March 5, 2013

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

Never underestimate the power of a cupcake.  I love yoga and recently read about how many activities can help get you in that "zen zone," be in the moment, relieve stress, and just induce a very similar feeling to being on the yoga mat.  For me, making cupcakes is one of these activities.  I'm able to stop my mind chatter and just be.  "Cupcake yoga" is an experience of mindfulness for me.

Cupcakes are powerful.  If you give a person a cupcake, that person's day gets better.  Eating cupcakes just make people happy.  The combinations of cupcakes and frostings are infinite, so there are infinite ways to make days great and people happy. :)  Now that is sweet.

So, let's talk devil's food.  Angels most certainly like chocolate, but the density of devil's food cake is much different than angel food cake.

Devil's food cake is moister and airier than other chocolate cakes.  The sour cream adds moistness, and the baking soda also helps to increase the moistness and makes the cake airy.  Devil's food uses cocoa powder for the flavor, where most other chocolate cakes uses actual melted chocolate.  Additionally, hot water is often used as a main liquid in the devil cake.  Other chocolate cakes often uses milk instead.

The caramel frosting is easy to make because you do not need to pull out a candy thermometer.  The frosting tasted better the next day because the flavor had a chance to richen.

To decorate the cupcakes, I just placed a large chocolate chip upside down on the cupcake.  Can you really go wrong with more chocolate on a cupcake?

Make these divine devil food cupcakes soon!

PS: Random tidbit: did you know that Cupcake Vineyards makes a devil's food vodka?

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting
Yields 32 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature

For the frosting:
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
5 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp. dark corn syrup
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

For the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.  In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth.  In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the granulated sugar , and stir.  Remove from heat, and pour into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.  Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat the mixture on medium-w speed for about 5 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until each is incorporated.  Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.  Next, add vanilla, cocoa mixture, and continue to beat until combined.  Reduce the speed to low, and add the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream.   Beat until just combined.

Divide the batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about three-quarters full.  Bake, and rotate cupcake pans halfway through, for about 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted to the centers comes out clean.  Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:
In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer or in a stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.  Add the sugars, and continue to beat on low speed for about two minutes.  Next, add the milk, syrup, and vanilla.  Continue to beat until smooth and creamy, for about 5 minutes.  Use immediately, or store covered for up to 2 days.

Source: Cupcakes adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes; Caramel Buttercream adapted from Magnolia Bakery

1 comment:

  1. I also have a sort of cooking yoga. Last night at 11pm I was making yoghurt and felt so at ease and relaxed! Perfect. These cupcakes look divine!


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