Tag Archives: Chocolate cake

Day 60 – Chocolate and Toffee Cupcakes

29 Sep

This is it.  Last day of the competition portion of the month.  Do you know what that means?  Month 2. Gone!  So crazy!!!  And, good news, I’m still having a blast.  Phew! So, here it is.  Last contestant for September.  Chocolate & Toffee Cupcakes (recipe below from Sugar & Snapshots).  And check back later to see which cupcake wins this week AND what cupcakes will compete in tomorrow’s competition!!

Chocolate-Cupcake     Mini-Chocolate-Cupcake

The cupcake is crumbly and a little dry.  With a dark chocolate taste.

Cupcake-w-ganache     Chocolate-Ganache     Mini-Cupcake-w-Ganache

Ganache is between a liquid and a mousse – thicker than a sauce but thinner than a mousse. Very easy to work with.  It has a dark, rich taste.

Caramel-Buttercream

Frosting is very creamy and buttery.  It’s sweet, but with a salty edge.

Chocolate-Toffee-Cupcake     Mini-Chocolate-Toffee-Cupca

The balance is very good.  The ganache adds the dark chocolate balance, the frosting adds the light, caramel taste. Toffee adds a nice crunch, though I actually prefer the bites that don’t have toffee.

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 3.5

– Frosting Taste: 4

– Overall Taste: 4.5

– Appearance: 4.5

– Ease of Making: 3

– TOTAL: 19.5

RECIPE (from Sugar & Snapshots)

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 7 oz Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 7 oz Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 5 oz Flour
  • 3 oz Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 c Sour Cream

Ganache &  Heath Toffee Crumble

  • 4 oz Heavy Cream
  • 4 oz Dark Chocolate (60%)
  • 4 Heath Bars (5.5 oz)
  • Optional: 16 Heath Mini’s to decorate

Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 5 egg whites
  • 5 oz sugar
  • 16 oz (4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2-2/3 c Caramel Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt

Caramel Sauce

  • 1c Sugar
  • 1/2 c Water
  • 2/3 c Heavy Cream, warm (110°F)
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter, cold

For directions visit Sugar & Snapshots.

*Tomorrow: Healthy-ish Applesauce Cupcakes*

Day 59 – Tea Cakes with Earl Grey Icing

28 Sep

I like tea…usually of the fruit variety, but I’m open to new things.  So, I was intrigued by these Tea Cakes with Earl Grey Icing (recipe below from Food Network).  And now that’s it’s slightly cooler outside, I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday – curled up on the couch (preferably with my dog), watching movies and eating cupcakes.  Excellent!

Tea-Cake     Mini-Tea-Cake

The cakes feel like they’re gonna be hard, but they are a lot like brownies on the inside.  Very gooey.  Not hard at all.  The full-size is a lot gooey-er (??) than the mini is and has a crispy top.  They taste like a brownie but they’re not too chocolatey or too dark.

Earl-Grey-Icing

The frosting is a lot like 7-minute frosting.  Maybe slightly thinner. (Note: I had to whisk for longer than the 5 minutes it calls for with my hand mixer to get it pipeable.)  It tastes a lot like Earl Grey, but not crazy black-tea flavored.  The lemon adds a nice, light hint.

Tea-Cake-w-Icing     Mini-Tea-Cake-w-Icing

The tea flavor seems like it’s gonna be overpowering at first, but the chocolate finishes off nicely.  They balance really well.  These cupcakes were meant to be mini cupcakes, so that’s what I’m mainly judging here, instead of the full-size as usual.  The minis balance better than the full-sized, but both are pretty good.  These would be great for an afternoon tea!!

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 4

– Frosting Taste: 3.5

– Overall Taste: 4

– Appearance: 3.5

– Ease of Making: 4 (batter is super easy and the frosting is a typical egg-white frosting, not for easy, but not hard)

– TOTAL: 19

RECIPE (from Food Network)

For the Cupcakes:6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Icing:

1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
2 bags Earl Grey tea

For directions visit Food Network.
*Tomorrow: Chocolate & Toffee Cupcakes*

Day 16 – Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes

16 Aug

Well, Chocolate Cupcakes with Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below from Roxana’s Home Baking)…to be more precise.

Chocolate Cupcake          Mini Chocolate Cupcake

The cake is very dry.  A little blah…just not very interesting by itself.  Super easy to make.  Only 1 bowl required.  No mixer.

Coffee frosting

Frosting is thick and creamy.  Has a nice, sweet coffee taste.

Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes          Mini Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes

Frosting makes everything better.  This cupcake is not exception.  The cake is definitely better WITH the frosting.  Though, it’s not enough to make it a great cupcake…but this is a frosting I’ll totally use again!

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 2

– Frosting Taste: 4

– Overall Taste: 2.5

– Appearance: 3

– Ease of Making: 5

– TOTAL: 16.5

RECIPE

Chocolate Cupcakes with Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe from Roxana’s Home Baking)

Ingredients

Chocolate Cupcakes
    • 1 3/4 cup (210 grams) all purpose flour
    • 2 tsp (8 grams) baking powder
    • 1/4 cup (20 grams) cocoa powder (I used special dark)
    • 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 tbsp corn syrup
    • 2/3 cup (160 ml) almond oil
    • 2/3 cup (160 ml) milk
Coffee Frosting
  • 3 tbsp (42 grams) soft butter
  • 6 tbsp (168 grams) soft cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder/granules
  • 3 cups (360 grams) powder sugar

For directions visit Roxana’s Home Baking.

*Tomorrow: White Texas Sheet Cake Cupcakes*

Day 11 – PB and J Cupcakes

11 Aug

In honor of back-to-school season I decided on this PB & J Cupcake (recipe from Food Gal).  I mean, who doesn’t want a PB & J now and then?

PB Cupcake         Mini PB Cupcake

This cupcake is dense, just like a peanut butter cookie.  There are bits of peanut inside, which are lovely.  They break up what is an otherwise (maybe too) dense cake.  It’s also really moist – almost wet.  Nice peanut-y flavor, but not overwhelmingly rich.  (note: the full-size cupcakes sunk a little as they cooled.)

PB Frosting

The frosting is creamy and stable.  It tastes a lot like a light, creamy peanut butter.  Not overly sweet or too thick.

PB & J Cupcake          Mini PB & J Cupcake

With that tiny dollop of jam, the balance is really nice.  Just like a PB & J sandwich.  No single flavor sticks out, it’s really well-balanced.  The jam adds just a little tart.  The nuts a little crunch.  Everything else brings the creaminess.  It may not be an overly exciting cupcake, but very simple and balanced.  Could be a nice after-school snack – won’t spoil the appetite.  The minis are fun and bite-sized.

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 4

– Frosting Taste: 3.5

– Overall Taste: 3.5

– Appearance: 2.5 (not abundantly cute…)

– Ease of Making: 3.5

– TOTAL: 17

RECIPE

PB & J Cupcakes (recipe from Food Gal)

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

(makes 22)

The creamy peanut butter frosting may be crowned with any jelly or jam. Strawberry is suggested, but grape or raspberry would also be delicious. For best flavor, use natural-style peanut butter in the cupcake batter.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/3 cups sugar

2/3 cup creamy peanut butter, preferably natural-style

3 large eggs, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature

3/4 cup coarsely chopped salted, roasted peanuts

Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting (recipe below)

1/2 cup strawberry jam or jelly

Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting

(makes about 3 cups)

6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup heavy cream

For directions visit Food Gal.

*Tomorrow: Cookies & Cream Cupcakes*

Day 8 – Decadent Double Chocolate Mousse Filled Cupcakes

8 Aug

Decadent Double Chocolate Mousse Filled Cupcakes (recipe below from Lady Behind the Curtain).  Well, that is quite a name.  How could I resist the promise of so much chocolate in one cupcake?

Decadent Double Chocolate Cupcakes          Mini Decadent Double Chocolate Cupcakes

These cakes are simple, not too sweet, dense and moist.  They feel very much like a box cake, but without the box.  The full-size is better – the mini tastes almost bitter.  They remind me of a full-size chocolate cake.  Even taste, delicious chocolate scent and nice dark color.

mousse filled

The mousse is simple to make and easy to use.

Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

The frosting is a Marshmallow Buttercream, which made it all the more appealing to me.  It’s a lovely, stable whipped topping.  Sweet and sugary, but not enough to make your teeth hurt.

both-frosted-white          both-frosted-green

I dyed a bit of frosting cause the recipe states how easily it translates.  They were correct!

Decadent Double Chocolate Mousse Filled Cupcakes halved

The mousse in the center throws off the balance of this cupcake.  It’s a little too bitter.  But I would totally do the cake and the frosting – the cake isn’t too sweet and the frosting is, so they’d be a perfect pair.  That would make a classic, ‘old school’ cupcake.  Ya know, what cupcakes were before all the frills.  The ones your Grandma made – simple, straight-forward.  The mousse feels like it was added to bring it up-to-date.  You don’t need it.  I mean, the Xbox is great, but every once in a while you wanna play classic Nintendo 😉

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 3.5

– Frosting Taste: 4

– Overall Taste: 2 (only because of the mousse)

– Appearance: 4 (It’s so versatile!)

– Ease of Making: 4

– TOTAL: 17.5

RECIPE

Decadent Double Chocolate Mousse Filled Cupcakes (recipe from Lady Behind the Curtain)

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes:
    • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
    • 3/4 cup hot water
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
    • 1-1/2 cups butter
    • 2-1/4 cups sugar
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup sour cream
For the Mousse:
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 5 tablespoons hot water
    • 7 ounces, chopped fine bittersweet chocolate
    • 1-1/2 cups cold heavy cream
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
For the Marshmallow Butter Cream Frosting:
  • 7 ounces marshmallow fluff
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 32 ounce confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons water
  • food coloring (optional)

For directions visit Lady Behind the Curtain

*Tomorrow: Lemon Cloud Cupcakes*

Day 7 – S’mores Cupcakes

7 Aug

I.  Love.  S’mores.  I love all things s’mores!  So, I can’t ever resist a s’mores recipe.  These S’mores Cupcakes (recipe below from Baked Perfection) are no exception.

S'mores Cupcake          Mini S'mores Cupcake

What I found most interesting in this is that they aren’t a chocolate cupcake, which is normal for S’mores recipes.  They’re a graham cracker cupcake.  Super unique!  These cupcakes are very dense and almost wet, similar to a carrot cake.  The minis have the same density, which is nice.  The tops are slightly crispy.

Cupcake with filling           frosting

The chocolate filling is essentially a ganache.  It’s quite yummy, but I would prefer a semi-sweet or possibly adding a little milk chocolate in – the bittersweet was strong.  The frosting is delicious, though I’d add slightly less vanilla next time.

S'mores Cupcake          Mini S'mores Cupcake          S'mores Cupcake inside

Yum.  There’s a nice crunch to the toasted frosting.  (I used my oven broiler — it would be significantly easier if I used a kitchen torch.)  The minis have a nice bite-sized flavor, but the flavors really shine through in the full-size.

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 3.5

– Frosting Taste: 4

– Overall Taste: 3.5 (would be higher with a lighter chocolate)

– Appearance: 4.5

– Ease of Making: 3 (Filling + egg white frosting)

– TOTAL: 18.5

RECIPE

S’mores Cupcakes (recipe from Baked Perfection)
recipe makes 12 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 15 whole crackers ground in processor)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole milk
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
1/2 cup (scant) heavy whipping cream

Marshmallow Frosting
Frosting recipe from Martha Stewart

4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For directions visit Baked Perfection

*Tomorrow: Decadent Double Chocolate Mousse Filled Cupcakes*

Day 6 – Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes

6 Aug

Again, I’m a cookie fan.  So why not try these Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes (recipe below from Yummly)?

Peanut Butter Cupcake          Mini Peanut Butter Cupcake

The cake is exactly like a peanut butter cookie.  It’s really thick, almost bread-like.  The full-size tastes saltier than the mini, I’d say overall the taste in the mini is better.

Peanut Butter Frosting

The frosting is good and thick.  It’s like a slightly sweetened creamy peanut butter.  (Like, the eat-it-with-a-spoon-out-of-the-jar kind.)

Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes          Mini Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes

These bad boys have a rich, peanut butter cookie flavor, that’s for sure.  Makes me want a BIG glass of milk!  The frosting adds a creamy element to the drier cupcakes.  I personally prefer the mini version – the full-size cake is stronger than the frosting, so the balance isn’t quite as good.  (Note: I had to freeze the frosted cupcakes to get the frosting to a place that I could score with fork tines.)

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 3

– Frosting Taste: 3

– Overall Taste: 3

– Appearance: 3.5

– Ease of Making: 3

– TOTAL: 15.5

RECIPE

Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes (recipe from Yummly)

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CUPCAKES
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • FOR THE FROSTING
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more for decorating
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter

For directions visit Yummly

*Tomorrow: S’mores Cupcakes*

Day 4 – Toffee Crunch Cupcakes

4 Aug

Toffee.  Caramel.  Chocolate.  Oh my!  Toffee Crunch Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting (recipe below by Bakers Royale).  This cupcake looks good!

Toffee Crunch Cupcakes          Mini Toffee Crunch Cupcakes

The cupcake has a great density.  The recipe was a little confusing – calls for instant coffee granules and toffee bits, but never says when to add them.  I added the granules to the wet ingredients and I just added the toffee bits into the batter once it was all mixed.  They came out a beautiful chocolate color, similar to a typical Devil’s Food cupcake.  They have a spongy appearance and a wonderful aroma!  (Btw, the mini version is equally as dense and yummy.)  They have a rich coffee flavor, almost like Kahlua, which is awesome cause there’s no alcohol in them.

Caramel Frosting          1st frosting

The frosting was a little thin at first – I added a bit of powdered sugar and then popped it in the fridge to get it thick enough to pipe.  However, it is delicate and light with an amazing caramel flavor.

Toffee layer          Mini toffee layer

The ganache was super easy to make and very creamy.  It’s dark, but not overpowering.

Toffee Crunch Cupcake          Mini Toffee Crunch Cupcake(So, it’s fair to say that I need to work a little on my piping skills…I’m sure they’ll improve over the next year of baking!)

These cupcakes…WOW!!  The flavor of coffee mixed with the caramel frosting, toffee bits and ganache.  So well-balanced.  Melts like butter in my mouth.  Though, I have to say, I can’t imagine eating a whole full-size cupcake – I could barely finish a mini.

Seriously, this may be one of the most well-balanced cupcakes I have EVER eaten.  All the parts taste like they were meant to go together.  Having said that, this was the most difficult cupcake I’ve ever made.  The process was lengthy and definitely not at a ‘basic’ baking level.  This would definitely be a special occasion cupcake.  (Example: making the caramel from scratch – which is delicious but took 2 attempts to get it right – makes the process significantly longer and more difficult.  Not a ‘whip em together’ kinda cupcake.

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 5

– Frosting Taste: 5

– Overall Taste: 5

– Appearance: 5

– Ease of Making: 1 (most difficult cupcake I’ve made, but also the tastiest)

– TOTAL: 21

RECIPE

Toffee Crunch Cupcakes (from Bakers Royale)

Cupcake

  • 1 cup (4.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7.3 ounces) sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and warm
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon instant coffee (recommended: Starbucks Via)
  • 1/2 cup hot coffee
  • 1/2 cup chocolate covered toffee bits

Caramel Frosting

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 11/2 cup sugar
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, diced and softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup caramel sauce (click here for a homemade caramel recipe)

Chocolate Dipping Sauce

  • 2/3 cups dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
  • 5-8 tablespoons water, warm

For directions visit Bakers Royale
*Tomorrow: Strawberry Cupcakes with Vanilla Ice-Cream Buttercream*

%d bloggers like this: