Friday, November 14, 2008

Dark Chocolate Cupcake with Quick and Rich Chocolate Frosting

We've had this sitting in the queue for a long time, having forgotten about it. But, here it is, another post by our guest baking blogger, CSC!

Note: This was made in the old house, with our then oven of dubious temperatures.

I must reiterate that I really LOVE this America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook (ATK)! For the same reasons I've mentioned before.

After making so many banana cakes, I started to check out other recipes (baked goods) from ATK. My son saw the Chocolate Cupcake picture and of course insisted we make those.

(Sometimes, I fall into the habit of calling banana bread banana "cakes." Don't really know why.)

First, I had to figure out which pans were the "muffin" pan vs the "cupcake" pan. I thought they came in all different sizes and shapes, but after going to the grocery store and perusing through the baking pans, I guess the difference between the two lies only in the number and size of the finished product.

The muffin pan yields the "largest" product (6 muffins to a pan). The cupcake pan yields a "medium" sized product (12 cupcakes to a pan). And there's also the mini-cupcake pan, which I didn't pay attention to, so I don't really know how many products per pan. =)

Anyway, I can only find 1 cupcake pan in our kitchen, so I had to halve the recipe.

The ATK recipe was fairly straight-forward. I found the final batter to be quite thick so I had to spoon out the batter, as opposed to pouring them out, and put them into the cupcake liners.

I just eyeballed how much "2/3 full" was because the batter was so thick they don't settle at the bottom.

ATK Family Cookbook showed the contrast between baking cupcakes at 375 vs 350, where the higher temperature caused “odd peaks” to form on the cupcakes.

Most of the cupcakes turned out nicely, but some of them seemed to have odd looking peaks even though I set the oven at 350 degrees (as required in the recipe). Unsure as to why this happened, I found and “installed” a little oven thermometer a week later and found out that our oven temp registers at 375 at the 350 setting -- hence, the odd peaks.

But odd or not, they weren't something I wanted to worry about, because the frosting hid these nicely! =)

I'm so glad TS came home to make the frosting and put it on the cupcakes.

I wasn't really sure how to make it and by then, the kids were distracted and were running around. I knew it was going to be a challenge figuring out the recipe and then keeping the kids away from the ONE mixer.

From what I could see, it was simply a matter of whipping together butter and icing sugar, then adding melted chocolate.

Then TS did different "designs" of frosting on top.

The cupcakes themselves were a tad overcooked, I believe. I blame the faulty oven temperature. ;) But, they still tasted OK to me.

Of course, my kids just ate the frosting anyway, which was the part I didn't do. How's that, eh?

CSC and CSC-collaborated blog posts:
Carrot Cake
Lemon Bars
Cheesecake-Marbled Brownies
Mario's Pine Nut and Ricotta Tart
Shanghai Potstickers, Faux Siu Mai and "Huo Tyeh" (aka CSC's Chinese Dumplings)
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Quick and Rice Chocolate Frosting


  1. Yay, baking! Frankly, I don't mind at *all* if the peaks are not perfect. I'd rather have homemade cake than store-bought any day. :) They actually looks gorge-- first time I've seen frosting done that way, it's quite dramatic :)

  2. Mmmm... I would be like kids here ;D First eat them, after think or analyse... they look awesome :D. I'm discovering my baking side too!!!

  3. "Odd looking peaks" - how shapist :o)

    Odd or not, these generously frosted cupcakes look fantastic!

  4. The peaks aren't "odd," they're "unique." :) They do look delicious.

  5. I love that tall mound of frosting! That's all my nephews will eat too

  6. Ovens really do make a difference. I have moved so many times, and I hate having to learn how a new oven cooks each time. They look great though!

  7. You are a wicked woman! Look how enticing the frosting is in that first photograph :)

  8. I love the volcano shape! So beautiful.


  9. Wow, I didn't realize my FROSTING skills were good! ;D

    Yes, the making of desserts is unusual. ;)

    We're still not into baking... just CSC is into it. I think it's perhaps I'm too lazy to follow instructions. Teehee.

    "[H]ow shapist" -- LOL!!! =D

    Susan from Food Blogga:
    The manual for our new oven is funny... it said something to the effect of:

    When making a recipe using the new oven for the first time, please follow the original recipe, and not the revised baking times that you have developed because of the inaccuracy of your previous oven.


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