Recipe by Sarah Phillips © 2003 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
Variation: Chocolate Cake Cupcakes
Remember muffin tops? Well, you can make cake tops in a muffin top pan! They are great to serve for a kid's party or can be used to sandwich ice cream in between as a mini-cream cake surprise! To make: soften ice cream and then spread in between cake tops, with the flat sides facing in and the rounded tops facing outward. Freeze until the ice cream is hardened, and frost one side, if desired! Serve!
CAKE RECIPE HELP
Tempering the chocolate into the batter properly is a very important step. If the chocolate is too warm, and added to the cool batter, it will seize, creating small bits of hardened chocolate in the batter. These bits will never melt and incorporate into the batter when the cake bakes; they will remain as hardened pieces of chocolate in the final cake.Then, stir in the cooled, melted chocolate squares and mix to combine.
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour; spoon into dry measuring cup and level to rim
1/4 cup Dutch process or natural cocoa powder, sifted;scoop into dry measuring cup and level to rim and then, sift
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate squares, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup whole or 2% milk
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil; measure in liquid measuring cup
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole or 2% milk
1/2 teaspoon orange extract; can substitute with 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons orange peel, optional
1. Position shelf in middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Generously spray the cavities of the mini-crown muffin pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
2. In a medium size bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift if cocoa powder is lumpy. Set aside.
3. In a medium size bowl, combine milk, sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. With a hand held electric mixer on medium-low, combine until mixture becomes bubbly.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the milk mixture. With a few strokes, almost combine the ingredients.
Add the melted chocolate: Temper the chocolate by adding a big scoop of the batter to the cooled chocolate and mix quickly and thoroughly. Return the chocolate and batter to the main mixing bowl. Mix all the ingredients until JUST combined.
5. Divide the batter evenly among 12 mini-crown muffin pan tins.
If you have a pan that makes only 6 muffin tops at a time, bake half of the batter at a time: Divide 1/2 of the batter evenly among the six muffin tins, a little more than 1/4 cup each, which fills the muffin top pan cup to the top. If needed, lightly spread as much as you can to edges. Cover and put remaining batter in the refrigerator for next batch of if you don't have another pan.
6. Bake for 20 - 22 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly touched. DO NOT overbake. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes in the pan before removing to a wire cake rack to cool.
SARAH SAYS: Chocolate cakes have a tendency to overbake more easily than yellow or white cakes because it's harder to tell when they are done baking. I never let my chocolate cakes turn lightly browned on top--they may even smell burned at that point. The cake should be just lightly browned around the edges at most.
7. Bake the other half of the batter: When pan is cool to touch, clean with a paper towel. Generously spray with cooking spray and repeat steps 5 and 6 for the other 1/2 of the batter.
Meanwhile make the glaze: combine the powdered sugar, milk, extract and grated peel. Mixture should flow like corn syrup when the tines of a fork are dipped in and held over the bowl. Correct with more powdered sugar or milk, if necessary.
Place cooled cake tops on a wire cake rack set over waxed paper. Drizzle glaze freely over muffins after dipping the tines of a fork into the glaze. Let set about 10 minutes before serving. These do not need refrigeration.
Store in a cool, dry place where the cupcake tops will keep for a few days. They will get moist on top from the sugar glaze, so glaze at the last minute if storing. The cupcake tops can be frozen for a month or more, preferably unglazed, but can be frozen if glazed.
Chocolate Cake Cupcakes:
You can use this recipe and bake cakey fudge cupcakes. Makes 6 standard-size cupcakes. Bake at 325 degrees F for about 20 minutes!