Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
¾ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
4 item large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup hot water
1 cup nonfat sour cream, room temperature


1. Preheat oven 350°F. Line muffin pans with paper liners. Whisk together, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together cocoa powder and hot water, until smooth.

2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; add sugar stirring, until combined. Remove from heat, pour into mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until cooled about 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl periodically. Add vanilla extract and cocoa mixture, beat until combined. Reduce speed; add flour mixture alternating with sour cream, ending with flour until just combined.

3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups filling three-quarters full. Bake approximately 20-25 minutes, rotating pans halfway through and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer pans to rack or counter to cool before removing cupcakes.

4. To finish, use a small offset spatula or small butter knife to create soft peaks with frosting.

Dark Chocolate Frosting:
Makes: 4 cups

½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ cup boiling water
2 ¼ cups (4 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ pounds semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Chocolate Curls:
1 block bittersweet chocolate

Use a vegetable peeler, slice strips from a slightly warm block of chocolate (heat in microwave for 5-second intervals, do not overheat). To create curls, start from the top and move the peeler toward you directly over cupcakes.