Chocolate Cupcakes

My daughter has requested chocolate cupcakes for her upcoming birthday. I'm trying a few recipes out to see which one I like best. I made a half batch of the recipe below. This one was really good, but it was more like German Chocolate, and I was looking for a richer chocolate flavor. I was not a fan of the icing. It was the first time I'd made "Neoclassic" buttercream, but it was just too buttery for me, and not sweet hardly at all. It was really smooth, but I had to add powdered sugar to it so it would be eaten.

Source: The Way the Cookie Crumbles

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake
(from Cooks Illustrated)

To make cupcakes instead of a layer cake, divide batter between 24 muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. I only bake one pan at a time. (Because I only have one pan. Also, I only made half the recipe.)

12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1½ sticks), very soft, plus extra for greasing pans
1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8¾ ounces), plus extra for dusting pans
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
¼ cup Dutch-processed cocoa (¾ ounce)
½ cup hot water
1¾ cups sugar (12¼ ounces)
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks

1. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch-round by 2-inch-high cake pans with softened butter; dust pans with flour and knock out excess. Combine chocolate, cocoa powder, and hot water in medium heatproof bowl; set bowl over saucepan containing 1 inch of simmering water and stir with rubber spatula until chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Add ½ cup sugar to chocolate mixture and stir until thick and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and set aside to cool.

2. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Combine buttermilk and vanilla in small bowl. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk eggs and yolks on medium-low speed until combined, about 10 seconds. Add remaining 1¼ cups sugar, increase speed to high, and whisk until fluffy and lightened in color, 2 to 3 minutes. Replace whisk with paddle attachment. Add cooled chocolate mixture to egg/sugar mixture and mix on medium speed until thoroughly incorporated, 30 to 45 seconds, pausing to scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add softened butter one tablespoon at a time, mixing about 10 seconds after each addition. Add about one-third of flour mixture followed by half of buttermilk mixture, mixing until incorporated after each addition (about 15 seconds). Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining buttermilk mixture (batter may appear separated). Scrape down sides of bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans; smooth batter to edges of pan with spatula.

3. Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes, then invert onto wire rack. Cool cakes to room temperature before frosting, 45 to 60 minutes.

I'm not going to include the icing, because it really wasn't worth the hassle. I recommend using your favorite icing recipe on this one!


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