01 October 2006

Nice Day for a Grand Picnic.

Oh no!
We were planning on having a Grand Picnic
Birthday Feast on Saturday...

Picnic cancelled?

Good thing I made cupcakes anway.......

Because twenty minutes later....blue skies!

Happy birthday Abbey and Nate!

Oh no...stormclouds over Chicago...
Here comes the rain again.

Time to run home and eat some more cupcakes!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Icing
~from America's Test Kitchen
~makes 12 cupcakes (I would double it if I were you)

The secret to these deliciously chocolately cupcakes is the instant espresso powder in the batter. The result is a cupcake that is dark, moist, and full of chocolate flavor.

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
12 tbs. (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup nonalkalized cocoa, sifted
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
½ pound (2 sticks) of butter
½ pound confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Adjust oven rack to middle position.
Line a cupcake tray with cupcake liners.
With a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at a medium-high speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar slowly and beat for three to five minutes, until the mixture is fluffy and almost white.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating 1 full minute after each addition.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and instant espresso powder in a medium bowl. Combine the milk and the vanilla in a liquid measuring cup.

With the mixer at the lowest speed, add one-third of the dry ingredients to the batter, then a third of the milk mixture. Mix until the ingredients are almost incorporated into the batter. Repeat process twice more. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to gather any remaining dry bits, then beat on low speed for 15 more seconds. The batter should be smooth and satiny and sooooooooooooooooooooo delicious and I can’t stop eating it.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners.
Bake for about twenty minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

While cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.
With a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until soft and creamy.
Turn the mixer down to the lowest setting and add the confectioner’s sugar in parts, beating after each addition.
When sugar is blended, add the vanilla.
Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat until creamy.
When cupcakes are cool, frost. Use a lot of frosting.


Helene said...

What a way to ignore the rain! Great pictures, seems like everybody was having a blast!

Peter S. said...

Yeah, those cupcakes were really special! I'm so sorry I missed the festivities at The Point, but at least there were cupcakes later on.
Did you lose power today? Steve and I lucked out, but lots of buildings nearby were dark, including the entire Kimbark Plaza. They may still be, in fact.

Toni said...

Those cupcakes look delicious. I like that the recipe only makes 12. Small batch baking appeals to me. I think I will try it, but I need to buy some espresso powder first. The picture of the group silhouette is charming. It looked like a fun day.

Annie said...

I adore your blog. Hope you're around and blogging for a long time.

Erielle said...

Helene, we were having a blast! There was so much good food there.

Peter, glad you and Scott liked the cupcakes. Um...I still have some in my fridge. Gonna go eat one right now. Thank goodness I did not lose power during the storm because the buttercream frosting would have gone bad, oh no.

Thanks, Toni. Espresso powder is sometimes hard to find, so if you see it in a store, grab it, even if you won't be making the cupcakes shortly.

Annie, you are so sweet!

Lauren said...

Erielle! Have you seen Tyler Florence on the Applebees commercials? He's just as horrifying and inarticulate as you described...

Erielle said...

Lauren, no I haven't. I think I should stay home from work this week and watch TV all day to catch it. Is it really gross?

Anonymous said...

October Birthdays Rule!! Happy Birthday to Nate. Glad that the rain didn't stop the celebration. But why would it? Birthdays and wetness go hand in hand.?. Um... yeah.


leo said...

Well, the Applebees commercial isn't really enough for a week off of work on its own, but if you're looking for an excuse it's as good as any! Actually, I'm pretty sure I've seen the commercial only in the evening. It's about chicken. So maybe it runs at dinner time? Whatever. It doesn't look BAD. Just boring, I think. But what really caught me was how he used some really unspecific and completely undescriptive adjective while trying to make the chicken sound all appetizing, just like you talked about. He says, "it's really great" or something like that at the end, in a way that made me think of that post. --Lauren

Toni said...

Erielle, I made these and they were yummy. The recipe made a really moist, tender chocolatey cake. I think I could have gotten at least 15 cupcakes out of the batch though, they came out big. Luckily, I buttered the top of the cupcake pan!