It is that time of the month and I’m craving chocolate and cake. But mainly chocolate. These cupcakes have the chocolate kicked up – first, by making a slurry of cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate and coffee you get an intense taste of chocolate. The recipe also calls for bread flour as its added gluten development means more chocolate can be added than in a cupcake with all-purpose or cake flour (hat tip to America’s Test Kitchen for that trick). For even more flavor, I added cacao nibs to the cupcake batter and used Creme de Cacao instead of vanilla in the frosting.
Very Chocolate Cupcakes
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used Ghiradelli)
1/3 cup high quality Dutch processed cocoa (I used Droste)
1 cup brewed coffee, hot
3/4 cup bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cacao nibs (optional)
Place cocoa and chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Pour coffee over and let stand 5 minutes before whisking. Mix until smooth and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda. Stir in sugar.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cooled chocolate, vegetable oil and eggs over medium low speed. Add in vinegar and vanilla and mix well. Add in the flour sugar mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in cacao nibs, if using.
Divide batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely before frosting, about one hour.
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup good quality cocoa powder
2 2/3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon Creme de Cacao (or vanilla extract)
Sift together cocoa powder and powdered sugar – this step is important as it gets rid of any lumps in the sugar. Combine the butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer and mix until smooth. Reduce the speed to low and add in the cocoa and powdered sugar. Add Creme de Cacao and mix well.
Frost cupcakes. This recipe can easily frost 18 cupcakes, so you can be very generous with the 12 of the above recipe.