My Deluxe Pre-Birthday Cupcakes
Since it’s my birthday month I’ve been thinking of making a different kind of a birthday cake other chocolate cake, as I have kept making it in the most recent years for my birthday. Peculiarly, since thinking about this, I have been craving everything chocolate and more chocolate and I tried to restrain myself for falling into temptation of making or eating one. Nevertheless, today a picture of a chocolate cupcake had me in my feelings, like the day I first glanced my first love, dark, attractive under the silhouettes, the type of magnificence that says “look at me but don’t touch….”. That’s how a good quality chocolate makes me feel, I recognise the quality before tasting it, and my mouth will just water at the anticipation taste of it. Fudgy, silky, velvety and with balanced sweetness that’s not overpowering. For me, a good chocolate bake, must never be overpowered by sugar. And I think anyone who has ever spent a couple of Rands in a good quality chocolate, wants to taste it in all its gloriousness and appreciate the hands that made it. This is how the frosting of these cupcakes taste like, silky, smooth and melt in your mouth, and the trick is to prepare the frosting the night before use.
In the past I have (before I learned how to bake the way I do now) bought birthday cakes from the stores or bakeries, and I always had a problem with how overly sweet the frosting or buttercream would be. While the cake sponge is equivalently overly sweet, to a point that I would remove the icing of the cake or cupcake and eat the sponge only. Then, I would ask myself, “What’s the point of spending this money without eat everything that I paid for?” but I couldn’t go against my palate and make my sweet-tooth sweeter than it actually is. Conversely, I admit that there is a market for such level of sweetness as there is a market for my kind of sweetness, and that is the beauty of life. We don’t have the same taste in everything, and that makes us unique and special, it also leads us to be innovative thinkers that are able to close the gap.
These are make-ahead cupcakes to allow all the flavours to balance and the moisture to settle. The frosting needs hours to set as it doesn’t have icing sugar to fast track the process or kill the chocolate flavour and texture I’m looking for. I added caramel in the cupcakes because it’s also a favourite and it’s my birthday month. However, caramel also adds a delightful flavour and sweetness which makes these cupcakes a deluxe. I used canned caramel, but you are more than welcomed to use your own (homemade).
120g Cake Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
35g Cocoa Powder
155ml Warm Milk
½ Teaspoon Coffee Granules\Powder
100g Salted Butter, good quality
2 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract\Paste
120g Castor Sugar
15 Teaspoons Canned Caramel, or just enough
200g Semisweet Chocolate
160ml Double Cream
85ml Sour Cream
The night before:
- Preheat oven 180℃.
- Sieve flour and cocoa powder into a small bowl, add baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, stir and set aside.
- Warm milk (do not boil) over medium heat with a sauce pan, add coffee granules\powder stir to dissolve and combine, set aside to cool.
- Cream butter, oil and sugar with an electric whisk on a medium mixing bowl until it becomes pale, light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract\paste, whisk until it is well incorporated. Then add half of the flour mixture followed by half of the coffee\milk mixture, whisk until combined and repeat the process with the remaining ingredients, whisk until all the batter is well combined.
- Insert a muffin pan with standard cupcake cases, fill each with about two-thirds (2/3) of the batter. Bake for 12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Leave the cupcakes to cool on the pan for 1o minutes. Then transfer all into a wire rack to cool completely. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container for the next day. This recipe makes 15 cupcakes.
- In a small sauce pan over medium-heat, heat double cream and sour cream until it just begins to simmer, add the chocolate and stir with a spatula until it has all melted. Sieve it into a small mixing bowl, whisk (with a hand whisk) it a bit and allow to cool. After 30 minutes use a spatula to stir it again (do this process twice). Leave the frosting to cool for an hour, and stir it again with a spatula (do this process twice). Cover the frosting with a lid or cling wrap, leave it to set overnight.
The next morning:
- Whisk (with a hand whisk) the frosting until it’s smooth and consistent, set aside.
- Scoop out the centre of the cupcakes using a cupcake corer or melon baller, then fill the centre with a teaspoon of caramel or enough caramel to fill the centre, replace the cupcake piece that was removed, back in the centre and gently push it in.
- Frost each cupcake with the chocolate frosting, then sprinkle with any sprinklers you may have (optional). Enjoy:-)