Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentine's Day Treat: Black and White Cupcakes

It's one of the basic rules of the universe that anything I make that requires frosting of some kind will come out undeniably ugly.  It's akin to the Zeroeth Law of Thermodynamics (so named because it's so basic as to be entirely obvious) that this happens, every time.  I will follow a recipe to a tee and it will taste delicious, but I can't frost a cake or a cupcake to save my life.  I am telling you this so you know that I present these with the utmost shame and embarrassment, but since I made them and even took pictures and they taste good I am putting them here for the world to see.

The process of finding this recipe was tough.  I knew I wanted to make my boyfriend something because he happens to love my baked goods (despite their appearance, what a trooper he is), and I knew I wanted it to have some chocolate because he's a big chocolate fan.  So, out came the dessert box.

Funny aside: the desserts and cakes box is also titled "Megan's Recipes".  My mom knows me so well.

I pulled out the cupcakes, brownies and "special cakes" sections to sort through.  It came down to black and white cupcakes and a brownie cobbler.  If you saw the title of this you know which one I picked so I'll spare you the suspense.  My boyfriend and I both love black and white cookies, and I remember on one of our first little adventures together we went to this place on 14th street and 7th Avenue (The Donut Pub) famous for their black and white cookies.  

don't these look so much nicer than mine? What the heck man

weighing out the chocolate - 4 ounces seems like not enough but that's what I get for picking the option with less chocolate

I tried using my Valentine's Day cupcake liners but these made them hard to ice.  Then again, I would have failed at icing them anyway so it's just as well.

Black and White Cupcakes
adapted from Bon Appetit magazine

Ingredients - 

Chocolate Icing:
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped [GE: I used semisweet]
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
White Icing:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice [GE: this icing is lemony.  If I were to make these again I would definitely try only 1 teaspoon or maybe 1.5 of the lemon juice]
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk [GE: I didn't have buttermilk so I made it!  The proportion is 1 cup milk to 1 teaspoon white vinegar, so for 1/3 cup just use 1/3 cup milk and 1/3 teaspoon vinegar]
  1. Make the chocolate icing: Bring cream and corn syrup to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Remove from heat.  Add the chocolate and vanilla and whisk until melted and smooth.
  3. Make the white icing: Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl to blend.  Let both icings stand 1.5 hours at room temperature to thicken.
  4. Make the cupcakes:  Preheat the oven to 325 and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners [GE: My batch ended up making 17.  Maybe I did it wrong.]
  5. Whisk the eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest in a medium bowl to blend.
  6. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in another bowl.
  7. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter in a large bowl until well blended.  
  8. Gradually beat in the egg mixture.
  9. Beat in the dry ingredients in two additions, alternating with the buttermilk.  
  10. Divide the batter among the cups and bake until tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes.  Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes and then remove from pan to cool completely.
  11. Here the recipe says to spread the chocolate icing over half of each cupcake first but I found it easier to spread the white icing half first, then the chocolate second.  This way if a teeny bit of white icing got into the chocolate I was spreading around, it was easily covered as opposed to some chocolate in the white icing.

What is everyone else doing for their loved ones on Valentine's Day? With all this snow, I am afraid I won't even be able to get to mine tomorrow! I just heard there may be another nine inches tonight, which is insane and probably means work will be closed. Normally I'd be excited about this but tomorrow was the one day I actually wanted to go to work so I could stay at his place after. Figures.

1 comment:

  1. these cupcakes are the cutest! i always have trouble deciding between chocolate and vanilla and this is the perfect solution for indecisive people like me ;)