Monday, June 6, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

My cousin had issued me a challenge of fixing a recipe that she had gotten from the Food Network and had made - she said that it didn't taste right.  Something along the lines of burnt chocolate.  I love fixing recipes.  I have the patience (and let's face it tons of time) and once I make something that was once bad or OK into something amazing, it's the best feeling.  So I was surprised to find out that this recipe came from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) - I haven't made one thing from her that's been bad.  I printed out the recipe and made some adjustments to things before I started making the cupcakes. 

I thought I was good to go - that these would turn out really good.  But one thing in the recipe kept sticking out to me as really odd.  Brown sugar. I've never seen brown sugar in a chocolate cupcake recipe - let alone any regular cupcake recipe.  The only time I see it is for cookies or coffee cakes - something like that.  But I get to making the cupcakes with my changes and constantly taste the batter along the way, adjusting as I go.  My thought is that if the batter tastes really good, then once baked it will taste really good - hasn't let me down so far.  I've also learned along the way that using Kahlua or coffee extract works better than using coffee or instant coffee granules.  It leaves things a little sweeter and really brings out the chocolate flavor more. 

I bake them off and let them cool and then make the frosting - which needed no change at all.  Once all frosted and ready to go, time to eat one.  It was good - but I could tell that something wasn't right and it was the brown sugar.  I should of gone with my first instinct and switched the brown sugar out for regular sugar.  But it was tasty and I think that the improvements I made helped out. 

why hello :)
I handed some out to some taste testers and they all said that they were great - one even said they tasted like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.  So they are tasty and people ate them quickly :) 

So here's my version of what I made yesterday.  If you want to make it, I suggest that you change out the brown sugar for regular sugar.  And it really makes 30, not 15 like it said. 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
makes 30 cupcakes

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (12 tbsp), room temp
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 extra large eggs, room temp
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, shaken, room temp
1/2 cup sour cream, room temp
3 tbsp Kahlua or coffee extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Peanut Butter Frosting

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners. 
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.  Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well.  In a seperate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream and coffee extract/Kahlua.  In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture.  Mix only until blended.  Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it's completely blended.
  3. Divide the batter among the cupcake pans.  Bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes, remove from pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  4. Frost each cupake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Peanut Butter Frosting

1 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work.  Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.  Use immediately. 

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