Saturday, March 15, 2008

A chocolate combo the Easter Bunny would be proud of!

Not to long ago I was scouring Target (as I often do) and I found myself in the Easter Candy section. I'm a big fan of Easter, and I wish that, at 29, I was still on the Big Bunnys list. There's nothing like a basket full of cellophane grass hiding lots of little candy pleasures. Why do kids get all the good stuff?
As I reminisced of Easters past while wandering around the candy aisles, I discovered mini Cadbury Eggs. Now since I'm a fan of the normal sized version, how could I pass up this pop em in the mouth bite sized buddy. I bought a dozen, and a week and a half later I bought another dozen. I hadn't exactly finished the first dozen, but I had experienced a moment of baking genius that made the second batch an important purchase. 

I love chocolate, there's nothing for it. Slathered in peanut butter, worn by strawberries, happily encasing some York peppermint goodness, or simply covered in lint and found at the bottom of my purse – it's all delicious! So the ultimate chocolate cupcake has been on my mind for quite some time. 

I already had the perfect icing, my Great Aunt Dorothy's recipe that is to die for. I could eat it by the mixing bowl full if my teeth wouldn't threaten to fall out! The cake part was what seemed to be eluding me. But then it struck me, while chopping something that was not choclate the other day, that I already had the perfect concoction which I usually cover with peanut butter icing. It's a Barefoot Contessa recipe that is fantastic. So there you have it, Ina and Aunt Dorothy, two of the greats coming together to create my perfect chocolate cupcake. 

But… how to push it over the edge, you know, into "to die for" territory. That's where the eggs come in! It dawned on me, why now nestle on of these Cadbury buddies down into the batter and see what happens.

And guess what happened… HEAVEN HAPPENED!! 

These are the best chocolate cupcakes that I have ever tasted! Normally I wouldn't share my Aunt's recipe because it's been in the family for so long, but I got permission to because everyone deserves to bask in the glory that is this PERFECT CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE!  Even without the egg I can tell it's honey! I thought about taking a picture of what the inside of the cup looked like with the egg in there, but it didn't look like much, so I'm sparing you the boring inside of a cupcake photo. Just know that it adds the most fantastic dimension to these cakes! 

All you have to do is push the (unwrapped ;) egg into the batter. I made the rookie mistake of pushing the egg all the way down, making contact with the liner. I would recommend letting it float a bit more, as the chocolate stuck to the paper and pulled one of my taste testers in two. This batter can support the weight of the egg, so it won't fall all the way down if you don't push it. I tried two different versions, one where I covered the egg in batter, and another where I did not. It didn't seem to make any difference at all in the look or the taste, so don't bother. 

If you're a fan of chocolate, but cannot handle overly sweet things, this combo is great for you as well. The cake is chocolately, but not insanely sweet. 

I'm normally not one to toot my own horn, but I have to say it… "Toot Toot!" 

Alright, enough blogging, I'm going to eat another cupcake! 

Chocolate Cupcakes 
from Barefoot Contessa at Home

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons brewed coffee
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup good cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it's completely blended.

Divide the batter among the cupcake pans (1 rounded standard ice cream scoop per cup is the right amount). ** If you're up for it, put the Cadbury Eggs in at this point.** Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Great Aunt Dorothy's Chocolate Icing

4 tablespoons Cocoa
1 1/2 cup Confectioners Sugar
2 sticks Butter at room temperature
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 to 3 tablespoons Hot Coffee 
Cream the butter, sugar, cocoa and vanilla together. Add coffee and whip for 2 minutes, or until it has reached you desired fluffiness. If you want the icing a bit thinner, add in a little more coffee. 

All Rights Reserved 2008 © Books and Bakes


robin (caviar and codfish) said...

oh god, I haven't had a cadbury egg is ages! I'm sooo craving one after reading your post!

Your cupcakes sound to die for!

KJ said...

I saw your post over that the Daring Bakers. I just had to come over and see.

It's so great when you hit on something really good. It's so exciting.

I love what you've come up with. Here in Australia, cadbury eggs come with a million different fillings - turkish delight, mint. I think caramel would be delicious.

Colette said...

I've always wanted to try the whole "Put candy inside cupcake batter" But Cadbury Cream Eggs? YUMM!!! I wish I could try on so badly! I'll have to do this. There's not enough time in the world for baking...

Alejandra said...

Hi there! I saw your post on Daring Bakers and have to say that I LOVE your idea!! I was also reading your bio and saw that, like me, you're a book and sweets lover. I thought maybe you'd be interested in submitting something for my "great food scenes from literature" contest that I'm holding over on my blog. I'm trying to spread the word about it to get more folks to enter. You can check out the details at the following link; I'd love to see what you come up with!

Cakelaw said...

Hi Kate, I came here from DBs. Love the Cadbury mini eggs idea - these chocolate cupcakes look so deliciously decadent.

Amy J. said...

Hi Kate! Just following your post from the Daring Bakers site. Fabulous idea (of course, I'm a chocoholic so I'm partial) - will have to try!

Snug said...

mmm yum!

Deborah said...

What a great idea!! I'm gonna have to try this...

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Ohh I would love to see what the middle looks like! Yummmm!!