Yesterday I had a random craving for a really nice cupcake. I remembered coming across Bridget's blog, The Way The Cookie Crumbles, and she did a comparison between 3 recipes for white cake. I was so inspired, not only by her pictures, but because I was able to see the inside of the cupcakes side by side. I'm weird and there are certain types of cupcakes that I like over others, so I thought it was neat to be able to pick which recipe I wanted to try based on what the inside of the cupcake should look like. I chose Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake recipe.
I adapted Dorie's recipe by excluding the lemon zest and using vanilla extract in place of lemon extract (because I really don't like citrus undertones in my cakes) and I followed the directions I found on Bridget's blog to a T. I filled the cupcake tin and popped it into the oven, ensuring that the temperature was correct on my oven thermometer. I set the time for 18 minutes and hoped for the best. You see, the last 3 times I tried to make cupcakes from scratch, they all sank!
I was pleasantly surprised, and ecstatic, when I checked the cupcakes when the timer went off, they were all perfectly puffed up. I stuck my cake tester in, prayed it wouldn't deflate the cupcakes, and it didn't! Then, I took the cupcakes out of the oven, again nervous that the change from oven temp to room temp would cause them to deflate. And after a few minutes I checked on them again - and they were still perfectly risen! A success in itself :)
So then, I set out to make my own chocolate frosting, something I'd never done before. I had a debate with my friend, Dana, who balked when I told her I was just going to buy some Betty Crocker icing. I explained that I didn't want to deal with the hassle of melting chocolate. She politely informed me that Domino sugar has a recipe for chocolate buttercream which she uses, and adds cocoa powder to instead of adding melted chocolate to. I couldn't disappoint her.
So here's what I came up with for the frosting, which, by the way, turned out super awesome:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 3/4 cups (450 grams) powdered sugar
3-5 Tbsp whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
5-7 Tbsp cocoa powder
Basically I just creamed the butter, sugar, vanilla and 3 Tbsp of milk together. Then I added the cocoa powder 1 Tbsp at a time until I achieved the desired chocolatey flavor. Then I just added another 2 Tbsp of milk to bring the frosting to the right consistency. And then I iced away!
I found the interior of the cupcakes to be really soft and tender, almost reminiscent of an angel food cake, but the edges were a little too chewy for my liking. However, the chocolate frosting was awesome and I don't think I'll be buying Betty Crocker ever again :)