Well it feels really good to be back posting at Cooking the Books! It’s been FOREVER (or so it seems) but we’re back in the game. And with a great book! As I mentioned, A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg is our current pick, chosen by Jeanine. I got the book in mid-January and finished it by the beginning of February. It was very good, but bittersweet, so I thought it appropriate I start things off with a bittersweet chocolate cupcake recipe. What else would I make!?
Molly is a great writer because she writes in such a way that through her descriptions you really feel as though you’re there with her, eating cheese & drinking wine in Paris during happy days, or eating “Italian grotto eggs” with her and her ailing father in sadder days, which also were his last. But yet she did it without overly flowery language, it was all very accessible, which was what I liked about our past three books. I hate overly wordy foodies. Describing something is one thing, making it sound as good as it tastes is one thing. But really… when you use language people can’t relate to or talk about things people can’t relate to, it doesn’t make for a good read. Molly also has a blog, Orangette, which is an excellent read.
At any rate, I think everyone can relate to Molly’s book, whether you’ve lost someone close to you or not; and especially the highlighted parallels of food and love. So, without further ado… chocolate cupcakes with bittersweet glaze! I cross-posted this with Cooking the Books, because I had to. How the hell could I not post a cupcake recipe here…?
As you can see, I made some of mine look like Hostess cupcakes, just because that’s what they reminded me of. They aren’t filled with anything, though. I just thought it was a cute way of topping them off, since I had a tube of this laying around.
CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH BITTERSWEET GLAZE
- 1 ounce semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- ½ cup hot brewed coffee
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ½ cup well stirred WHOLE MILK yogurt (not non-fat or low-fat)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 300° F. Line the wells of a standard-size muffin tin with paper liners.
- Put one ounce of the semisweet chocolate in a medium bowl with the hot coffee. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is opaque and smooth.
- Meanwhile in another medium bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg until pale yellow, about 1 minute. Add the oil, yogurt, and vanilla, beating well. Gradually pour in the melted chocolate/coffee mixture, and beat thoroughly to combine. Add the dry ingredients all at once, and beat on low speed until the batter is just combined. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and briefly stir to make sure all the dry ingredients are absorbed.
- Spoon the batter into the wells of the muffin tin, making sure that it is evenly distributed. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester/toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of a cupcake. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool for 20 minutes, then -carefully: they’re tender! – removing the cupcakes. Allow them to cool completely before glazing.
- To make the glaze, melt the bittersweet chocolate in a metal or glass bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir frequently to prevent scorching. When the chocolate is completely smooth, it’s ready. Working with one cupcake at a time, spoon a teaspoonful of melted chocolate on top. Tilt and rotate the cupcake to coax the chocolate out to the edge. Alternatively, use a knife or icing spatula to spread the chocolate. The top of the cupcake should be covered.
- Set the cupcakes aside at room temperature until ready to serve. The chocolate glaze will firm up a bit and become matte.
Molly says she likes to eat them when cooled (and I do too), but you can totally eat them as soon as you glaze them. Although be warned- they’ll be messy!
I used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder in the cupcakes, which makes them really dark, almost black. I should’ve bought a dark chocolate for the topping too, but I always underestimate the darkness of it and assume they’ll match. They never do.