It often comes as a surprise to people that I don't eat chocolate every day. Apparently, I have a reputation as a chocoholic. Undeserved, I assure you. But sometimes, I have a chocolate craving, and let's face it, when that happens nothing else will do.
So I made chocolate applesauce cupcakes. Apples and chocolate don't jump out at me as a great match with the notable exceptions of apple slices dipped in chocolate fondue and Mrs. Prindable type apples covered in chocolate. But when baking, applesauce is kind of like carrots or pumpkin. It provides moisture and sort of disappears.
They turned out nicely. Next time, I'm going to substitute coffee for the applesauce and see what happens. Mocha cupcakes!
To continue my must-have-chocolate theme, I searched around for chocolate frosting recipes and stumbled upon one by Food Network. Once again, the comments were fascinating, so I followed their suggestions and implemented some of my own.
Most notably, I skipped the double-boiler. Seriously, Food Network? I don't use my microwave for much, but it does a few things very well and very fast, and one of them is melting chocolate. Another is melting butter. (The final one is cooking oatmeal super fast and just right.) So naturally, I skipped the double-boiler and melted the butter and chocolate in the microwave. You can do that fairly early because you want it to cool before you make the frosting.
I increased the amount of butter and chocolate per the suggestions. But I also beat it for about four or five minutes. The recipe says to beat until fluffy, which is what happens when you let it beat for a longer time. Thank you to the ladies of Georgetown Cupcakes for teaching us that.
I'll be using this chocolate frosting recipe more often. It has a thoroughly chocolatey taste and a lovely texture. This recipe makes exactly the right quantity for a generous amount of frosting on 12 cupcakes. I would double it if making a 2-layer cake with a simple swirled frosting.
Aren't those sunflowers cute? Pop them (or ladybugs) on your cupcakes, and you'll look like a pro. They're by Wilton. I found them in the baking section of my Walmart (near the wedding section, not the food section). I only put them on two because I'm planning to freeze most of the cupcakes, and I'll add the sunflowers just before serving.
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup regular sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup applesauce
Preheat oven to 350 and place cupcake papers in pan.
Use a fork to mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Set aside.
Cream the butter with the sugars. Add the egg and beat. Add the applesauce and beat. Beat in the flour mixture in small portions so it doesn't all fly out in the air.
Fill cupcake papers about 1/2 full, dividing the batter between the 12 cups. Bake 15 minutes or until a cake taster comes out clean. Frost when cooled.
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (I used Bakers)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4-8 tablespoons milk (I used 2%)
Place the chocolate and the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in short bursts stirring in between until it melts and can be stirred together. Set aside to cool.
Place cooled chocolate in a mixing bowl. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and beat. Add the vanilla and 1 more cup of powdered sugar and beat. Scrape the bowl and add 1-2 tablespoons of milk. Beat. Scrape the sides and add more milk (I used a total of 6 tablespoons) if it looks dry. Beat 4-5 minutes until creamy.
Pipe onto the cupcakes or swirl on with a knife.
|Mix dry ingredients.|
|Fresh from the oven.|
|For frosting, use microwave to melt chocolate and butter.|
|Plenty of frosting!|