I was planning on making some chocolate chip muffins this week at my husband’s request but it will have to wait. Sorry hubby. My sister was having a special Earth Day lunch at work with a dessert potluck. So, she asked me if I wanted to make something. A project! Love a good project. So of course I said yes. Back in culinary school, we had spent one day making “American” baked goods. We made about 4 items that day and it was so rushed I did not even get to taste them! So I decided to revisit the recipe for chocolate cupcakes. This recipe is based on the FCI’s recipe with one substitution. I used coffee in place of water to enhance the chocolaty taste. Turned out delicious!
Ingredients (for 12 cupcakes or 40 mini)
200g cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
80 g unsalted butter (room temperature)
65g cocoa powder
175 mL fresh brewed coffee
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare the muffin pan with liners. Sift together sugar, flour, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. In a separate bowl combine the butter, cocoa powder, and oil. There is no need to melt the butter ahead of time. Fresh hot coffee will do the trick. Pour the hot coffee into the cocoa mixture and stir until smooth…
Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and stir with your whisk until just combined. Make sure the mixture is not hot and then stir in the egg, yolk, vanilla and buttermilk until you reach an even consistency. Fill the cupcake liner with batter to halfway. I poured in a little more and the cupcakes were higher then I wanted the to be. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes.
Planet Earth Frosting
The recipe for this vanilla frosting is from Elisa Strauss’s Confetti Cakes for Kids cookbook. (A great source of inspiration for anyone who makes kid’s cakes.)
1 cup unsalted butter
8 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. On a lower speed, add about 1 cup of sugar and beat until combined. Add the milk and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy on medium speed. Gradually add the remaining sugar. You may not need all of it…add until you reach a desired consistency.
This type of buttercream tends to separate but keep beating it until it comes together. This sometimes takes over 5 minutes. Be patient.
Separate the frosting into 4 portions and use gel dyes to tint them. I used Wilton gel dyes to achieve these earthy tones…
Place each color into a piping bag with a star tip. I used a larger portion of blue and smaller amounts of white and green and minimal amounts of the orange to make it look like the planet’s colors. I also used a toothpick to create a streak of blue dye inside of the bag to create deep blue color accents. This photo shows how I arranged the frosting but as you can see the frosting separated. I had to re-whip the colors and refill my pastry bag.