Yeah, yeah, I'm a little late. Trust me, I have my reasons. Long story short: backed up sink = three hours with a plumber = sink being vacuumed out = the worst smell on earth = me on the verge of tears and vomit while frantically getting ready for our fourth annual Chrismakuh Party. So cut me some slack. Anyway, I did manage to make these cupcakes in time for the party, whew. These are my basic chocolate cupcake with a wonderfully sweet but tangy cream cheese frosting.
1 C salted butter (the added salt is a nice complement)
1/2 C + 1 T Hershey's Special Dark cocoa sifted (I only had regular,boo)
3/4 C water
2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C buttermilk
1 1/2 T vanilla extract
2 C flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 12-cup muffin pans with liners and set aside. Over low heat, melt butter in a medium sized saucepan. While butter is melting, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside. When butter is completely melted, add in cocoa and whisk until very smooth. Add in water and whisk again. Turn off heat and whisk in the sugar until the batter has a smooth appearance. Add in the buttermilk and vanilla extract, whisking again. Add in one egg at a time, whisking until thoroughly combined after each addition. Very slowly add in the dry ingredient mixture, whisking very well after each addition (this batter tends to clump up, and it is essential to get it as smooth as possible). Fill each muffin cup 1/2 full (flat tops) to 2/3 full (domes) and bake for 20 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake will come out with a few crumbs clinging to it or completely clean when they are done. Allow to cool on a wire rack completely before filling and frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting 8 oz cream cheese
1 T vanilla bean paste
4 T milk
2-3 C powdered sugar (it all depends on how you like it)
Allow cream cheese to soften beforehand. Beat cream cheese until it's as fluffy as you can possibly get it. Add vanilla bean paste and milk and beat some more. Add powdered sugar gradually until you reach the desired consistency. At this point, you may want to add more milk or more sugar, you make the call. Beat everything together until smooth and creamy.