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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Recipe: Chocolate Cupcakes



Recipe: Chocolate Cupcakes



Perfection in simplicity... dipped in chocolate

The Blueberry Muffins from a few weeks back were such a popular hit, I couldn't help but think that the same would be true for these equally easy and possibly more delicious Chocolate Cupcakes. Not that I doubt people are up for making their own Fruit Mousse Miroir. But there is something nice about the occasional 15 minute recipe from Culinary School, however rare that may be.

Like the Blueberry Muffins, this recipe appears courtesy of The International Culinary Center and can be found in "The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts"However, there are a few modifications that make a good recipe even better.

Chocolate Cupcake




Chocolate Cupcakes:

Note: The original recipes were developed using Metric weights and volumes. I have added the Imperial equivalents for reference, but the exact amounts will vary based on the product used and your measuring technique. 

Key take-away: buy a kitchen scale and go metric!

Yield12 Cupcakes (and enough batter left to lick off the spoon)

Ingredients (Cupcakes):
  • White Granulated Sugar: 225g (1 Cup + 2 Tbls)
  • Cake Flour: 200g (1 2/3 Cups)
  • Salt: 1/4 Tsp
  • Baking Soda: 3/4 Tsp
  • Butter: 85g (6 Tbls or 3/4 Stick)
  • Vegetable Oil: 80mL (1/3 Cup)
  • Cocoa Powder: 65g (1/2 Cup + 1 Tbls)
  • Water: 175 mL (3/4 Cup)
  • Egg, Whole: 1 count
  • Egg, Yolk: 1 count
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 Tsp
  • Buttermilk: 180mL (3/4 Cup)

Chef’s note: If you do not have Cake Flour (which you should!), you can use All Purpose Flour. For every cup of flour used, replace 2 Tbls of the flour with 2 Tbls of corn starch. This will approximate the lower protein content of Cake Flour, which produces a more tender product. Just make sure you mix and sift the corn starch and flour well before using.


Ingredients (Fudge Icing):
  • Butter: 113g (1/2 Cup or 1 Stick)
  • Cream: 40mL (2 Tbls + 2 Tsp)
  • Cocoa Powder: 10g (1 Tbls + 1 Tsp)
  • Powdered Sugar: 100g (0.75 Cup + 1 Tbls)


Directions (for the cupcakes):

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour a 12-cup cupcake mold (or use paper liners).

2. Sift together the sugar, flour, salt and baking soda.

Chef’s note: Sifting serves two functions. First, it removes lumps. Second, it helps to evenly distribute the dry ingredients. Both are important as they make it easier to mix the final batter with fewer stirs.

3. Warm the butter until it is just melted. Whisk the butter with the remaining liquid ingredients (vegetable oil, water, egg, yolk, vanilla and buttermilk) until well combined. The liquids should be cool.

Chef’s note: To avoid developing gluten when the wet ingredients are mixed with the dries, it is best to use cool liquid. Warm liquids promote gluten development. 

4. Add all of the dry ingredients to the liquid and stir until combined. If the dry ingredients were well-sifted, this should require minimal stirring.

Chef’s note: Do not over-mix. Stir the ingredients until they are just combined. Over-mixing will develop too much gluten and result in tough cupcakes.

5. Immediately fill the molds 7/8th of the way full. I know that's very specific... but we tested... and 7/8th worked the best.

Chef’s note: Why the urgency to fill those molds and get the cupcakes in the oven? This recipe uses Baking Soda as the chemical leavener. Once it gets wet and mixes with the acid from the buttermilk, the leavening action begins. If you wait too long, all of the gas bubbles will have formed and potentially popped before the cake sets. 

6. Bake the Cupcakes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes. The cupcakes should have domed tops and spring back to the touch. A cake-tester inserted into the center of the cupcakes should remove clean. 

7. Immediately remove the cupcakes from the mold and allow them to cool on a wire cooling rack. 



Directions (for the Fudge Icing):

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan and stir over low-medium heat until the butter is melted and the ingredients are well-combined.

2. Allow the Icing to cool to the desired thickness. When warm, the Fudge Icing can be used as a glaze: dip the tops of the cupcakes for quick, easy icing. For a thicker frosting, allow the Fudge Icing to cool and then mix it in an electric mixer with a whisk attachment until light and fluffy.



Storage:

Unfrosted cupcakes can be refrigerated for two days or frozen. Frosted cupcakes should be consumed the day they are finished. Unused Fudge Icing can be stored in the refrigerator and remelted as needed. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming.

Chocolate Cupcake Batter in Molds

Baked Chocolate Cupcakes



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