Thursday, 10 May 2007

Chocolate Cupcakes

Mini-cupcakes

An intriguing debate in baking is difference between Cupcakes and Muffins. Whilst the two yummy baked goods look similar, they are differentiated by the method of baking, texture and perhaps also the way they are eaten.

A cupcake is essentially a small cake. Therefore, to gain the moniker of a cake, the method usually involves creaming the butter with sugar to get a light, fluffy texture for the cake. Additionally, the ingredients are mixed into a smooth texture. Muffins, on the other hand, involves mixing the dry and wet ingredients, to get a lumpy batter; too smooth, and the muffin doesn't taste as good.

For me, muffins are usually unfrosted and eaten warm. Cupcakes, like cakes in general, are usually frosted and eaten cold.

Frosted Cupcakes

This particular recipe hails from allrecipe.com, by Ladan Miller. I've reduced the amount of sugar needed slightly, but I must say that this chocolate cupcake is both simple to make and absolutely chocolatey and delicious.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (171g)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (96g)
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, softened (43g)
1 1/3 cups white sugar (268g)
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 175 deg C. Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well.
4. Fill the muffin cups slightly more than 1/2 full.
5. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
6. Frost with your favourite frosting when cool.

Frosted Mini-cupcakes

This recipe works well with both minicupcake liners and larger cupcake liners. Also, it tastes great a day after baking, retaining its moisture.

A simple frosting for the kids to use is to whip up some whipping cream with icing sugar to taste. Let the kids have fun decorating the cups with piping swirls and sugared bits available from baking shops. Chocolate rice and Hundreds & Thousands (or Fairy sugar) make great decorations too.

Or just bake the cupcakes and have a birthday cake with a difference - let the kids have the fun decorating their own birthday cakes with a candle in honour of the birthday kid!

ETA (20/11/07): You can also decorate your cupcakes with fondant (sugarpaste/gumpaste) figurines. Joyce has an entry in her blog about a sharing session we had at my place with this cupcake recipe.

ETA (20/04/2011): If you want domed cupcakes, fill your cups to 3/4, and heat your oven to 205 deg C. When you put your cups in the oven and close the door, reduce the heat to 175 deg and bake until done. The initial high heat helps make the cupcakes dome up.
If you want a flatter cupcake, fill your cups to slightly more than 1/2 the cup and preheat and bake your cups at 165 deg C. This takes longer to bake, but you'll get a flatter cupcake.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda,

saw your posting in M4M and it led me to your blog. How much is 3 tbsp butter, just agaration? Is it about 60 or 80g? It will be easier for me to work on grams so wonder if you can give me the conversion?
thanks
juliana/chocolover

Brenda said...

Hi Juliana,

I'm sorry to have taken so long to reply to your question.

According to this site, http://www.convert-me.com/en/convert/cooking
3 tbsp of butter is 43.03g.

Usually, I just estimate the amount for butter. :D

jthorge said...

Hi Brenda,
Thanks so much for showing us the method of making this chocolate cupcake.
The texture is moist and spongy and taste good too.

I have uploaded some pictures of your cupcakes you've baked yesterday.

http://jthorge.blogspot.com/2007/11/sharing-session-on-cupcake-making.html

Brenda said...

Hi Joyce,
You're absolutely welcome! :D I really enjoyed our sharing time together. The pics you took are so lovely! I'm editing my post to include a link to your blog post. :D

Anonymous said...

Hi,

is it matter if i use the muffice paper cup to bake this? Thanks

Brenda said...

Muffin cups are fine too. :)

Gardenia said...

Hi, I can't beat the butter and sugar to light and fluffy after quite some time. Kindly advise what's wrong? It's the 1st time I use so little butter vs so much sugar.