Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Also known as "Nicole Needed Chocolate and Ended Up with a Mess"

I want to start out by saying, I don't bake everyday and only post the good recipes with good pictures. If I bake something, I am going to blog about the experience, so that I might learn from it, but also so that you don't make the same mistakes I did!

Sometimes I get bored with the same old recipes, so I mix it up a bit. Tonight I did it out of necessity. I decided to take my own advice, and use ingredients I already had. Back up. I didn't just say that.... I used ingredients I already had, yes, but it wasn't actually my idea. The credit goes to Tanya, my co-cupcake-conspirator. She is going to do a few Cupcakes on a Budget (I think... Don't quote me!) and so I was inspired to NOT SHOP for once!

My first attempt at buttercream several weeks ago left me with a lumpy over-sweet mass, and I wanted to give it another shot. Unfortunately, this wasn't the only "attempt" tonight. I had a bad day at work, and I wanted to pig-out on chocolate cupcakes, so I decided to try again at the buttercream for this recipe. I made a 1/2 batch of cupcakes, making 6 large cupcakes. It wasn't until my second try tonight that I noticed what went wrong the first time: water. I forgot to add the water to the recipe! I had wondered if it was the possibly-expired sour cream, or the extra dash of rising agents I added.

For my second attempt at the cupcakes, I left out the possibly-expired sour cream, and opted for whipped cream instead! I whipped up approximately 9-10 ounces of heavy whipping cream and used that (all of it) instead of the sour cream. Yes, for a half batch, the recipe would only call for 1/2 C sour cream, but I didn't want to waste the whipped cream and I wanted to be adventurous. I made sure to add in the water to this recipe, which made the batter a little thin. I folded in the whipped cream, instead of beating or whipping, for fear of over-beating. This made 21 cupcakes.

I used the Classic Chocolate Cupcake Mix, except for sour cream, I used whipped cream (which could be the reason that I ended up with a mess.....)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Makes: about 2 C

3 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 1/2 C powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbs Dutch cocoa powder
1 1/2 C butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C heavy whipping cream

This frosting was absolutely lickable! I almost licked the bowl clean!!

1. Heat the chocolate in a double boiler, and set aside to cool.
2. Beat the butter, sugar, and cocoa powder until smooth and creamy.
3. Beat in the melted chocolate until smooth and creamy.
4. Add the cream and vanilla and yet again, beat until smooth and creamy.
5. On medium speed, continue to beat for 3 minutes, until the frosting looks smooth and the color has lightened.

The buttercream came out great!! Smooth and chocolatey, I could almost eat it by itself! The second set of cupcakes, however, came out worse than the first. I don't know if it was the whipped cream that ruined these cupcakes, too, or not. These cupcakes came out looking like a crater. I have a feeling my baking powder and baking soda may be out-dated. I will pick some up soon and try this recipe again until I am successful. The pictures are of my horrible failure. Unfortunately, I have no chocolate and am now extremely frustrated!

UPDATE 7/22: I had one cupcake from the first batch of cupcakes, with some frosting on top, and it actually wasn't too bad. The edges were a bit crispy, which my husband really liked, but the rest tasted like a cupcake should. I am still going to buy more baking soda and baking powder and try again sometime. I really don't know what happened to the second batch of cupcakes.

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