I have managed to go two whole months without making a single post! And here my profile says that I never have enough time but still manage to fit it all in any way... well, all things except for updating my blog.... apparently!
This is not to say however that my cupcaking crusade has slowed down in any way shape or form . In fact I could blame my quest for the ultimate recipe for my lack of blog activity! Who has time for text when there are recipes to be tested and baking to be done! Especially when you have to make two batches of cupcakes in the one night... because you somehow managed to set the oven to grill (broil for the Americans) instead of bake!!!
Yup... last night I managed to make Chocolate Mt Etna cupcakes! The tops grilled nicely for the first 10 minutes... they even rose into nice little domes... until the hot (but as yet uncooked) batter in the bottom of the cup decided to bubble and spew its way up through the top crust!
Needless to say, that batch was sacrificed to the rubbish bin god... and I started again (9:15pm)!
Soooo... having invited P (my other half) over for dinner, the poor man then spent his entire evening watching me wade through chocolate batter whilst screaming obscenities at my oven. To his credit... he did not retire to the couch, but sat supportively at the bench, chatting quietly about any nonthreatening topic he could think of (I assume to calm me down), and making encouraging noises as batch number two went into the oven. Bless his cotton socks!
The up-side to all of this is that I think I have now found (or should I say created) my perfect 'chocolate' cupcake recipe (vanilla still eludes me)!!! The jury is not yet in on the 'last ability' factor (as they were only made last night) but they are definitely getting a big tick in the taste box (yay.... perfection is soooo satifying)!! I will attempt to get back and post again on how well they last in the next 2-3 days (rather than 2-3 months... oops).
5 0z self raising flour (sift well)
3 oz dutch cocoa powder (sift well)
1 teaspoon baking powder
8 oz sugar
8 0z butter (butter needs to be so soft it is almost - but not quite - melted)
5 extra large aggs
1 1/2 tea vanilla
4 tab sour cream (Australian tab = 20ml)
Set oven to 170 degrees celcius (golden rule of baking... make sure you own an oven thermometre... I can guarantee you your ovens in built thermostat is inaccurate).
Take large kitchen aid bowl... add all ingredients to bowl (in order listed above)... click bowl into kitchen aid and fit paddle attachment... turn on to lowest possible setting (be careful... your flour and cocoa will try and jump out of the bowl... use a guard if you have one) until all ingredients are moist.... turn up to medium just long enough to ensure all ingredients are completely combined. The consistency will be fairly thick but it should drop easily from the spoon if you tap it on the side of the bowl. If it's too thick... add a tab of water.
Use icecream scoop to fill liners 3/4 full.
Bake 17 minutes... test by lightly touching top of cake... it should return to its original shape after a gentle press.
I like to decorate mine with a chocolate buttercream... but really this is where your own creative licence can come in... a good ganache would also do the job, or even just whipped cream (they are very very rich) with a dusting of icing sugar! OR you could go all out and make up a chocolate sauce and serve them hot with ice cream (make sure you take them out of their cups first!!!
For something a little different, I did this batch with a red chocolate buttercream (just chocolate buttercream with a s*** load of red food colouring added).