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Summer Reading: Cupcakes!

There are loads of books out there dedicated to the lovely cupcake. In fact, it seems like you can barely walk into the cookbook aisle without being bombarded by at least 10 cupcakes smiling back at you (and yes I said smiling, because we all know, cupcakes don't really scowl). And while there are some really fantastic cupcake books to choose from, today I thought I'd tell you about Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans. Filled with gorgeous photography and perfectly moist and delicious recipes, this book will have you racing to the kitchen to whip up a batch before you can even say paper liner. With easy to follow recipes, the hardest part will be deciding what to bake first! My biggest complaint with the book is that I really wished there was a photograph for each recipe. Some of the techniques seem straightforward, but a picture example would have been great. Also, I should mention that this book has had some mixed customer reviews on Amazon. Seems that a bunch of folks have had problems with the basic chocolate cupcake recipe. However, I've made them several times (as have friends who don't have as much baking experience) and have not experienced that problem. Have any of you tried this book, and if so, have you run into any problems? If you haven't, and you're curious about the recipe, then be sure to check out this one for two-layer Chocolate-Covered Chocolate Cupcakes (with or without mint). I thought they came out wonderfully moist and perfectly sinful. To get the recipe,

Jimmy Only Likes Chocolate Cupcakes
Barely adapted from Chocolate-Covered Mint Meltaway Cupcakes in Cupcakes by Elinor Klivans (a highly recommend book!)

These measurements should make 28-32 normal sized cupcakes.

For Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes
6 oz unsweetened chocolate - chopped
2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter - at room temp
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup water

For Chocolate Fudge Filling
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
4 tbsp unsalted butter (1/2 stick) - cut into pieces
18 oz (3 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For Chocolate Fudge Glaze
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
5 tbsp unsalted butter - cut into pieces
7 1/2 tbsp light corn syrup
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cinnamon schnapps - *see note

Make the Fudge Filling

  • In large saucepan, heat the cream and butter over low heat. Cream should be hot and butter melted, but it should not boil. Tiny bubbles should form (sorta foamy looking, but not boiling - sorry didn't have a chance to snap the pic).
  • Remove pan from heat and add in the chocolate chips. I tried to distribute them so that they were all actually in the cream. Set aside for about 30 seconds.
  • Add in vanilla and whisk until it is smooth and all of the chocolate is melted.
  • Transfer to a large bowl and stir in any flavor if desired (Jimmy likes chocolate on chocolate with chocolate, so no flavoring for us, however the book recommends 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract, but I think coffee or cinnamon would be great too). Cover and refrigerate until firm but is still soft to the touch (at least 1 1/2-2 hours).

Make the Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Line muffin tins with paper cupcake liners - spray with nonstick cooking spray - set aside.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in to medium bowl - set aside.
  • Melt the chocolate until it is fully melted and smooth. I did it by placing it into a heatproof bowl on top of a pan of barely simmering water. You can use a double boiler if you have it, or the microwave. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl (or mixer - that's what I used) beat the butter and sugar until creamy. I did it for about 3 minutes on medium speed. You'll want to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl as you go along.
  • On low speed, add the melted chocolate in until incorporated.
  • Next turn up the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time - making sure each one blends in fully first.
  • Add vanilla and continue to mix until the color has lightened slightly - about 1 minute.
  • Mix in the sour cream, make sure no white streaks remain.
  • On low speed, add 1/2 of the flour mixture, mix until incorporated.
  • Mix in water.
  • Mix in remaining flour mixture until it is fully mixed and the batter looks smooth.
  • Fill each paper liner 2/3 full - try to fill them all with the same amount to ensure even doneness (although, if you notice I've got one fatty in the corner). Smooth out the tops with a spatula or spoon.
  • Bake until tops fill firm and toothpick comes out clean - about 20 minutes - use this time to make the glaze. If you are baking two trays at a time, they can both go on the same rack. If there's not room, rotate pans 1/2 way through.
  • Remove from oven and let sit in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  • Next carefully put a wire rack on top of the cupcakes (in pan) and invert to release them onto wire rack. Turn the cupcakes (top side up) to cool completely.

Make Glaze - sorry no pics, but it's really similar to the filling steps

  • In large saucepan, heat the cream, corn syrup and butter over low heat. Cream should be hot and butter melted, but it should not boil. Tiny bubbles should form (sorta foamy looking, but not boiling - sorry didn't have a chance to snap the pic).
  • Remove pan from heat and add in the chocolate chips. I tried to distribute them so that they were all actually in the cream. Set aside for about 30 seconds.
  • Add in vanilla and whisk until it is smooth and all of the chocolate is melted. Add in cinnamon schnapps if desired (*note: I could taste it well when the chocolate was warm, but since these are served cold, it was hard to taste. You may want to add more to suit your tastes)
  • Set aside at room temperature until it is thick enough to spread.

Cupcake Assembly

  • Once cupcakes are completely cooled, remove paper liners and turn cupcakes upside down on wire rack.
  • Cut cupcakes in half horizontally (so that you have a top and a bottom layer). Set tops aside for now.
  • Remove filling from fridge and, using a whisk, beat the cold filling until the color lightens from a dark chocolate to a light chocolate. About 30 seconds until it has thickened a bit. Immediately spread about 2 tbsp of filling on top of each cupcake. Replace tops - the filling will quickly firm up again. Do this until all cupcakes have been assembled.
  • Now it's time to glaze the cupcakes. I wasn't patient enough (it was already laaaaate) to wait until it got to the right consistency, so when I tried to spread it on, it was still too runny. So I set a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet covered with foil (easy clean-up) and poured spoonfuls of the glaze on top and spread it around on each cupcake. Once you have them all coated set aside for about 15 minutes or until the glaze has firmed.
  • Spread a second layer of smooth glaze on to the cupcakes. This will help cover the crumb-filled first layer. If you look at my pictures though, you will see, they're only smooth on top, and are lumpy where the glaze dripped down. Not as pretty as I would have liked, but delicious.
  • Before the glaze sets sprinkle shaved chocolate on top (shave a chocolate bar with a vegetable peeler to obtain shavings).
  • Let sit for about 30 minutes to completely firm up. Serve immediately or cover & refrigerate and serve cold.


































RobinFabulous RobinFabulous 10 years
I LOVE cupcakes. I'm totally buying this book!
pattyxxcore pattyxxcore 10 years
I love this cookbook!! My fave are the chocolate covered hi-hats. omg to die for.
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 10 years
I always have cupcakes, not a cake, on my birthday. Love them!
Sugar-Lips Sugar-Lips 10 years
duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude these blow my dome. i can't wait to make em!
girlboy girlboy 10 years
these look excellent!
sugarbecky sugarbecky 10 years
I heart cupcakes; nice pic lauren- that was my pic last week!! :)
laurenhalpert laurenhalpert 10 years
These look amazing...thanks for the pictures!
ALSW ALSW 10 years
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
drool. that's all i can do right now.
dkdc77 dkdc77 10 years
I LOVE this book. I bought it several months back and went through a complete cupcake overdose. They have these fantastic apple-cinnamon ones that are a cross between cupcake and muffin -so incredibly good. What I also love is the variations in here - a lot of different recipes based on some basics. Super simple to follow and the results are always incredible!
naked_american naked_american 10 years
Awesome! I have a friend who got married a couple of weeks ago, and I got her a whole bunch of cupcake stuff (this book included). Crate & Barrel has a lot of cute cupcake accessories for all of you cupcake fanatics out there.
intensebandgeek intensebandgeek 10 years
I am totally craving cupcakes right now!!!
tifygodess24 tifygodess24 10 years
So yummy , im going to get this book. Cupcakes are my fav :)
Karla-Sugar Karla-Sugar 10 years
I cannot resist cupcakes. I also can't resist pictures of cupcakes.
rubialala rubialala 10 years
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
mmm. these look good! i love the pictures.
pinkflats pinkflats 10 years
Oh I'm here tat. thanks for the link to this article. :DROOL: I swear if I was granted three wishes, it would go like this. 1. Wish to have already-baked cupcakes wherever I go. 2. To not gain weight at all from eating all the cupcakes I can now eat. 3. 5 more wishes.
tati33 tati33 10 years
cupcakes! yum!
tati33 tati33 10 years
where is pinkflats?
Linda-McP Linda-McP 10 years
I love cupcakes--and the step-by-step pixs. Thanks, Yum!
Entertainment Entertainment 10 years
yay! I love this book! I tend to be too paralyzed by choice to actually bake anything, though, and I end up looking at all the pictures instead
c0rkie c0rkie 10 years
yours look so delish!!! omg feeeeed meeee :D
c0rkie c0rkie 10 years
omg i love cupcakes. red velvet cupcakes are my weaknesses lol
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