Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Cupcake of the Month - Root Beer Fudge Cupcakes
These little treasures are delicious! The recipe came from the Baked cookbook - the authors made it in the form of a bundt cake, but I think they're even better as cupcakes for three reasons: 1)there are no worries about getting the cake out of the bundt pan in one piece, 2) with cupcakes, the portion size is set so they're a little safer to be around as I am too tempted to shave little pieces off a big cake until half the cake is gone - for some reason, I'm not as likely to eat more than one cupcake, 3) cupcakes are so cute! The frosting had an unusual and beautiful irridescent sheen and the cakes are super rich, fudgy and moist - the secret ingredient - root beer! I have to admit, I couldn't taste the rootbeer very much at all with all the dark cocoa, but I have to believe that it added a certain dimension to these cupcakes that puts these over the top. If you have rootbeer schnapps, the authors suggest to replace a half cup of the root beer in the recipe with schnapps for a more pronounced rootbeer flavor. I'll have to try that the next time...but I can't believe these could be any better.
Root Beer Bundt Cake (or cupcakes!)
from Baked, New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
2 cups root beer (not diet)
1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cups granulated
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 ounces dark chocolate (60% cocao), melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup root beer
2/3 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously spray the inside of a 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray, or butter and dust it with flour, knocking out the excess flour. (Or line 2 cupcake pans with liners.)
In a small saucepan, heat the root beer, cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool.
In large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until just beaten, then whisk them into the cooled cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture. The batter will be slightly lumpy - do not overbeat as it may toughen the cake.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan (or fill cupcake liners 2/3 full) and bake for 35-40 minutes (start checking at 20-25 minutes for cupcakes), rotating the pan halfway through baking time, until a small sharp knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and turn it out onto the rack.
To make the frosting: Put all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until the frosting is shiny and smooth.
Use a spatula to spread the frosting over the crown of the bundt cake in a thick layer. (Or frost each cupcake with a small offset spatula.) Let the frosting set before serving, with vanilla ice cream on the side.
Labels: Cakes and cupcakes