Monday, July 19, 2010

Favorite Cupcakes

In the heat of summer I try not to do too much baking, but some things don't take too long. My little loaves of bread take <35 minutes and for a sweet treat, cupcakes are done in 25 minutes. I do occasionally make cookies too. Though they only take 12 minutes to bake, I have to bake them in batches, so it takes quite a long time overall.

For my chocolate cupcakes, I used to always use Hershey's European Dutch Processed Cocoa, but when that was discontinued, I was at a loss as to which cocoa to switch to. I tried a few that baked up terribly! It is not fun to have to throw out a dozen cupcakes or a two layer cake!! Finally, I tried Bensdorp Dutch Processed Cocoa and I love it. If you are a baker, what is your favorite cocoa?

You can see the Bensdorp gives a nice dark, chocolaty look. And the flavor is as good as it looks!

I am not a frosting artist. Sometime it would be fun to learn some techniques, but I am happy to just spread a bit of buttercream on top. In the heat of summer it's a bit melty anyway, so simple is best.

I like buttercream with a minimal amount of butter (the ratios given in the Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery cookbook are good in my opinion) and it's fun to give it a bit of color too. Here is a color from another batch. After they've been in the fridge they are less melty looking like this one.

My favorite chocolate cake recipe is from the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks At Home Cookbook and the entire book is online, but the cake recipe is here and includes instructions for cupcakes. It is called the '6 Minute Chocolate Cake'. That book was released in 1994 and I've been making the cake since a couple years after that. I like it with water just fine, but it is richer with cold coffee, if I happen to have some saved for it. I use plain vinegar. It just happens to be vegan which helps it be so very quick to make and I'm even more likely to have the (all pantry staples) ingredients on hand when I have a craving for it.


2paw said...

I couldn't find the recipe at the link, so I googled the whole Earth and it popped straight up. It looks great and I hope mine look half as good as yours!! I will bake some for MrsDrWho!!
It is too hot at Summertime for Christmas here, so I often cook late at night.

Kristen said...

The cupcakes look excellent! I have to admit I just use Hershey's Cocoa in recpes, but will have to try out some specialty cocoas. When we finally get our stove hooked back up I'm going to try that cake recipe! The cookbook is around here somewhere.

knitseashore said...

I too use the Hershey's Cocoa, but I'll have to look for the kind you recommended. Chocolate cupcakes are the best treat! I honestly don't make my own frosting but I would like to experiment with that sometime.

madalyn said...

Yum, cupcakes! I'm not the best at spreading icing, either, but oh well. It's the taste that counts!