Growing up, chocolate was always a part of our family celebrations: Easter, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, New Years Eve, birthdays … Chocolate, for me, is somehow comforting. The smell of cacao powder or melting chocolate alone makes me smile.
A couple of weeks ago, I came back home feeling a bit tired and down after my day at work. As I was looking in the cupboard for some inspiration for dinner, I was reminded of this package of Donini Chocolate, a great dark chocolate I had bought at Waupoos winery in Prince Edward County this summer – a great and creamy chocolate made in Belleville in Ontario. As I was craving integrating this chocolate in a dessert, I decided to bake something that makes me happy — cupcakes.
I love cupcakes. I love having to fill each individual paper cup that I chose carefully, smelling the small cakes baking, putting them on a cooling-rack to chill. I love making the frosting, seeing the butter change into a fluffy, creamy, perfect topping for those adorable cakes.
Putting the frosting on top of the cupcakes is my favourite part. There is something comforting about choosing the tip, filling the piping bag, deciding what shape I want to give the frosting, practicing on a couple before finding the right way to bend my wrist to make the cupcake pretty. For every single one of them, I will dedicate my full attention.
An hour can easily go by without being noticed. I put some music on, my apron gets messy, my fingers get dirty, the kitchen looks like a mess, and I love everything about this process. I picked this recipe in a great book called Butter Baked Goods, a very good recipe book. If you haven’t picked it up yet, I suggest you do.
So this fall, when you’ll feel like baking something very tasty and dedicating some real time to it, bake these cupcakes and try to frost them with patience and attention. Try to bake the perfect chocolate cupcake.
For the cupcakes, you will need:
1 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
330 grams of flour
125 grams of cacao
1 ½ teaspoon of baking soda
A pinch of salt
1 ½ cup of milk
¾ cup of sour cream
½ cup of strong coffee, chilled
2 teaspoons of vanilla
In a bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add both sugars. Add the egg, one at a time, beating well between each addition.
In another bowl, mix the flour with cacao, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl mix the milk with the sour cream, coffee and vanilla.
Add about one third of the dry ingredient to the butter mixture. Add half of the liquids. Add another third of the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the rest of the liquid and finish with the dry ingredients.
Pour the batter into cupcake trays filled with paper line. Bake at 350F about 20 minutes. Once baked, let the cupcakes cool on a rack before frosting them.
For the frosting, you will need:
1 cup of butter
1 cup of dark chocolate, melted
2 cups of icing sugar
¾ cup of cacao
½ cup of milk
Start by sifting the icing sugar with cacao.
In a bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and cacao ½ cup at a time, mixing between each addition. Repeat until you have no dry ingredients left.
Add the melted chocolate and beat well. Slowly add the mix and mix everything until the frosting is creamy. Turn the mixer to high speed and let it run for 10 minutes.
Frost each cupcake, and scrape some Donini Chocolate on top, and enjoy!