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Thursday, October 2, 2008

5 pounds of chocolate cupcakes

5 pound chocolate cupcakes

I found this recipe in the most unlikely of places - by talking to a startup software executive at a conference. I immediately like people when it's apparent they have a love of food that rivals mine, and this woman was awesome. She had just moved back from Spain, and instead of talking about what I imagine most business people would (glad to be back to burgers or family or familiarity?), she talked about the olive oil, the bread, the markets, learning first the spanish words for basil and garlic... Wow. And then she tells me about this cake, her go-to, never-fails-to-disappoint cake made with "at least 5 pounds of chocolate" (her words). I prod a little deeper, and it turns out the recipe she uses comes from Orangette - the lovely blog I read on a daily basis - posted over 4 years ago. She sent me the recipe, which I immediately set to making. The only problem was my own impatience - not waiting for the cupcakes to cool enough before removing them = not nearly as photogenic as Orangette's, but by far the most delicious chocolate cake I've ever tried. Find someone who's birthday is near, or any other excuse possible, and make this cake. You can find the Orangette original here.

Grocery list: (cake) 3 oz semi-sweet chocolate, 1.5 cups brewed coffee, 3 c sugar, 2.5 c A/P flour, 1.5 c unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 tsp baking soda, 3/4 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 3 eggs, 3/4 c canola oil, 1.5 cups buttermilk (shaken), 3/4 tsp vanilla extract; (ganache frosting) 16 oz semi-sweet chocolate, 1 c heavy cream, 2T sugar, 2T light corn syrup, 1/2 stick unsalted butter.

coffee and chocolate

To make the cake, chop the 3 oz of chocolate and pour hot coffee over it, and allow it to set for a while to melt. Grease or line 36 cupcake tins, or grease/flour 2 10-inch cake pans.

dry ingredients for chocolate batter

Next, work on your dry ingredients: sift the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.

ingredients for chocolate batter

In an even bigger bowl, beat the eggs for 5 minutes with a hand mixer (or 3 mins w/a stand mixer) until they are thickened.

buttermilk coffee chocolate batter

Then, slowly add in the oil, vanilla, buttermilk, and the coffee-chocolate mixture, beating until smooth.

chocolate cake batter

Now, if you've got a stand mixer with one of those nifty attachments that keeps flour from poofing up into the air, good for you. I had to MacGiver it - I draped some towels over the top of the hand-mixer & bowl, and carefully dumped in the dry ingredients while beating on medium speed. I'm still finding chocolate powder in some crevices in the dining nook, so I'm just warning you here...

chocolate cake batter

Then, pour your batter into the pans. This was an impressive sight wasn't it? Bake at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes for cupcakes (or 50-55 for larger cakes). I think it helps to rotate the cupcake pans halfway through - meaning, move the pan from the bottom rack up to the top and vice versa. Otherwise the bottom cakes will cook way faster. Use a toothpick to tell when they're done.

making granache

While they're baking, make the ganache. Heat the heavy cream, sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, until just boiling.

heating cream and chocolate for granache

Chop the chocolate (or cheat, and use chips - but they were really really nice chips from WF so I think Orangette would approve) and stir into the cream, then remove from heat.

chocolate granache

Cut the butter into pieces and stir into the melted chocolate mixture. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool - it will keep thickening as it cools. Whenever it's at frosting consistency, you can spread it on the cakes. Make sure you remove the cakes to a wire pan and allow them to cool to completely room temperature. I rushed the first few cupcakes, and literally poured the frosting over them instead of waiting, that's how excited I was about the cupcakes. You might want to enlist some moral support during this part, if you don't want to risk ruining the presentation in the heat of the moment...

Orangette, I agree with you - this was "the most deeply-flavored, moist-yet-fluffy chocolate cake [I've] ever tried."

1 comment:

Mama Liz said...

AMAZING!!! Now I just have to get my butt in shape so I have a reason to treat Derek to these on his birthday!