Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

About a month or so ago I made a shocking discovery.
I actually like peanut butter!
This might not seem so strange to most people, but I have spent the last 20-something years believing that I hated the stuff, and apparently this is no longer the case. Which is brilliant, as it has now opened up a whole new world of gorgeous-looking recipes that I no longer have to pass by! Life is good, no?

Anyway, to get to the point, a couple of weeks ago I spotted some gorgeous looking Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting on Browneyed Baker and my new-found love of the peanut stuff told me that I just had to try it.

I certainly wasn't disappointed. The cake itself was perfect - wickedly chocolaty, light, and moist. Almost more like a chocolate muffin in texture actually, and would be lovely with chocolate chips in.
As for the frosting... wow! Sweet, salty, creamy and soft; everything that a good frosting should be. I must admit that more a hefty portion didn't make it on to the cakes. But, it had to be thoroughly poison tested, right?

The only complaint I have is that because of the softness of the frosting and the warmth of my kitchen (it gets incredibly warm in there this time of year), I did have issues piping the frosting on. Next time I think I will chill it in the fridge for a bit before trying to use it. I opted for "artistically spread" instead, and was quite pleased with the end result!

The recipe originally calls for Dutch-processed cocoa powder, but my local Tesco Express didn't have that so I used normal cocoa which worked fine. I may have to try and source some though, for comparison purposes obviously.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes (makes 12 standard-sized cakes)
  • 115g butter, cut into chunks
  • 60g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 45g cocoa powder
  • 105g plain flour
  • half tsp baking soda
  • 3 quarters tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 115g sour cream
Preheat the oven to 170C and place cupcake cases into a standard-sized muffin tin.

Put the chocolate, cocoa powder and butter into a small heatproof bowl and place over a pan of barely-simmering water. Stir occasionally until everything has melted and combined into a smooth, glossy mix. Set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl beat the eggs together then add the sugar and vanilla and beat again until well combined. In another bowl combine the flour with the baking soda & powder.

Add the chocolate mixture to the eggs and stir it in thoroughly. Beat in about a third of the flour, then follow with the sour cream and combine thoroughly. Finally add the rest of the flour and beat until the mix is thick and smooth.

The batter is now ready to be divided amongst the waiting cupcake case, as so:

Bake them in the oven for 18-20 minutes, until well-risen and a cocktail stick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
They should then look like this:

Not bad! But lacking something...
Oh yes! The frosting!

Peanut Butter Frosting (makes enough to generously cover 12 cupcakes)
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 260g smooth peanut butter
  • 70g very soft butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 80ml double cream
Beat the butter, peanut butter and vanilla together until well mixed and smooth. Add the icing sugar and again mix well. Finally add the double cream and beat well until the frosting is light and smooth.
The frosting may look a little too soft before adding the cream but don't worry - it doesn't seem to make it any softer!
The finished frosting will be quite soft, but holds its shape well.

Becka xx

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