May 192010
 

I am so late on this cupcake. Last Sunday it was Mother’s day so I wasn’t spending the day in the kitchen. I figured I’d do it Monday. Well Monday rolls around and it’s dark and rainy and I thought “well, my dad is coming tomorrow and my dad loves German chocolate cake so I’ll make them Tuesday”. Only Monday night my son got sick. He spent the evening moaning and whining and then the night in our bed tossing and turning. I got no sleep and wasn’t in the mood to bake on Tuesday. Wednesday day I can’t remember why I didn’t bake but Wednesday night my son came down with the worst case of croup he has ever had and he gets it often. Once again he spent the night in our bed, this time gasping for air. Thursday we were at the doctors, my son got steroids and I was a zombie. By that point I had given up on getting cupcakes made for the week and settled on making them the next week. Which I did, but obviously I didn’t get the recipe up on here. It’s been a total fail around here lately.

Like I said my dad loves German chocolate cake. He used to request it every year for his birthday (he now requests deep dark chocolate cake) I must have watched my mom make this cake upwards of 10 times but have never made it myself. I had NO idea it needed buttermilk. I’m so glad I had my container of the powdered stuff.

Instead of melting butter and chocolate together you melt the chocolate in some water. This makes it very liquidy. I knew this, yet still just dumped in it the butter and sugar mixture with the beaters going at medium speed. FYI, DON’T do that. I had chocolate splattered all over my table, the beaters and all over the bowl.

I’ll admit – after a week of cupcake baking fail I was really hoping for an easy week. I had no idea I needed to beat egg whites and then fold them in. I don’t know why but folding in egg whites causes me stress. I’m always convinced the egg whites are going to fall and the whole thing is going to come out badly. Luckily these came out just fine, although they were fairly light and hard to get out of the cupcake tins without feeling like I was going to crush them.

I had no pictures of the frosting being made. I forgot I couldn’t find chopped pecans at my store, just shelled pecans. And I remembered that mid frosting making when I was supposed to be stirring constantly. I had my husband come in and stir while I starting chopping and measuring. Although at first the frosting seems a bit hard or time consuming the results are amazing. I’ve always loved this frosting, the best part of German chocolate cake in my opinion. And you can find the recipes on any box of Baker’s German chocolate.

Cupcake recipe:

  • 1 (4 oz.) pkg. Bakers German sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 c. boiling water
  • 1 c. butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. buttermilk
Melt chocolate in boiling water; cool. Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg yolks. Stir in vanilla and chocolate. Set aside. Mix flour, soda, and salt. Beat in flour mixture, alternately with buttermilk. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Pour batter into lined cupcake tins. Bake 15-20 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed in center. Cool 15 minutes; remove and cool on rack. (This recipe made 24 cupcakes and an 8 inch cake)
Coconut-Pecan Frosting:
  • four egg yolks (I used two whole eggs)
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1.5 sticks butter
  • 1 package coconut (I used more like 1.5 bags)
  • 1.5 cups pecans
Combine in saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in Bakers angel flake coconut and pecans. Cool until thick enough to spread. Makes 2 1/2 cups.
Source: box of Baker’s German sweet chocolate
May 052010
 

This week I really wanted to do a chocolate-mint combo, pretty much my favorite thing ever. However I didn’t feel like dealing with a frosting so I looked all through my cookbooks and went through various searches on Flickr.com and finally settled on yet another Martha recipe. It seemed easy yet delicious and she hasn’t disappointed me yet.

Another confession from me too: when ever I make brownies I always use a mix. I have tried many times to make home-made brownies but they always come out sub-par and I’ve gone and wasted eggs, oil, and chocolate when I could have just bought a mix for 99 cents and had good brownies. So this recipe was the first time I’ve made home-made brownies and had them come out good. Of course they’re cupcake brownies and that just makes them better anyway!

It always seems like the less ingredients something calls for the better something is. These  brownie cupcakes fit into that category. Butter, eggs, chocolate and sugar, how can you go wrong?

Once again I had to rig a fake double boiler to place my chopped chocolate and butter into. I really should find a bowl that actually fits on top of one of my pans so I stop almost burning myself while trying to make sure the bowl and my precious ingredients don’t fall off.

Once the butter and chocolate are melted you add the sugar and stir until smooth. I had a little trouble with this. I wasn’t sure if Martha meant it should smooth like just the sugar is well stirred in or smooth like you couldn’t see any grains of sugar. I stirred my heart out and I could still see some graininess. I put the bowl back on top of my fake double boiler and stirred some more and that seemed to do the trick. Just as FYI.

If you had small kids that enjoy helping you cook this is the time when you can let them. All the chopping of chocolate and stirring over boiling water is not kid friendly, but putting the mints in is for sure. Although you might lose a few to either hot hands (ie, melting) or the mouth (ie, “I just tasted it!” which apparently is different from eating). Also if you take them out of the wrappers at the beginning chances are your kid will stand in the kitchen with their nose over them “just smelling” them for a good 20 minutes. Again, just another FYI.

The recipe says to check on them at 35 minutes and if they’re done a cake taster will come out with just a few crumbs attached. This might be the first time where my baked goods were done in the time the recipe says they will be. 35 minutes and they were perfect. I loved the way the tops looked with the cracks, they were dense feeling in my hands so I was worried the cupcake liners would stick but they didn’t. Just perfect little brownie cupcakes. With a secret mint center. Mmm!

Recipe:

  • 8oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
  • 12 small (1 1/2 inch) chocolate covered peppermint patties, such as York Peppermint Patties

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin pan with paper liners. Place chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until just melted, 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the sugar and salt until mixture is smooth, whisk in eggs to combine. Gently whisk in flour and cocoa just until smooth.

3. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of batter into each lined cup. Place 1 peppermint patty on top, gently pressing into batter. Top with two tablespoons batter, covering patty completely. Bake, rotating tin halfway through, until a cake tester inserted halfway into centers (above mint patty) comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Transfer tin to a wire rack to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

Source: Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes