yesterday and, despite overfilling the first batch and making a mess, ended up with a few pretty ones. I was so happy to have at least a few that came out of the pan properly! But don’t you worry — I made good use of the messy cake pieces. We’ll talk about that later!
Anyhow, this is a super simple chocolate cake recipe that I borrowed from My Kitchen Addiction, and divided in half. You only need one bowl! And the frosting comes from my favorite baking book, so I knew it would be a winner. If you’re looking for a last-minute Valentine’s dessert, I’d highly recommend this one!
One-Bowl Chocolate Cake
Adapted from My Kitchen Addiction
Makes about 18 mini cupcakes
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/8 cup + 1 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant espresso
heaping 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
heaping 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
1/8 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Fill a mini muffin pan with paper liners, or grease well, and set aside. Combine the milk and vinegar in a liquid measuring cup and set aside.
Meanwhile, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, instant espresso, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg, oil, vanilla extract, and half of the prepared sour milk. Mix for a minute or two, until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated. Continue to beat on low speed while gradually adding the rest of the sour milk. The batter will be runny, but that’s just right!
Fill liners about 2/3 full, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes (in the pans) completely on a wire rack before frosting.
High-Altitude Notes: Make sure not to overfill the liners! I would know.
Mocha Buttercream Icing
Pie in the Sky: Successful Baking at High Altitudes
Makes 1 1/2 cups
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter or margarine, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, or more as needed
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup strong coffee or espresso
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
With an electric mixer (stand or hand!), beat butter until smooth. Add 1 cup of the sugar and beat until (relatively) smooth. Scrape down the bowl and beaters. Add the remaining 1 cup sugar, the cocoa, coffee, and vanilla, and beat until completely smooth and creamy. Add a little more sugar if necessary to bring the icing to spreading (or piping) consistency.* (The icing can be made a day in advance and refrigerated, covered; bring to room temperature and beat until smooth before using.)
*I like to pipe frosting on cupcakes, and to do so you’ll need a little more sugar. I added about 1/2 cup.