So, its mothers’ day. Was I being cheap, baking off cupcakes instead of buying mom a present? Sometimes I think because friends and family know I love to bake, presenting them with cakes and pastries somehow just doesn’t cut it. Like if somebody who doesn’t bake at all suddenly decides to roll up his/her sleeves and create a cake for a special occassion, people tend to be really appreciative of the effort. But when I do it, I sometimes feel I should do more you know? Something that takes more effort from me. It’s like getting a crate of fruit from your neighborhood produce store owner. I’d feel he’s just passing me some of his surplus supplies. Now, if he were to give me a drill set, I’d know he went out of his way to do something special.
Maybe next year I should get mom a basket of freshly caught fish. God knows that would have taken a gargantum effort on my part =)
But to redeem myself, I did buy a gorgeous bunch of champagne roses and green chrysanthemums for the occassion and even arranged them in a vase for mom. Hope she liked it…I personally thought they were beautiful. haha.
But these chocolate cupcakes were meant to be the highlight of the day. I used Martha Stewart’s chocolate cupcake recip and a Swiss meringue buttercream recipe found on the same site (Something’s wrong with the link today and I can’t seem to open the page so I’ll just reproduce the recipe below).
My brother had a taste today and proclaimed them good but I didn’t really care so much for them. The cupcakes were not as chocolatey as I wanted them to be…a little dry even. I still think my previous chocoate cupcake recipe was the best. Will just stick with that from now on..
But the buttercream was a pleasant surprise. This is the first time I’m making Swiss buttercream, which is meringue-based. It wasn’t too sweet -sometimes a problem with American buttercream- and really really creamy. This is the buttercream I remember from my childhood, the one that all the small local confectioneries used to sandwhich their sponge cakes. It’s delicious but I think it would be yummier on a cake rather than on cupcakes. The high cake-frosting ratio of tiny cupcakes means you get quite a bit of frosting in every bite and the buttery taste can get cloying after a while. As I was licking off the buttercream after lightly frosting the cupcakes, I made plans to bake a sponge cake next week and frost it with this cream… watch this space for it! *smile*
But anyways, even if my mother’ day cupcakes were not my favorite recipe, my family seems to like it. And that’s all that matters no?
Tiny baked cupcakes cooling in their trays
I love the gold liners…they give the entire efforst a dash of decadence
Dappled with the early morning sunlight
(according to the Martha Stewart site, this makes 8 regular cupcakes, but I think its actually alot more. I got 70 mini cupcakes from the batter..so I think it’d make about 14 regular sized)
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup flour
1/3 tsp baking powder
1/6 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup good-quality chocolate chunks or chips (if so desired)
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
(makes enough to lightly frost 70 mini cupcakes)
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg white
1/3 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/3 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 dregree F or 175 degree C.
Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a large bowl
Cream butter and sugar. Add in eggs one at a time, beating a minute after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Using electric beaters, beat in one-third of the flour mixture on low speed. Add in one-third of the sour cream and beat till combines. Alternately add the flour and sour cream, ending with the flour mixture, beating continously.
Spoon batter into cupcake holders, filling halfway. Push in a chocolate chip/chunk if using and top with some more batter.
Bake for 20 minutes for regular sized and 15-17 minutes for mini cupcakes. Frost only when completely cooled.
For frosting, in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, whisk sugar and eggs until warm and sugar is dissolved (about 3 mins). Remove from heat. Beat on medium speed until completely cold and it forms stiff peaks. This would take about 7 minutes. Add soft butter, a few tablespoons at a time, until combined. Add vanilla and salt, beat on low speed until smooth, about 5 minutes. The frosting will look disastrously watery when you first add the butter but don’t worry, it stiffens up as you continue to beat it. I almost threw it out cos I thought it was ruined but luckily I continued. I really need to be more patient in the kitchen…