Wednesday, April 30, 2014



These chocolate cupcakes are incredibly moist and tender with a rich chocolate flavor, due to the fact that the batter used is actually a double chocolate cake batter using both cocoa powder and chocolate. The recipe is adapted from Miette, one of my go-to bake books, both for the recipes and the pretty designs.


Come to think of it, cupcakes weren't a big part of my childhood. I can't really recall a special memory that includes them, even though I'm quite certain I've eaten a fair share at birthday parties and other seasonal occasions. But I do have a special place in my heart for chocolate cake.
Chocolate cake in Japan tastes different, and although I've been living here in Tokyo longer than I lived in the States, I still sometimes get cravings for a slice of classic American-style chocolate cake. No fancy flavors or decorations; just plain chocolatey chocolate cake, served with a layer of plain chocolate buttercream or maybe a dollop of whipped cream. That's my idea of perfection — something that fulfills my chocolate cake cravings — and that is exactly what these cupcakes taste like.


The buttercream is adapted from Call Me Cupcake!'s espresso chocolate cupcakes (by Linda Lomelino), and if you like your chocolate cupcakes with a cold glass of milk, this is the buttercream to use. If you want something a little less rich but as equally as satisfying, I recommend the raspberry buttercream I used for the cupcake photographs in my last post, also from Linda's blog.

It's hard to believe we've already come to the end of April. I'm still having trouble writing posts on a regular basis, but I guess writing random posts is still better than not writing at all. I really hope I can post a Mother's Day post before Mother's Day. One of my goals for May . . . *

* { espresso chocolate cupcakes, double chocolate cupcakes adapted from : miette by meg ray with leslie jonath, espresso chocolate buttercream adapted from : call me cupcakeespresso chocolate cupcakes }
— click on the images above, or continue reading for the recipe

{ ingredients } makes 12-14 cupcakes
< for the chocolate cupcakes >
110g all-purpose flour
60g unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/8 teaspoon salt
30g chocolate (70% cacao)
120ml hot strong coffee
120ml buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
60ml vegetable oil
200g granulated sugar

< for the espresso chocolate buttercream >
200g dark chocolate
250g unsalted butter at room temperature
130g confectioner's sugar
40g cocoa powder
2 tablespoons espresso
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

cacao nibs, to garnish (optional)

{ instructions }
< for the chocolate cupcakes >
1. Preheat oven to 170℃. Line muffin tin(s) with paper liners.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together into a large bowl and set aside. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour the hot coffee over it. Whisk until the chocolate is melted, and set side to cool.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg well until foamy. Add the oil in a slow stream to the egg while whisking, and whisk some more until fully incorporated. Slowly add the chocolate and coffee mixture while whisking, until fully incorporated. Slowly add the buttermilk and vanilla extract while whisking, until fully incorporated. Add the sugar and whisk until the batter is very smooth and liquid.
4. Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix by lifting and folding, using a rubber spatula. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to incorporate any remaining dry ingredients. Try to make the batter as smooth as possible but be careful not to overmix. (The finished batter will look a little lumpy which is ok. If it is too lumpy, you can pour the batter through a medium-mesh sieve to get rid of the lumps.)
5. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins, filling each cup two-thirds full. Bake cupcakes for 15-20 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer tins to a wire rack and let cool completely in tins.

< for the espresso chocolate buttercream >
1. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and nest the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water to make a bain-marie. Heat until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth, and remove from heat and set aside to cool.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioner's sugar and whisk until fully incorporated and smooth. Gradually add the cocoa powder and whisk until fully incorporated and smooth.
3. Add the melted chocolate and whisk until fully incorporated. Add the espresso and vanilla extract and whisk until the buttercream is smooth and spreadable.

To decorate the cupcakes, transfer the espresso chocolate buttercream into a pastry bag with a medium star tip. Holding the pastry bag upright so the tip is at a 90-degree angle, pipe a spiral from the outer edge toward the middle of each cupcake, and end with a point in the center. Garnish with cacao nibs, and serve at room temperature.

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