Monday, September 6, 2010

"Like Buttah..."

All week I have been thinking that I should bring in something sweet to work. Later in the week a friend of mine asked me to make cupcakes for a baby shower that she is hosting and another friend asked me to make cupcakes for her sister-in-law's 30th birthday party (both parties are this month, score!!)  I have been wanting to practice and perfect a chocolate cupcake. To kill all those birds with one stone, I made chocolate cupcakes this evening. For the cake part I altered the French Toast Cupcake recipe. Instead of yellow cake mix I used Triple Chocolate Fudge cake mix. Instead of the vanilla pudding I used chocolate fudge pudding. I was trying to get these puppies as chocolaty and mouth watery as I could. I altered the recipe a tad more but those secrets I am keeping to myself. Sorry guys. I have to say, for the cake part, mission MORE than accomplished!
Now here's the tricky part. For the frosting, I used a recipe that called for 3 sticks of butter. It seem excessive but the chocolate I was to use was semi-sweet and I was to add at least 2 cups of powdered sugar (more to reach the desired consistency). I thought that maybe all of the ingredients combined would even out the flavors. I kept tasting the frosting and kept adding more powdered sugar until I felt I couldn't add any more. It still tasted a little too buttery for my liking. I frosted all the cupcakes and tasted the completed package and, although it tasted better, it still tasted too buttery. This is only my opinion though. You my very well like a buttery frosting, lots of people do. For me, I think I will keep looking for one that is more rich in dark chocolate flavor. I still have time to experiment.

*Magnolia Chocolate Buttercream
(from Suzybakes)

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 Tablespoons milk
9 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

1. To melt the chocolate, place in a double boiler over simmering water on low heat for about 5-10 minutes. Stir occassionally until completely smooth and no pieces of chocolate remain. Remove from heat and let cool 5-15 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, on the medium speed on an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the milk carefully and beat until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and beat well, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat for 3 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat on low speed until a desired consistency is reached.

* Yes from THAT Magnolia Bakery.

Although I used sugar crystals to decorate the cupcakes, I considered using sea salt. Opinions anyone? I had a chocolate cupcake topped with Fleur de Sel before and really liked the saltiness combined with the sweetness and the richness of the chocolate. I couldn't find Fleur de Sel at my local grocery store (go figure) but I was willing to improvise. I didn't this time because the frosting was so buttery that it already seemed a little salty and the sea salt might have been a little too much. 

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