Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Cupcakes- lil cups of happinesss

Cupcakes are little cups of happiness. Chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, and more. I baked the first time with my sister-in-law- actually more of a friend. Quite an adventure for me as I was a baking virgin. There, I said it. We started sieving, mixing, whisking and gossiping. She shared her baking wisdom and I gobbled it all down. I kept running to and fro from mixing bowl and laptop. As I am a vegetarian, we baked eggless.
All the teaspoons and tablespoons- I saw them in my dreams doing a number that night :)
Shweta- my sis in law had to drag me out of the kitchen as I couldn't help but keep staring at the cupcake tray in the oven. After 25-30 minutes the oven beeped and I jumped from my sofa to get the tray out. We had done it! We had baked a tray of bliss and happiness.

Chocolate Cupcakes

I was quite content. But Shweta had a surprise recipe for me! She had found a recipe for lamingtons and yes, I was hungry for more. So, we were again sieving, mixing, whisking and gossiping while our cupcakes were cooling, ready to be dressed up. We baked a vanilla cake for the lamingtons- an Australian dessert. So, we were in for loads more of chocolate and shredded coconut- one of my other favourite ingredients. The Vanilla sponge was ready while we made some mouth-watering icing for our chocolate cupcakes. Pink and green. Ready to be starred and stripped on the chocolate cupcakes.

But, we underestimated the Mumbai heat. The icing started melting on the cupcakes and there, we learnt a valuable lesson- do the icing in an air-conditioned room. And refrigerate them in an air-tight container.

The vanilla sponge was cool by now. We cut the cake in rectangles and placed them on a wirerack. They sat there all aligned, waiting for their turn to be soaked in silky, velvety dark chocolate (you can use milk also or a mix). We covered them in the velvety chocolate and dressed them in white snow like coconut flakes. We couldn't stop eating them. 


Recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes
After trying out several recipes, I have settled for this one. I found this one on the internet and
loved the results. The cupcakes turned out real chocolatey and gooey,
    and had the texture of  a cake.

Makes 10-12 large cupcakes. About 16 medium sized cupcakes.


2+1/4 cup- all purpose flour (maida)
1 +1/2 cup- cocoa powder (I used Cadbury's. It gives good results)
1+1/2 cup white sugar (I used Castor sugar)

1 +1/2 tsp- baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter (unsalted. Punjab Sindh works very well)
Little less than 1/3 cup of bittersweet chocolate
1+1/2 cups- water
1/2 tsp vanilla essence. You can also use almond essence, if using slivered almonds for decorating the cupcakes.

Pre-heat the oven at 180 degree Celsius for 10-15 minutes. 

Melt butter and chocolate- either in a double boiler or in a microwave.
Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt twice. Add sugar and mix with a whisk.

Then, add water, vanilla extract and melted mixture to the flour mix.

Fold gently with a rubber spatula or a hand whisk till properly mixed. Do not over mix.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Check after 20 minutes.

Insert a toothpick. If it comes out clean, your cupcakes are done. Remove the tray from the oven and let the cupcakes cool on a wire rack. They need to be completely cool before you start icing them.

For butter cream icing:

100 gms unsalted butter (softened)
200 gms icing sugar
1/2 tbsp hot water
1/2 tsp vanilla / almond essence/ raspberry ( I have used it in the above cupcakes)

Take butter in a mixing bowl. Whisk it till smooth. Add sugar, water and essence.
Add colour at this stage if using. Whisk till fluffy and light.

Decorate with a piping bag or apply it with a spatula. Top with your favourite toppings. I have used Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

Sit in an air-conditioned room while icing the cupcakes, especially if the room temperature is very high.

Enjoy! Bon Apetit

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