June 14, 2010

Monday Sweets: Chocolate-Raspberry Cupcakes

Today's sweet marks the one year anniversary of my first blog post. Thanks to all my unofficial blog ambassadors for spreading the food love and to everyone who has read my 103 slightly dessert-obsessed posts. I am slowly learning to describe food with more depth than using the word "tasty" over and over and over again.

Anyway, today I bring you a lovely chocolate cupcake with raspberry frosting, inspired by one I had at Muddy's Bake Shop in Memphis and David Lebovitz's recipe (via sammyw). The cake is slightly dense with a bit of fluffiness (still trying to find a scratch recipe that's fluffy like the box kind) and has a bit of coffee flavor infused in the not-too-chocolatey chocolate. The frosting tastes like raspberries and cream, very sweet raspberries and cream—a pure mixture of butter, powdered sugar, and raspberry jam.

My friend, Lisa, who tragically is not a huge sweets fan, ate several of these because she liked the icing so much. My other taste testers, who are cupcake fans like me, were fans of the flavor combo. 

Don't let this picture fool you to think I actually know how to pipe icing. I experimented with a small hole cut in a icing-stuffed gallon baggie, but this is the only one that actually looked decent. There was also icing all over my hands (darn, icing that needed to be licked) and the counter. I need to work on those cake decorating skills one day.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

9 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups cake flour*
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup strong coffee**
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl. In another bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Mix together the coffee and milk. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture; add the coffee and milk. Finally, stir in the other half of the dry ingredients. Pour into cupcake pans, 3/4 of the way full, and bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

*Cake flour substitution: Place 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into a 1 cup measuring cup, and fill the rest of the cup with all purpose flour. So you’ll need 3 tablepoons cornstarch total.

**I used decaf coffee because regular keeps me awake if I have it at night.

Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4-6 cups powdered sugar (depending of your sweetness level & desired consistency)
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

Place butter and jam in a mixing bowl or an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until you reach desired consistency & sweetness. Frost cupcakes by piping or simply spreading.

Garnish with fresh raspberries if desired. (I caught them on sale!) I also stored the cupcakes without ever-fragile raspberries and only added them right before the cakes were eaten.

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