November 9, 2013

Blackout Cupcakes

Rating: 5
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Yield: 18 cupcakes
Rich, dense chocolate cupcakes frosted with chocolate pudding and topped with chocolate cake crumbs.
For the cupcakes:

  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 sticks salted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup boiling water
For the pudding frosting:
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 + 3/4 cups water
  • 1 + 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

  1. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners and lightly butter a 9-by-2? round cake pan and line bottom with parchment or wax paper. Dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess.
  2. To make the chocolate cake: In a microwave on medium(50%) melt the chocolate, stirring at 30-second intervals until just melted, about 2 minutes. Let cool until tepid but still fluid.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, espresso powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a glass measuring cup, stir together the buttermilk and vanilla.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the brown sugar and butter with an electric mixer until the mixture is pale and fluffy, 3 minutes. One at a time, beat in the eggs and yolk.
  5. Beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat until flour is gone.
  6. Add the melted chocolate mixture. Gradually beat in the boiling water. (The batter will be very thin at this point).
  7. Using a 1/3 cup measure, transfer the batter to the muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full. Spread the remaining batter in the cake pan. Bake the cupcakes for 25 minutes, but continue to bake the cake until set, about 5 minutes more. Let cool.
  8. Make the frosting: In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and 1/2 cup of the water together.
  9. In a medium saucepan, whisk the remaining water with sugar, cocoa powder and corn syrup. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the cornstarch mixture and reduce heat to low, whisking often until mixture is as thick as pudding (about 3 minutes).
  10. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Add the chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes while chocolate melts, then mix well. Transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool, pressing plastic wrap on the surface. Chill very well.
  11. Crumble the cooled cake with your hands then place the crumbs in a shallow bowl. Pile 1/3 cup of icing on each cupcake, shaping it into a dome with a small knife. Roll the edges of the cupcakes in the crumbs. Serve.
  12. (Cupcakes can be refrigerated for 1 day, but let stand at room temperature 2 hours before serving).
    If for some reason your pudding is not thick enough to sit atop the cupcakes beat in confectioners' sugar as needed to improve its' consistency.