Happy Birthday Dad! Have a cupcake

1 Apr

So the majorty of you have never been to my apartment, so you don’t really know the conditions that I’m working with. Let me just say…it’s very tiny.

The only counter space I have is on either side of my sink. That’s where I usually keep my Kitchenaid, but get this…there’s no outlet there. Which is why I have to put it on top of the wine rack/cutting board that I found for $10. Before I had that, I had to put it on the floor. But I make it work.

Having such a small kitchen also ensures that I make a mess. I had flour everywhere and eggs dripped all over the floor. I don’t know what was with me that day.

Last Tuesday was my dad’s birthday so my mom asked me to make cupcakes for him. My dad is OBSESSED with chocolate so of course I looked for chocolate themed recipes. I decided to go with a yellow cake with a chocolate fudge frosting.

Don’t expect this to be a bright yellow batter like the yellow cake you make from a box, because let’s face it guys, that has food coloring in it. The recipe calls for milk, buttermilk or yogurt and I had none of those ingredients, but I did have powdered buttermilk. I didn’t read the directions on the can so I added the powder directly to the water and then I read that I was supposed to add the powder to the dry ingredients and then add water to that. Whoops.

I was somewhat hesitant about using a new ingredient but I was pleased with the results. It made a dense cake but it wasn’t like dry and gross. I think yogurt would be good in it as well.

So this is what the frosting base looks like after you add the cocoa and sour cream to melted butter. And yeah…it looks gross. I thought I totally screwed up. But never fear if it starts looking like this for you too. Trust me, you’re doing it right.

After you add that mixture to the powdered sugar and other ingredients, you will get this amazing glossy frosting. It seriously was the best frosting I’ve had. It wasn’t super sweet and the sour cream gave it an interesting tanginess. The recipe said that this frosting is to be poured over your cake, but I let it sit a while because it was too loose to frost cupcakes without making an even bigger mess. It thickened up nicely and I put it in Ziploc bag (I’m not fancy enough for pastry bags) and used that tool to frost my cupcakes.

I have to say, these cupcakes turned out pretty awesome. And I only ate one…okay two…alright! I ate three! But I ate the first one because I had to taste test and I ate the second one because it wouldn’t fit in the pan with the rest of them and I ate the third one because everyone else was eating them. And I only ate one spoonful of the frosting.

I swear.

Classic Yellow Cake- Makes two 9 inch rounds or 24 cupcakes

12 tablespoons butter

1 3/4 cups sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspons vanilla extract

4 large eggs, plus 2 yolks

2 3/4 flour

1 1/2 cups milk, buttermilk, or yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, salt, baking powder, and vanilla until fluffy and light, at least 5 minutes.

Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly blend one-third of the flour into the creamed mixture, then half the milk, another third of the flour, the remaining milk, andhe remaining flour. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally throughout the process.

Pour the batter into greased and floured pans. Bake 25-30 minutes for the 9 inch pans and check your cupcakes after 15-20 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven, cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out on a rack to cool completely before frosting.

Thick Fudge Frosting- Enough for a 9 inch layer cake or 24 cupcakes

8 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup yogurt or sour cream

4 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

In a medium sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. When it has melted stir in the cocoa, salt, and yogurt, then bring the mixture to a boil. Place the p. sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl, pour the hot cocoa mixture over it, and beat until smooth.

Working quickly, pour about half the frosting over one cake layer, spreading it around the sides. Center the second layer over the first and pour the remaining frosting, spreading it evenly to the edge and along the sides of the cake. Or you can be like me and wait for it to thicken. Don’t scrap the very bottom of the pan, as the frosting stuck there won’t have a nice gloss and might be grainy.

Both these recipes were adapted from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion.

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