Where has the summer gone? Is it really August already? I’ve traveled the last 7 weekends, and now I’ve woken up this quiet Saturday morning feeling unsure of what to do with myself. It’s been a little hectic going full speed since the end of June with back to back weekend trips; Skaneateles, Nantucket, Lake George, Skaneateles, Napa, and back to Skaneateles again. I’ve been waiting for this quiet rainy morning all month! But I really have nothing to do today? I click open my iPhone and check my calendar just to be sure I haven’t scheduled a brunch or hair appointment or something… Nope, nothing. Hmm, it’s rainy and humid, and definitely not a good beach day. I have a surprise 30th birthday party to go to later tonight, so let’s bake!
After finding a recipe for cupcake brownies on a fellow blogger’s site, I instantly bookmarked it, printed off the page and stored it away for a rainy day. Today, perfect. I start my Baking and Pastry class next Monday so if all goes well and I don’t burn, mess up the chocolate, or completely botch this recipe then perhaps it will give me a little bit more confidence come Monday. You see… my baking skills go about as far as Betty Crocker and her lovely 1 egg, 1 cup of water, stir and bake, cakes. I’ve mastered those, not to mention I can spread a can of frosting beautifully, but that’s not real baking. I’ve had some recent luck with my pretzel recipe , however I haven’t ever really been a huge baker.
It’s 8am on a Saturday morning and I am literally the first person at Whole Foods. I feel as though I could run around like a contestant on Supermarket Sweep, I used to love watching that show! No need for a mad dash though, I just have to pick up a few things plus I must get a coffee.
Upon returning home, I get my kitchen set up. When you have a 6′x8′ kitchen, with an actual 3′x4′ space to create in, you have to be efficient, tidy, and organized. It’s amazing what I’ve accomplished in here so far and after 4 years, I’ve made this tiny space work quite well. Today there are some special guests in my kitchen, Natalie Cressman is blaring on her trombone, Russ Remington is blasting away on his sax, Jennifer Hartswick is giving me chills with her insane pipes, and Trey’s soothing voice as always, is helping me wake up and get into a baking groove. These fine musicians make up the Trey Anastasio Band and I am delighted to have them helping me out today.
Okay as for the recipe, here it goes..
BROWNIE CUPCAKE MIX
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cup fine granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces unsweetened dark chocolate.
2/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/3 cups icing/fondant sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
PREHEAT oven to 325F
LINE muffin tin with 12 paper liners
IN SMALL DOUBLE BOILER, melt chocolate and butter stirring constantly until smooth and combined
SET ASIDE and let come to room temperature
TRANSFER to large bowl and whisk in sugar and vanilla extract
WHISK in 3 eggs, one a time, until combined
STIR in flour and salt
DIVIDE equally into muffin tin. It is important to fill 2/3 of the way full, these don’t rise very much like regular cupcakes.
BAKE 23-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out sticky with moist crumbs
LET COOL in tin 5 minutes them transfer to cooling rack
LET COOL COMPLETELY
IN SMALL DOUBLE BOILER, melt chocolate whisking continuously until smooth
REMOVE FROM HEAT and let come to room temperature (very important to let this sit until cool)
IN STAND MIXER fitted with paddle attachment, mix butter 2-3 minutes MED speed. If you don’t have a mixer, whisking vigorously by hand will work.
ADD melted chocolate
BLEND or WHISK until combined
ADD icing sugar and vanilla extract
BLEND or WHISK slow speed 1 minute, scrape down sides and mix 3 minutes MED speed
SPOON into piping bag fitted with your tip of choice
PIPE frosting onto cooled cupcakes
If you follow these directions closely then you will not fail. I would note however, that oven range and cooking time may vary, so it is wise to check on them after the 20 minute mark; they took 27 minutes in my oven. Also, do not fuss with the melted chocolate, introducing liquid to it or mixing ingredients out of order can cause the chocolate to harden and dry out. I don’t have a mixer at home (no space for one!) so I did the frosting by hand. If you have a grip-able surface (I used a silicon pastry mat to anchor my bowl) and a fast hand you can whip the frosting yourself. This is a fairly simple recipe, and if you love chocolate as much as I do, you will be stunned at how good it is. Happy Baking!
Thanks for reading, xo!