Recently we hosted an engagement party for one of my boyfriend’s best friends. Because my boyfriend is so meticulous with his party throwing and so environmentally conscious, he decided to have only finger foods so he wouldn’t have either non-matching silverware or have to rent silverware. So I was in charge of desserts and it needed to not require a fork. I turned to a fail-safe source: Cooks Illustrated. I found an interesting recipe for dark chocolate cupcakes. And quadrupled it.
The dark chocolate part of the cupcakes would be achieved with cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate. Hidden behind the eggs and under the butter (yes, that is TWO STICKS of butter, but again, I quadrupled the recipe) is my arch nemesis: sour cream. I hate few things as much as I hate sour cream. It grosses me out. Along with pickle relish and mayonnaise, it is my least favorite food. I usually substitute plain yogurt for sour cream in all my recipes (and it works like a charm), but I didn’t want to risk anything for the party, plus once the recipe was quadrupled, the cupcakes needed exactly the amount of sour cream that was in the cartoon. No measuring. No suffering one of my innocent measuring cups to the evils of sour cream. Just a quick flip of the rubber scraper around the sides of the carton and out popped the congealed disgustingness (sorry, now I’m just ranting) into my batter.
But messing with the sour cream would come later. First, I chopped up the chocolate.
Then I got my glass bowl that serves as the upper half of the double boiler that I don’t own and piled in chunks of butter.
On top of which I added the chopped chocolate and the cocoa powder. And put the glass bowl in a pan that had simmering water waiting.
The melted chocolate-butter mixture served as the main flavoring base of the thickest cupcake batter I ever saw. I filled many, many silver liners three-quarters full of this dark brown blobs. I tripled the recipe, remember!
But those dark brown blobs baked into rather spectacular looking cupcakes. But I would hide their spectacularness under frosting.
A frosting that started by whipping butter. Unsalted, of course.
To which I added confectioner’s sugar and continued to whip.
Which served as the base for two types of frosting: peppermint buttercream and chocolate buttercream.
The frosting was so good it deserved an close-up.
These cupcakes (behind the flowers) joined other foods my boyfriend created or prepared on his beautifully set table. The sad story of these cupcakes is that someone brought cookies to the party (even though we asked people not to bring food) and no one ate the cupcakes. Like 12 cupcakes out of 48 were gone when the last guest left. The amazing story about these cupcakes is that when I took them into my office on Monday, they were moist and delicious. And everyone there was glad someone brought uninvited cookies to the engagement party.