Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Happy Saturday Gourmies!
Today’s post is a simple cupcake recipe! Kate and I tried to surprise Missy with birthday cupcakes. We tried to whip them up during the time that she and Avery went for a quick jog… needless to say we did not give ourself enough time. We did, however, get the cupcakes in the oven AS they walked in the door. So I would argue that to some extent we did accomplish our goal! 
This recipe comes from a recipe book that Avery gave to me for Christmas named, Cupcakes From The Primrose Bakery. This was my first time making this recipe, and we did mess up a step probably due to rushing, but as I always say: you truly learn the chemistry of baking when you see the result of your mistake. Although the cupcakes turned out pretty well in the end, I think that because we added the chocolate to the mixture while it was still too warm it ended up thickening the batter. The batter ended up hardening to a mousse like texture. We hoped for the best and spooned the batter into cupcakes tins and cooked them for the lowest amount of time, checking/turning half way through. They came out a tad bit dry, but the buttercream hid the dryness well. Kate discovered later on that they turned out perfectly if you throw them in the microwave for a couple of seconds and eat immediately… I tried, she was right. 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting:
Makes 16 regular, or 48 mini cupcakes.

What you need:
Cupcakes:
14oz Bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
6 Tbs Unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbs Packed light brown sugar
2 Lg. Eggs, free range or organic, separated
1 1/3 cups All-purpose flour
3/4 tsp Baking powder
3/4 tsp Baking soda
Pinch of Salt
1 cup 2% Reduced fat milk, room temp.
1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
Frosting:
Makes enough to frost 15-20 regular cupcakes or about 60 mini cupcakes
2 Tbs Unsalted butter, at room temp
1/4 cup 2% Reduced fat milk, at room temp
1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
4 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Few drops food coloring (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 and line 16 cups in two 12 cup muffin pans or four 12 cup mini muffin pans with cupcake liners.
Break the chocoalte into pieces and melt. The easiest way is to put it in a microwave-safe bowl in a microwave on medium heat for 30 seconds, stir, and then microwave again for a further 30 seconds-be very careful not to burn the chocolate. Alternatively, put the pieces in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until it has completely melted and is quite smooth. Leave to cool slightly. 
In large bowl cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth, which should take 3-5 minutes using an electric hand mixer. In a separate bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg yolks for several minutes. Slowly ass the egg yolks to the creamed mixture and beat well. Next, add the melted chocolate to the mixture and beat well. 
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a separate bowl. Mix the milk and vanilla together. Add one-third of the flour to the chocolate mixture and beat well. Pour in one-third of the milk and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added. In a clean bowl with clean beaters, whip the egg whites until soft peaks start to form. Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter, using a metal spoon. Do not beat or you will taking all the air out of the batter.
Carefully spoon the mixture into the cups, filling them about two-thirds full. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes (regular size) or 15 minutes (mini size). To check they are cooked, insert a wooden skewer in the center of one of the cupcakes- it should come out clean. Remove from the oven and leave the cupcakes in the pans for about 10 minutes before carefully place in on a wire rack to cool.
Cupcakes can be stored at room temperature for 3 days in an airtight container before frosting. 
In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, milk, vanilla extract, and half the confectioners’ sugar until smooth- this can take several minutes with an electric hand mixer. Gradually add the remainder of the confectioner’s sugar and beat again until the buttercream is smooth and creamy.
If you want to color your buttercream, always start with one drop of coloring and beat thoroughly. This will be all you need to achieve a very pale pastel hue. Add carefully, drop by drop, and beat after each addition to build up your desired shade.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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