Thursday, February 25, 2010

Something a little sweet...

I'm not above admitting that I have a problem. (Although, some would argue that this is the best "problem" that I've ever had...) I'm addicted. Addicted to baking cupcakes. Over the past few months, I've learned a lot about myself. One of the things I've learned is that I'm not a "stress EATER", I'm a "stress BAKER". And apparently, I've been under stress lately, because (much to the pleasant surprise of my roommate, boyfriend, producer, engineer, the guys at Hummingbird, and the cash registers at Kroger) I've been turning out batch after batch of cupcakes like it's my job! After sending pictures to Facebook & receiving numerous requests for recipes, I'm here to comply. After all, "Catch a man a fish, he eats for a day- teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime."

May you all have a lifetime of cupcakes.

This little delectable delight is a Devil's Food Cupcake with a Rich Chocolate Glaze, adorned with Sugared Flowers. (Interesting fact: Devil's Food Cake derives its name from the idea that it was viewed as "dark cousin" of white Angel Food Cake. Both types of cake have a light, moist consistency, despite the fact that they land on opposite ends of the spectrum in flavor.) Enjoy!

Devil's Food Cupcakes

  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. 3/4 tsp baking soda
  4. 1/4 tsp salt
  5. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  6. 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  7. 4 tbsp unsalted butter (half a stick), at room temperature
  8. 1 large egg, at room temperature
  9. 1 tsp vanilla
  10. 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  11. 1/4 cup buttermilk
(Makes 12 cupcakes)

Place a rack in the middle of the oven & heat to 350*F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter until creamy, then add the granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the water and buttermilk, beating on low speed until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat on medium-high speed just until no traces of flour remain (about 30 seconds). Do NOT over beat, as it will make the cupcakes heavy & dense.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean (about 18 minutes.) Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 min. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack & let cool completely before frosting.

Rich Chocolate Glaze

  1. 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  2. 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  3. pinch of salt
  4. 8 oz semisweet baker's chocolate, chopped

In a small saucepan combine the cream, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate, and let stand for about 3 min. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Let cool to room temperature and use right away.

Sugared Flowers

(Look for organic flowers that have not been sprayed with pesticides, and make sure that the flowers are completely dry before you brush them. I used small hydrangeas & a pretty purple flower I don't know the name of, but you can also use violets, pansies, or rose petals.)

  1. 1 large egg white
  2. organic, edible flowers
  3. 1 cup superfine sugar
In a small bowl, whisk the egg white with a few drops of water until foamy. Using a small paintbrush, lightly coat each flower completely with the egg white mixture.

Sprinkle the coated flowers evenly with sugar, covering them completely, and transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet to dry, about 1 hour. (You may need to continue to sprinkle sugar over the flowers as they dry and the sugar soaks into the egg white mixture.)


Aaaaaaaand... Voila! A beautiful flower garden. Happy baking!

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