When the going gets tough, the tough bakes cupcakes!

by Patricia on January 29, 2009 · 4 comments

At least, that’s what I decided to do. Work has gone a little sideways this week and today I needed to take a mental break. And I needed some chocolate. So on the drive home this evening, I thought about what I would bake. Not if I would bake, but what I would bake. It was an inevitability. Even in my sleep deprived state, the thought of baking up something sweet and lovely sounded simply therapeutic.
But what to bake? I’ve been thinking about a flourless chocolate cake for a while but today was not the day to try something completely new. No, I wanted simple. I wanted comforting. I wanted a cupcake. A happy, chocolate cupcake. I know I’ve already done chocolate cupcakes 2 ways recently and I did think maybe I should do a different kind of cake just to introduce a little variety… chiffon? yellow cake? lemon? red velvet? But no, I wanted chocolate and would not be persuaded otherwise.
So without further ado, here is the cupcake du jour:

Chocolate & Peanut Butter

Devil’s food cupcakes with a thin chocolate ganache layer and topped with peanut butter frosting. Chocolate + peanut butter = happy happy :)

I used a zin-less version of the devil’s food cupcakes I made last week as my last minute entry into the Iron Cupcake challenge. For the frosting, I found a peanut butter frosting in Good Housekeeping Baking. I tried one cupcake with a not-so-precise smear of frosting. It was good but needed a little extra chocolate kick. So I reached for the ganache once again (but hey, lots of things are better dipped in chocolate… ). I dipped the cupcakes before frosting them. And the results were the perfect balance between chocolate and peanut butter. And I am now relaxed.

D. was skeptical of the frosting. He said he has a love-hate relationship with peanut butter and chocolate (what??!!). But he tried one. It turns out that the frosting was light and fluffy enough to make a believer out of him… in fact, he ate 3 in under 30 minutes.

Classic Devil’s Food Cupcakes
(adapted from Good Housekeeping Baking)
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners and spray with baking spray (oil + flour spray).
2. Sift together cocoa, flour, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a medium bowl, with mixer on low, beat butter, brown sugar and sugar until blended. Increase speed to high and beat for 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat until mixed. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat just until smooth, scraping bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula.
4. Divide batter among muffin cups (I filled them almost to the top). Bake for about 20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted in the center of a cupcake.
5. Allow to cool completely and then frost or glaze, as desired.
Makes 12 cupcakes

Peanut Butter Frosting
(adapted from Good Housekeeping Baking)
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
1.5 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 to 1.5 tbsp milk

1. With the mixer at medium speed, beat butter, peanut butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth and fluffy.
2. Add confectioners’ sugar and 1 tbsp milk. Beat until blended. Increase speed to medium-high; beat 2 minutes or until fluffy, adding remaining milk as needed (for spreading consistency).
Makes enough for 12 cupcakes.

{ 3 comments }

1 Brownies for Dinner February 2, 2009 at 12:08 am

Thanks! This frosting recipe turned out great. Definitely peanut butter-y but light and fluffy. My boyfriend wouldn’t call it frosting because it was too fluffy… he kept calling it mousse :)

2 Maria January 29, 2009 at 2:55 pm

The cupcakes look fabulous!! I love the frosting!

3 VeggieGirl January 29, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Lovely cupcakes!!

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