Sunday, March 4, 2012

ABC - Emergency Blender Cupcakes

Boy, I don't think I've ever been this late submitting an ABC post. Instead of boring you with all sorts of details as to why I'm late, I'll just jump right in :o)

Chocolate cupcake with chocolate ganache glaze and sweet pea decoration

This month's ABC recipe are the Emergency Blender Cupcakes. Abby Dodge says that these cupcakes are so quick to make, that you can make them on a moment's notice. I find they're not only quick to make but also super chocolatey and delicious. As a matter of fact, I've baked these cupcakes many times, even before the ABC project started, and yet I still wanted to bake them again for this month's challenge :o)


If you wish to join our monthly baking group, please click HERE for info on how to join :o)


Speaking from experience, I can tell you that this recipe can be made as-is, doubled or even tripled. When I baked them for this month's challenge, I doubled the recipe and took them to work along with a few other treats. I'll let you guess which one was eaten first :o)






Doesn't that look beautiful? Bon appetit!
The recipe can be found on Abby Dodge's website. She uses a marshmallow frosting on them which is different than the fudgy frosting in the book. I've made some tweaks to the cupcake recipe and will share it with you in this post. I didn't make the fudgy frosting in the book although fellow ABC-ers have said that the frosting is fantastic. Instead, I opted for a chocolate ganache glaze. In the past, I've also frosted the cupcakes with a jam-infused whipped cream, as well as buttercream frosting.

Variety: buttercream frosting with green-colored dessicated coconut, and royal icing butterfly.

Variety: grape jelly infused whipped cream. As a finishing touch, I sprinkled chocolate sprinkles on top.

Variety: buttercream frosting with royal icing snowflake, sugar pearls and non-pareils. Inspiration for this cupcake came from the blog Glorious Treats.

Final thoughts/tips:
  • These cupcakes are moist, light, with a soft and tender crumb. They're also very chocolatey. A little too chocolatey for my husband but the texture more than made up for that. He gave it a 9 out of 10.
  • As you can see from all the different pictures, this recipe is one that I've gone back to over and over again, and is definitely a favorite of mine. Even with its soft and delicate crumb, it holds its shape well during eating and doesn't break up into crumbs.
  • The original recipe for the cupcakes can be found in The Weekend Baker as well as Abby Dodge's website.
  • My adaptation of this recipe can be found below. I hope you give it a try.
  • Don't forget to check out how the other ABC bakers liked this month's challenge.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
(adapted from The Weekend Baker by Abby Dodge)
Yields: 13 cupakes

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) hot water
  • 1/2 cup (1.5 oz) Dutch cocoa powder (sifting not necessary)
  • 1 cup (4.5 oz) unbleached AP flour
  • 3/8 tsp baking soda
  • 3/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees (or 325 F degrees if using convection oven).
  2. Place a rack in the middle of the oven.
  3. Line a 12-cavity muffin pan with liners. And line a heatproof ramekin with a liner as well (the extra cupcake is for "quality control") :o)
  4. Add the Dutch cocoa to the hot water and whisk until smooth (this is called "blooming"). Cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation. Set aside to cool.
  5. Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt). Set aside.
  6. Beat egg and sugar on medium hight\ speed until batter looks pale and thickened. When the beater is lifted, you should see ribbons of batter fall onto itself.
  7. On low speed, drizzle in the oil (this is to emulsify the batter).
  8. Add the vanilla extract.
  9. Alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the cocoa mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients (add the dry ingredients in 3 batches and the wet ingredients in 2 batches). Don't over-mix. You're done if you no longer see any white flour in the batter.
  10. Divide the batter over all the cavities and bake for 17-18 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  11. Transfer the muffin pan to a cooling rack and cool cupcakes in the muffin pan for 5 minutes.
  12. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on wire rack until completely cooled before frosting.
Chocolate Ganache Glaze
(enough for 13 cupcakes - you'll have about 1-2 Tbsp left)

In a small saucepan, heat on medium-heat until boiling:
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp corn syrup
Remove from heat and add:

  • 1/2 cup (3 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Stir until the chocolate is melted. Cool in pan for 1-2 minutes. Dip cupcakes in glaze. It will thicken more upon cooling.

21 comments:

  1. Wow, you made this many times! I can understand why you keep going back to this recipe, it is fantastic! And your frostings look lovely, have not tried with grape jelly infused cream before!
    Thank you for choosing this great recipe!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed this recipe! It's definitely one of my favorite recipes :o)

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  2. Great finishing ideas! Thanks!

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    1. Thanks Lois. I like your photo a lot. Just like the picture in the book :o)

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  3. I learn a little something from each of your posts, Haana! I'm going to try this method for my next batch of cream-filled cupcakes. :)

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    1. Thanks Cathy :o) Do post a picture of your cream-filled cupcakes. They sound wonderful!

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  4. So you didn't think the blender mixing was an advantage, either, Hanaâ. I found the scraping and cleaning more tedious than if I had used a regular mixer. (Sometimes I think suggestions like that are just a kind of attention capturing gimmick).
    Your cupcakes look (of course) lovely, and chocolate ganache is a good option, either. I was amazed, though, how good the fudgy frosting was - normally I'm not the greatest fudge fan.

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    1. The first time I made this recipe, I did use the blender but found it hard to fully mix all the ingredients together without overworking the flour. After I used a whisk and a bowl, and later, I started using my standmixer. A lot of ABC-ers commented on how yummy the fudgy frosting is. Will have to try it sometime.

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  5. Next time I will try it with dutch cocoa....Your chocolate ganache cupcakes are beautiful!

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    1. Thanks Chelly. These cupcakes definitely go on the make-again list and I hope you get to try them with Dutch cocoa sometime.

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  6. I wanted to ask you, anyway, Hanaâ, about the cocoa, since I noticed that you use Dutch and Abby Dodge emphasizes on not Dutch processed (de-alkalyzed) dough.
    In Germany I've never seen any other but Dutch cocoa (just thought it's called Dutch because it's made there) and, since I want to put a post about the cupcakes in my German blog, I was wondering about it.
    Another question for you - I noticed that you use the regular method (just combining wet with dry ingredients taking care not to overmix) and Abby wants you to blend the mixture until well combined and smooth. I, also, was afraid that I would overmix, since it took quite a while in the blender, but fortunately the cupcakes turned out fine. Why did they not get chewy?

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    1. Karin, Dutch cocoa just means the cocoa powder has been "Dutched" which is a process that changes pH level of the cocoa. And since the acidity in natural cocoa differs from that in Dutch cocoa, you can't make a 1-to-1 substitutions unless you change the leavening. Typically when you use Dutch cocoa, you use baking powder. If baking soda is not available in Germany, you could use baking powder only, but keep in mind that baking soda is twice as potent as baking powder so you might have to double the baking powder amount.

      As for your other question (and I'm not a food scientist), my guess is two-fold: the oil is added to the batter in the very beginning and fat is known to shorten gluten strands and therefore produces a more tender product (even in bread baking, butter is often added after the dough had a chance to develop gluten). Also, the high amount of sugar would also contribute to a fluffy texture because sugar acts as a tenderizer. Thirdly, if you used bleached AP flour, your chance of overdeveloping the gluten is also much lower because bleached AP flour has less protein than unbleached AP flour. These are my thoughts. Again, I'm not a food scientist but I hope that helps.

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    2. Thanks, Hanaâ, that's a very helpful information (also for my German blog). You can get baking soda (Backnatron) in Germany, but I had no idea what adjustments were necessary for substituting non-Dutch with Dutch processed cocoa.
      I never use bleached AP, I get all my organic flours in bulk (for the bakery).

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  7. Hi Hanaâ,
    What moist lovely chocolatey cupcakes! They look just like the ones they sell (even better) at the Bakery near me. Stunning!
    Your chocolate frosting is perfect, the right texture, not too runny and smooth. If you invite me, frankly I can't even choose between all these wonderful varieties, they are so cute. Gros bisous, bravo!
    Cheers

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    1. Thank you so much, Khadija!! Merci beaucoup. I hope you have a chance to bake them for your kids soon!! :o)

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  8. I love how you decorated all of the cupcakes Hanaa! Did you use regular-sized muffin tins? And thanks for posting the changes that you made....the chocolate ganache looks delicious and I love that it's shiny! Around how much batter did you put in each mold? I like how your cupcakes are perfectly domed so you must be putting the right amount...I usually put about 1/3 cup but now think that it may be too much batter.

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    1. Thanks Janis :o) Yes, I used regular-sized muffin tins. I hope you try the choc ganache glaze. It's really good! You know, I didn't measure the amount of batter used. Instead, I just eye-balled it by filling each cupcake liner about 75% full. Now I wish I had taken a picture of them before going into the oven so you could see what I mean :o)

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  9. Wow your cupcakes are GORGEOUS. It looks like a bakery window with all of the different toppings. I love the sweet pea decoration - so elegant!

    Your co-workers are a lucky bunch :)

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    1. Thanks Alice :o) I didn't hear any of my co-workers complain :o)

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  10. O that's just a real cucpcake feast! Love that grape jelly infused cream topping!!
    I see your changes in the leavening, thanks for that! In the end I've learned a great deal from baking these cupcakes. Thanks Hanaâ!

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    1. Lien, you could infuse whipped cream with any preserve. I've used raspberry jam too with great success. I'm glad you learned from this experience. And I hope you give my changes a try :o)

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