Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes

I recently discovered Cook's Illustrated.  It is a magazine with recipes you could gain weight from just reading them.  Some recipes have back stories, explaining in excruciating detail how they were developed.  The May issue has what looked like the definitive chocolate cupcake recipe.  The back story explains why the consistency of a cupcake has to be different than that of a regular cake.  Since a cupcake is eaten out of hand, it cannot be as crumbly as a plated cake eaten daintily with a fork.  But a less-crumbly cupcake is therefore less tender.  The story goes on and on.   You need a paid subscription to access the article online, so go to the library and read the magazine instead.

This chocolate cupcake recipe, based on the one in the magazine, manages to hold together nicely, yet be tender and thigh-increasingly delicious.

It includes a truffle-like filling.  When I made the cupcakes, the truffle-like filling melted into the batter rather than staying as a separate entity like in the magazine illustration.  Maybe my truffle-like filling wasn't chilled enough.  The taste is amazing, though, so I forgive it.  It calls for only 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar hand-whisked in, so I wasn't allergic to the recipe (see previous post for details).

Coffee is used in the recipe, but you don't really taste it.  The excruciating explanation goes into more depth, but essentially it says that coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate, so don't omit it.

The recipe states that it makes 12 cupcakes.  Cupcake liners must be smaller than they used to, because I was able to make 18 and still have a little batter left over.   The recipe didn't state it, but having learned the hard way not to over-fill the cups, I only filled them 2/3 full.

I'll post the frosting recipe tomorrow or so.

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes
Yield:  12 or 18 cupcakes, depending upon your liner size

2 ozs. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup evaporated milk (or heavy cream)
1 Tbs. confectioner's sugar

3 ozs. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
1 tsp. instant coffee granules

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

 Place the 2 oz. chocolate chips, evaporated milk and that little bit of non-dangerous confectioners' sugar in a 1 cup microwave-safe bowl.

Microwave on high for 20 seconds, or until mixture is warm to the touch.  Whisk until smooth, then refrigerate until chilled (20-30 minutes).

Place 3 ozs. chocolate and cocoa in a medium-size bowl.  Mix together the hot water and coffee granules, then pour over the chocolate.

Whisk until smooth, then refrigerate until completely cool, about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Place cupcake liners in muffin pan and set aside.

In yet another medium-size bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.

When the chocolate-coffee mixture is cooled, remove it from the fridge, then whisk in the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla until fairly smooth.

Tiny lumps and bubbles are ok.  Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with batter.  Place one teaspoon of filling on top of each cupcake.

See those slightly darker indentations?  Those are the filling.  If your filling is not cold and solid, say good-bye to the filling.  It will combine with the batter and you will never see it again as a separate entity.  Still tasty, but not as flashy.  

Bake until cupcakes are set and just firm to the touch, 17-20 minutes.  Cool in pan on cooling rack for 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes and set on cooling rack to cool completely.

Oh yeah, the frosting. Tomorrow.


Juley said…
I can feel the inches attaching to every part of my body just from reading this recipe.

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