Yeah, I’ll get to the cupcakes. But first…cakes.
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with cakes for about five years now. I’ll come up with an idea, start to decorate the cake, and then realize that the idea is entirely too complicated to actually do in the timeframe that I have. Once, in sixth grade, I stabbed one of my cakes with the icing spatula. It was too much stress for me to handle. Many tears have been shed over cakes not coming out exactly how I planned. Yeah. I’m sensitive. I know. That is why I rarely plan the cakes before I start to decorate. I get an idea of what I would like, colors, shapes, size. But I never look at a picture of a cake and tell myself that I want my cake to look like that. That is just setting myself up for disappointment.
For example… I liked the idea of this cake, which incorporated recognizable motifs into its design, instead of trying to replicate the well known faces of characters. This would be much easier to pull off. I knew that mine would be much smaller scale and as much as I love working with fondant, I knew it was for a two year olds’ birthday party. How many two year olds like fondant?
Oh. Right. I forgot to get a picture of the clouds. Oh well. Use your imagination. It’s there for a reason. And while two year olds might not like fondant, four year olds definitely do. The birthday boy’s sister and her friends were fighting over the stars. I guess they didn’t realize that the cake had more than ten, and there were only 4 of them.
Now, triple chocolate craziness.
Triple Chocolate Cupcakes
source: Annie’s Eats
-3/4 cup cocoa powder
-3/4 cup hot water
-3 cups ap flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 1/4 tsp salt
-3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
-2 1/4 cups sugar
-4 eggs, room temp
-1 Tbsp + 1 tsp vanilla
-1 cup sour cream
Preheat to 350
Line 36 muffin cavities with paper liners
Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth, set aside. (It may smell delicious but DO NOT lick the spoon. It’s seriously bitter. Not that I would know…)
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Combine butter and sugar over medium heat in a saucepan, stir occasionally until butter is melted. Pour butter/sugar mixture into mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat on low-med until cool; 4-5 minutes.
Mix in eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla and cocoa mixture, beat until incorporated.
Add half of the flour mixture, mix on low just until flour disappears. Add the sour cream, mix on low until incorporated. Add rest of flour mixture, mix on low and finish mixing by hand with a spatula.
Using an ice cream scoop, divide batter among muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
-8 oz bittersweet chocolate (1 1/2 cups chocolate chips)
-1 cup + 2 Tbsp heavy cream
-4 Tbsp butter, softened and cut into tablespoons
Measure out chocolate into a heatproof bowl, set aside.
Heat heavy cream over med low heat until bubble form around edges of pan, pour over chocolate. Let it sit for about two minutes, and then whisk small circles from the center of the bowl outward until mixture is smooth. Add one tablespoon of butter at a time, whisking after each addition. Put mixture into fridge for about a half hour, stirring every ten minutes, until it is no longer thin (I accidentally left mine in for too long and it became the consistency of chocolate truffles, but I liked it better that way).
-14 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used a bittersweet/semisweet combo)
-8 oz cream cheese, room temp
-9 oz unsalted butter, softened
-3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
-1/4 cup +2 Tbsp cocoa powder
-1 cup +2 Tbsp sour cream
Melt chocolate in double boiler or at medium heat 30 second intervals in microwave. Let it cool a little bit.
Beat butter and cream cheese 3-4 minutes until it’s light and creamy.
Slowly mix in confectioners sugar, cocoa, and salt. Beat until combined.
Beat in chocolate and sour cream until fluffy. Use immediately.
To assemble cupcakes:
Cut a cone out of the center of a cupcake, fill with ganache. (Original recipe says to replace top of cone over ganache, i like it better sticking out of the top.)
Pipe frosting on top of cupcakes. (mine was too thick so I spread it using a tapered spatula)
ps…have a sunflowery sunday!