devil’s food cupcakes
Red velvet, grasshopper pie, angel food, devil’s food. If it’s a cool, weirdly named cake, I’m there with bells on.
Admittedly, I don’t really like eating cupcakes (my interest lies in monstrously creamy, layered gateaux). I bake cupcakes because I utterly love giving them away – especially to workmates (who double as willing guinea pigs for anything sweet).
There’s that hopeful look when I turn up at work with the cupcake carrier. Then eager looks when passing my cubicle. Finally that ‘oh, is that for me?’ look when said cupcake appears, just when sugar levels need that extra push.
Then there’s the best thing about cupcakes – no sharing! With a prodigious ratio of icing to cake, that first big, uninhibited bite into the gorgeously silky buttercream and hidden crumb is heavenly.
Okay I’m going to end the cupcake manifesto here. Here’s my hashed up version of devil’s food cupcake, coming to a cube farm near you.
Devil’s Food Cupcakes
Adapted from Joy of Cooking and Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home
There’s no actual chocolate in the cupcake batter, so use good quality cocoa. I’ve halved and converted the original recipe to grams. Makes a dozen cupcakes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 12 cupcake holes with liners.
In a bowl, sift and combine:
125g all purpose flour
3g bi-carb soda
pinch of salt
In another bowl, whisk together:
100g caster sugar
120g buttermilk or yogurt
65g dutch processed cocoa
3g vanilla essence
In an electric mixer, beat until creamy:
Gradually add to the butter and beat until light and fluffy:
100g caster sugar
The beat in one at a time,
Turn the electric mixer to low speed, adding the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk mix in 2 parts. Scrape down the sides and beat until smooth. Divide the batter into the cupcake holes and bake for 15 minutes (check around 12 minutes, every oven is different).
Cool for five minutes. To prevent cupcakes sweating in their liners, remove to a wire rack. (Allow to cool completely before icing!)
To prepare the chocolate buttercream, fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, using a microwave, slowly melt:
140g chocolate, preferably 70% cocoa solids
In a stand mixer bowl, combine:
200g caster sugar
3 egg whites
Place the stand mixer bowl over the saucepan to make a double boiler. Whisk the egg white mixture constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot to touch (65°C, if using a thermometer). Remove the bowl from heat and place in the mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed till the thickened whites hold stiff peaks and the bowl is cool to touch (about 10 minutes).
Switch to the paddle attachment. On medium speed, incorporate one piece at a time:
200g unsalted butter, cut into 1 cm pieces
(If the mixture splits, turn up the speed until it comes back together).
Slowly beat in the melted chocolate. Try not to eat/sample too much icing, because there’s just enough for a dozen cupcakes!
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