Sunday, 25 September 2011

My kind of cupcakes and a beautiful cake

If you were stranded on a desert island what baked good would you take with you? This is a difficult question for me.  There are so many.  I think my favourite cake of all time would have to be an amazing chocolate cake by Damian Pignolet. 

An old photo of my favourite cake

It is a flour less moussey (is that a word?! Moussy?) concoction that presses all of the right buttons for me. An added bonus is that it is gluten free.  My Mum is gluten intolerant so we bake a lot of gluten free cakes around here.  If you are interested in having a look the recipe is here.  Do yourself a favour and make it when you feel like a bit of decadence.  

But I digress.  I am very good at digressing so get used to it!  I am a chocoholic and made some cupcakes for my brother's girlfriend this past weekend and they were all kinds of good.

Dark chocolate cupcakes with chocolate fudge frosting
I think these might be my new desert island baked good.  Maybe we should change the rules.  I think I need to take more than one thing....

Dark chocolate cupcakes

Makes 12

1.5 tablespoons instant coffee
100ml hot water
125g unsalted butter, softened
150g dark cooking chocolate, chopped
2 eggs at room temperature
45ml vegetable oil
65ml buttermilk at room temperature
1 cup well sifted plain flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 1/4 cups castor sugar
1/4 cup of cocoa

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line your trays with patty pans.

Combine the coffee and hot water.  Place the butter, chocolate and coffee mixture into a metal bowl over a large saucepan of barely simmering water.  Stir until the ingredients have melted and the mixture is smooth.  Cool to room temperature.  

Whisk together eggs, oil and milk until combined.

In another bowl sift the flour, salt, baking powder, bicarb, sugar and cocoa.  Use a wire whisk to combine. Make a well in the centre and add the egg mixture.  Gently stir to combine.  Add the chocolate mixture and mix carefully but thoroughly until combined.  

Fill the patty pans half way and bake for approximately 25 minutes.  You will be able to tell if they are cooked by lightly touching the surface of the cake.  Remove from trays and cool for a minimum of half an hour before frosting.  

Notes - If you can afford it, premium cocoa will really make a difference to your cakes.  It is the most amazing stuff.  You can get if from specialty food stores such as The Essential Ingredient and chocolatiers such as Koko Black.  
- use the best quality chocolate that you can afford to lift the flavour of your cakes.  
- even if you don't like coffee add it.  It intensifies the flavour of the chocolate. 
- try not to open the oven for 20 minutes or your cakes may sink in the middle.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

 4 cups of icing sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
100g unsalted butter, softened
100ml milk at room temperature, approximate
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract

Makes enough frosting to generously swirl 12 cupcakes

Sift the icing sugar and cocoa together.  

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and lighter in colour.  Add half of the milk, half of the icing sugar and vanilla.  Beat until the mixture until it is light and fluffy (approximately two minutes with a KitchenAid).  Add the remaining icing sugar and mix for a further few minutes.  Add the remaining milk gradually until you reach the desired consistency. 

Notes - I piped my cupcakes using a 1M tip
- I used regular cocoa for this recipe as I was concerned that premium cocoa might be too intense.  That can be my next experiment!  
- Use the best quality vanilla extract you can afford.  A better quality vanilla will most certainly lead to a superior taste.  Neisen-Massey vanilla is sublime.  

You won't be able to go back to the regular stuff once you have used it so be warned!  You can buy it at speciality food stores such as The Essential Ingredient.  My local cake decorating store, Blackwood Lane in Oakleigh, Melbourne, sells it for a competitive price.  

What baked good would you take with you if you were stranded on a desert island? I would love to hear your comments.  

Susie xx

No comments:

Post a Comment