Friday, April 16, 2010

Patrick's Peanut Butter Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes

For a certain chocolate/peanut butter lover in my life, I have decided to do something I almost never do (except for lately, which is kind of ruining my point here).
Make cupcakes from scratch. Frosting too.
But with the rave reviews I've seen for Ina's "Beatty's Chocolate Cake" and her "Chocolate Cupcakes and Peanut Butter Icing" I'd be a fool not to give them a whirl. The reviews for the cake alone are staggering - 5 stars with 713 reviews?! How can that NOT be the best chocolate cake in the world?

Beatty's Chocolate Cake
Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans. (I'll be using cupcake pans lined with paper, obvi.)
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. For the cupcakes I'll probably start checking on them after 20 minutes or so. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. For the cupcakes I'll be using a pastry bag to pipe the icing on.

Kathleen's Peanut Butter Icing
1 cup confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

** Update **
Due to the fact that I am a horrible judge of how long things will actually take me to do, I was unable to make the pb frosting for the first go round of cupcakes.  I had no choice but to throw myself upon the mercy of Betty Crocker and use her dark chocolate fudgey some sort of frosting, and the cupcakes were delicious.  I found using the chocolate frosting, you could actually taste the cake.
The next time we devoured the cupcakes, I had time to make the frosting.  It was fabulous - so, so good. . . . but much harder to taste the cake.  So let this be your guide.  If you're all about the pb, go with the pb frosting.  If you're all about CHOCOLATE - go with a chocolate frosting.


Anonymous said...

I hope he appreciates what a lucky bastard he is.

Rogue Designs said...

I think he does.

wsxwhx720 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................