Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Superfluous Cupcakes

Recently I was dreaming of my ideal cake. It would be chocolate, of course. But then I'd like something more decadent than a simple chocolate cake, so maybe I would pair up raspberry and chocolate and then top it with something outrageous -- cream cheese frosting. While I'm at it, maybe it would make a good cupcake. It certainly would come out of the oven that much quicker.

What I didn't take into account is that the recipe I chose to use bakes up more like a brownie than a cake. That means flat-topped cupcakes. All the better to frost with gusto. Consider the frosting a volume-building treatment for cupcakes.

The cake is based upon a recipe by Nigella Lawson. It is quick to throw together and all mixes up in one pan (well, except for the pre-beaten eggs). I think it took 15 mintues to mix it up. If you don't have self-rising cake flour handy, measure out 1 cup of all purpose flour minus 2 Tablespoons, then add 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp baking soda and mix well.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 oz baker's chocolate (I used 2 oz semi-sweet and 2 oz unsweetened), broken into pieces
1 1/3 cups raspberry jam (I used organic)
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup self-rising cake flour

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until melted, heating gently if necessary. Add jam through eggs. Beat in flour a little at a time. Proportion batter evenly for 12 cupcakes. If you are using a bare pan, be sure to grease and flour it first. Bake them about 20-25 minutes at 350 F, until they pass the toothpick test. Cool 10 mintues before removing from pan.

I made a small batch of cream cheese frosting, so that I could frost lightly, because I wanted to be able to taste the cupcake over the uproar of the frosting flavor. Double this recipe if you feel the need for lots of frosting. You might also want to halve the amount of cream cheese (and replace with butter). The cream cheese intensity will compete with the cupcake flavor.

4 oz cream cheese -- softened
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter -- softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon heavy cream
about 2 cups confectioner's sugar, maybe more

Beat the softened cream cheese and butter together. Add vanilla and cream. Add the sugar in stages, until you reach your desired frosting consistency.

Keep frosting and frosted cupcakes refrigerated.

My rating -- I would probably make them again (especially since they are quick and easy), but make the frosting less cream cheesy.


At May 26, 2006 10:49 AM, Anonymous Sheryl said...

Yay! Cupcakes!

At May 26, 2006 11:26 AM, Blogger Jade said...

Can't ever have too many, can one? Thanks for stopping by!

At May 26, 2006 12:07 PM, Blogger farmgirl said...

Oh I could go for about six of those right now. Great photo. I absolutely adore cream cheese frosting (and chocolate cake, of course). Mmmmmmm!

At May 26, 2006 12:08 PM, Blogger farmgirl said...

P.S. What a lovely plate.

At May 26, 2006 2:27 PM, Blogger Jade said...

Thank you, Farm Girl. I inherited that plate from my grandmother (she is still alive, but had to give up her house). I only have the one piece, but that is the kind of pattern I wouldn't mind having a set of.


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