Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cocoa Cupcakes

I suppose it goes without saying that these have been a hit in our house. It's chocolate, right? The thing is I'm actually not *that* big of a chocolate fan.

So I tried two recipes, one for the cupcakes and one for the frosting, to make a kinder gentler chocolate cupcake.

Chocolate Cupcakes
(the original version was on a jar of Hellmann's mayo, but my version is below)

1 box chocolate cake mix (I used Betty Crocker because I got it on sale at some point)
1 mayonnaise (NOT salad dressing a/k/a Miracle Whip)
1 cup water
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla

Beat by hand for 200 strokes or with a hand mixer for 2 minutes (I let my little chef help out with this part until he got tired...or bored). We mixed by hand because I prefer to save Rosita, my beloved Kitchen Aid stand mixer, for icings and breads. I didn't want her dirty before the big show.

Bake according to package directions, which in my case was 350 degrees for 20 minutes. I think that might have been a tad too long in my oven because the cupcakes seems a little dry. Way more dry than the "super moist" claim of the original recipe. I managed to up the texture by adding simple syrup to the tops of the cupcakes. think I would bake for about 18 minutes next time if you were wondering what I would've done differently.

Cocoa Cream Cheese Icing

1/2 cup butter softened
1 8 oz. packages of cream cheese softened (I used the store brand, but not "lite")
4 cups of sifted confectioners (powdered) sugar
1/4 cup powdered cocoa
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of evaporated milk
2 teaspoons of almond extract

In a stand mixer cream together butter, cream cheese and almond extract. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time thinning with milk. Mix on low (I used #2 on my machine) for about 5 minutes until well blended. Fill a pastry bag and a #12 tip with the icing and frost as desired.

We tried them last night, but I have to say they're better the second day and they held up quite nicely despite the humid weather right now. I liked that the chocolate didn't scream and the cream cheese really mellowed out the sweet of the icing.

I wish I had chocolate jimmies or something else to decorate the cupcakes. I think these would be great Groom's Cupcakes or birthday cupcakes with the right toppers.


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