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Is it biscuit weather yet? Are we getting close? And in case you are wondering if I am planning on cooking up some biscuits, not at all. By my anticipation of “biscuit weather” I mean all of the wonderful cool season food. Steaming bowls of hearty soups, roasted up beets and other delectable roots and any other warm and inviting comfort foods. It’s also the time when lots of social gathering are going on and last minute dinner parties are held.

 

Over the last few weeks I thought about this kind of recipe to make. Should I use a French style of buttercream or a Swiss style? How much cardamom can one cupcake take, to list a few ponders? These cupcakes can take it with the cardamom and the Swiss style buttercream, liquefied before my eyes. Why does this happen? Hopefully I won’t need to learn a few chemistry equations to properly achieve a nice consistency. For now, I went with a basic French style buttercream, it’s quick and delicious. If you can find coffee concentrate, it is divine.

 

 

Cardamom-Spiced Cupcake Recipe

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmed

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

 

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

 

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup buttermilk

¼ cup sour cream

 

preparing the batter:

1. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together, set aside.

2. Whip sugar and eggs together until light, approx. 2 minutes.

3. Stir in the oil and buttermilk until smooth.

4. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture until smooth.

5. Incorporate sour creaam.

 

filling & baking the cups:

1. Place 2-#50 scoops batter in each cupcake cups.

2. Bake in a 350°F oven for 18 minutes.

3. Cupcakes are done when a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

 

 

Coffee Buttercream Recipe

 

1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened

1 ½ cups vegetable shortening

 

1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar

1 Tablespoon coffee concentrate -or- extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon sea salt

 

1. Cream butter, vegetable oil and sea salt together until smooth.

2. Beat in sugar, adding more to taste a tablespoon at a time.

3. Whisk in extracts.

4. Chill buttercream for 20 minutes before filling a pastry bag.

 

assembling the cupcakes:

Pipe a swirl of frosting using a large star pastry tip and adorn with coffee bean for each cupcake. Chill finished cupcakes until ready to serve. Allow frosting to soften for 10 minutes before serving. Makes approximately 15 servings.

*For better frosting ribbons, I prefer to use an Ateco #849 tip. This specific pastry tip has a rounded end that helps create deep ribbons in the frosting.

I don’t usually find myself baking up cupcakes for the fun of it, but I will gladly make them for those who love them. This post is an impromptu recipe for chocolate cupcakes filled with cream and glazed with chocolate. The chocolate glaze part of this recipe is a secret creation that works better than the standard ganache most of us glaze desserts with. This chocolate glaze remains glossy and supple even right out of the fridge.

 

Chocolate Cupcakes

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 ¼ cups granular sugar

¾ cup cocoa powder, sifted

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

¾ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ rounded teaspoon baking powder

a few grates of nutmeg

1 ½ cups hot water

2 Tablespoons espresso powder

¾ cup vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon white vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

3 eggs

preparing the batter:

1. Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, sea salt, ginger, nutmeg and baking powder.

2. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture.

3. Add vegetable oil, vanilla and eggs.

4. Combine hot water with espresso powder.

5. Whisk until a smooth batter forms; gradually adding in the espresso.

filling the cups:

1. Place 2-#40 scoops of batter in each cup.

2. Bake one pan at a time in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes.

3. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

4. Cool for 10-15 minutes in pan then transfer to a wire rack.

Once the cupcakes are cool, cut a hole in the center of each as if you were coring a tomato. Next, scoop out a little more cake with a melon baller. Set cupcakes aside and prepare the crème chantilly.

 

Crème Chantilly

1 ½ cups heacy cream

¼ cup sugar

Crème Chantilly is a fancy French name for sweetened whipped cream. Place both ingredients in a bowl and beat until cream has formed stiff peaks. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip with whipped cream. Pipe enough whipped cream so that it over fills the tops of the cupcakes. Remove the excess cream using a spatula recreating a smooth top, chill.

Chocolate Glaze

½ cup cream

½ cup granular sugar

2 Tablespoons butter, unsalted

1 teaspoon honey

½ cup Dutched cocoa powder, sifted

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat cream, sugar, butter and honey in a small sauce pan until melted and warm. Whisk in cocoa powder and vanilla extract until smooth, strain through a fine mesh sieve.

To glaze the cupcakes, dip each one face down until chocolate glaze touches the baking cups. Allow excess to drip off for a moment and invert back onto a sheet tray. Repeat with all cupcakes and chill until chocolate glaze sets. Repeat process one more time for a nice even coat. The process is repeated because the first coat may melt some of the cream filling and show through. Chill cupcakes again.

Melt 2 ounces of white chocolate and fill a pastry bag fitted with a fine round tip. Simply sweep the tip over the cupcakes back and forth. The tip should remain a half inch above the cupcakes.

These cupcakes are best served at room temperature. Take them out of the refrigerator one to two hours before serving. Delicious!

Why do cupcakes captivates us? Is it the perfect ratio of cake to frosting or perhaps the endless variety of flavors that satisfy a particular mood? Whatever the reason, they effortlessly make us happy and are easily enjoyed with no accompaniment. 

Here is a recipe for chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting. Many recipes tend to incorporate so much confectioners’ sugar that it makes the frosting grainy and overly sweet. Reducing the sugar achieves a smooth frosting that pipes like a dream.

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe:

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 ¼ cups granular sugar

¾ cup cocoa powder, sifted

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

¾ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

¼ rounded teaspoon baking powder

 1 ½ cups coffee

¾ cup vegetable oil

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

3 eggs

Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, sea salt, ginger, nutmeg and baking powder. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture. Add coffee, vegetable oil, vanilla and eggs. Whisk until a smooth batter forms. Place two #40 scoops of batter in each cup, otherwise just fill each cup 2/3 full. Bake one pan at a time in a 350°F oven for 18-20 minutes. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 10-15 minutes in pan then transfer to a wire rack.

Chocolate Ganache Recipe:

1 cup chocolate pieces

½ cup heavy cream

1 Tablespoon softened butter

Place chocolate and butter in a bowl and set aside. Bring heavy cream to a boil over medium heat and pour over chocolate and butter. Allow the cream to soften the chocolate then whisk until smooth. While your ganache is still warm, coat the tops of the cupcakes by dipping them head first into the chocolate. Place cupcakes in the refrigerator to firm up the ganache while you make the frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream Recipe:

3 cups unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups vegetable shortening

5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat butter and vegetable shortening together until smooth. Incorporate half of the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Repeat with the remaining sugar and add in vanilla extract. If you want to add any color, add color paste a little at a time until you achieve the shade you are looking for. Fill a pastry bag with frosting and pipe away. This recipe makes approximately 24 cupcakes.

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