Friday, July 22, 2011

Moist chocolate cupcakes with a touch of sustainability

I feel like I just need to get this out so we can move on — I'm not a big fan of chocolate.

With that said, I really like these cupcakes. They are incredibly chocolaty, moist, and light (I find really dense cupcakes disappointing, so the airiness of these is one of the reasons why I like them.) 

Ingredients (cupcakes):
2 cups sugar (preferably organic and fair trade)
1 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup fair trade, organic cocoa
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk (I used soy)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

To make the cupcakes more sustainable, I used silicon reusable baking cups instead of paper liners. In theory this was a great idea; however, the cupcake batter is very very moist, and it really stuck to the silicon cups. I would recommend using the cups for more dense cupcakes and muffins. With that said they did come out, it was just difficult and some did not look as nice as others. (My hands were too messy to show you the true carnage I created while trying to get some of them out. Lets just say some needed some more frosting to hold them together than others.)

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Prepare cupcake pans.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl (or with your mixer). 

 3. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed of mixer for 2 minutes.

4. Stir in boiling water. (Word of caution, the batter is incredibly runny. By runny I mean it seems as thin as water. I used a measuring cup to pour the batter into the cups. Not to fear, however, they will turn out.)

I filled the measuring cup to the top and tried to fill the silicon cups about 1/2 - 2/3 of the way full.

 I also made mini-cupcakes because: 
1. I only had 24 silicon baking cups
2. People at my work (where I brought these treats) are weird about diets and what they eat. I figured if I brought little ones people would be more likely to not rip pieces off cupcakes and leave the rest for some other poor soul willing to eat their leftovers. They are also fun when you just want a quick bite instead of a huge cupcake. 

5. Bake large (regular) cupcakes for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (some crumbs are ok, but no liquid). Bake mini-cupcakes 11-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Frosting Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick butter)
2/3 cup cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk (or non-dairy replacement)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Melt butter.

2. Stir in cocoa.

3. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. 

4. Frost!

Sorry about the poor picture quality. I don't know if I was on a sugar high or what, but this picture is horrible. Cupcakes were yummy though. 

Recipe courtesy of Hershey's.

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