The Fabulous Baker Girl

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Chocolate Cupcakes and a Birthday Celebration August 2, 2009

Filed under: Cakes,Chocolate,Dessert,Marth Stewart — amynb2008 @ 11:11 pm
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Ella's birthday party 017Ella’s birthday was a while ago but  just now got around to having a party for her and her friends.  She settled on an art theme.  Seven other girls invaded our “art studio” to make about five different art projects.

Of course, my very first question before deciding on what these projects were going to be was “what kind of cake do you want?”  Right away she settled on cupcakes.  I figured she’d go for a simple vanilla cake as she does not share my love of chocolate.  She surprised me though and asked for chocolate cupcakes.

And what my daughter wants….my daughter gets.

At least when it comes to chocolate cupcakes.

She also requested purple frosting with mini art palettes.  Easy enough to do.  I simply made the palette shape out of royal icing and then added the “paint” by painting on watered down food coloring.  I was going to add paint brushes but I didn’t have enough powdered sugar in my second batch of royal icing so it was too runny and they didn’t dry in time.  Oh well.  We perched the palettes  atop the chocolate cupcakes with purple frosting.  Very cute.

If you are anything like me and love chocolate, cake, or chocolate cake you’ll appreciate these cupcakes.  They are made in one bowl and are super easy to make.  The recipe says it makes two dozen but I get 2 1/2 dozen nice-sized cupcakes from it.  When I can get away with it, this is my go-to recipe any time I need a cake because they always turn out perfectly.  These are the cupcakes I gave Melanie for her first birthday (although not Ella — I wasn’t a baker yet and used *gasp* a box mix…please note my head is hung with shame).  They’re the easiest to make and always turns out moist and delicious.  Just my kind of recipe!  Thank you Martha Stewart!

One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa powdered (I’ve used regular with good results)

2 1/2 cups sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large whole eggs

1 large egg yolk

1 1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (do not forget the 2 tablespoons, they do make a difference)

1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 cup warm water.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.

Into the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  (I usually just run the mixer on the lowest speed for a few seconds.)  Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the eggs, yolk, milk, oil, vanilla, and warm water.  Beat on low speed until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes.  Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.

Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.  Bake, rotating pans halfway through, for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into one cake comes out clean.  Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool slightly.  Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Eat as is or add frosting (see my post Congratulations Salli for a good recipe).

 

Nigella is a Genius! April 6, 2009

Filed under: Chocolate,Dessert — amynb2008 @ 9:00 pm
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Chocohotopots

Chocohotopots

Nigella Lawson.  She’s my hero.  My husband always teases me that I have a girl-crush on her.  I think it’s true.  I mean, how can you not love a woman who eats like that, looks like that and makes no apologies for anything.  

 

I have most of her cookbooks and I have found some true gems in them but none more gem-y than the Chocohotopots.  Named by her son, these little pots of joy are beyond perfection.  The best way I can describe them is that they reminiscent of a half baked brownie — only better.  They are warm and gooey and…and…and…words escape me.  Really.

Not only am I lucky enough to have access to this recipe.  I have a husband who actually makes them for me.  Yes, I am the luckiest woman in the world.  Nigella really has nothing over me.  He usually makes it when I need a chocolate fix or have had a hard day or just wants some of my attention.  This is bound to get it my attention away from anything.  It just so happened that these particular Chocohotopots were made by me.  Hey, men like chocolate too!  

These are so easy to make and yet so impressive.  Perfect in their simplicity, they require no other accompaniment.  You just can’t go wrong with these, no matter what the occasion.  I highly recommend them.  They are good after a nice romantic meal.  They are good when you want to impress someone.  They are good for company.  You name it — these are the way to go!

Try this one.  If you do nothing else.  Try this.  These won’t let you down.

Nigella Lawson.  She’s a genius.  Genius, I tell you!

Words escape me...

Words escape me...

Chocohotopots

from Feast by Nigella Lawson

1 stick plus 1 tablespoon of butter

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (60% cocoa solids, I use Ghiradelli)

2 eggs

3/4 cup superfine sugar (just use regular)

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white chocolate chips or morsels (we usually just use regular chocolate chips)

Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.  Butter four 2/3 cup ramekins.  Either microwave or in a bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate then set aside to cool a little.

In another bowl, mix the eggs with the sugar and flour (you can use a whisk).  Beat in the cooled butter and chocolate mixture.  Fold in the white chocolate.  Divide batter between the four buttered ramekins.  Bake in the preheated oven on the preheated tray for about 20 minutes.  The tops will be cooked and cracked — like a macaroon — and they chocolate grungy and gooey underneath.

Place each ramekin on a small plate with a teaspoon and serve.  Be careful — they will be hot.