Sunday, February 8, 2015

Brooklyn Blackout Cupcakes

This is one of the recipes that hails from the Robicellis.  There are many cupcake recipes on my blog, but this particular one has some very unique factors in the preparation method as well as the recipe components.

One of the things I liked about it was the frosting.  The idea of adding a custard to the buttercream frosting (contains marscapone as well) does give it more depth of flavor.  It also cuts down on the sugary taste.

Another factor is that it has a saving grace on the custard, for those who are not familiar with the process.  If you are not perfect about creating the custard and lumps show up, just throw it into a food processor and pulse it.  This will bring it back to a smooth consistency.

Recently, I saw a conversion tip on the internet for transforming a cake recipe to cupcakes.  It states to first find one that uses butter in the recipe.  As many cupcakes as I have made, I do differ on this point.  The use of oil instead of butter in cupcakes has been very beneficial.  They always seem to come out light and moist.  I have had some fails on the butter type of recipes, with the results being a very dense and dry cupcake.

Anyhow, these have a great texture and plenty of chocolate flavor.  The frosting is on the fluffy side and the dip in the chocolate fudge with cakes crumbs sprinkled on top is a great ending to the assembly.  

Brooklyn Blackout Cupcakes
adapted from Robicelli's A Love Story, with Cupcakes

Ingredients/ Chocolate custard
2 tbs cornstarch
1/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbs butter, melted and cooled

Ingredients/ Cupcakes
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola or grapeseed oil
2/3 cup fresh brewed scalding coffee
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk

Ingredients/ American frosting
1 1/2 cups or three sticks butter (room temp)
8 oz marscapone cheese (room temp)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups sifted powdered sugar

Ingredients/Chocolate Fudge glaze
2 tbs corn syrup
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate
4 tbs unsalted butter

For the custard, fill a medium saucepan with 2 tbs and 2 tsp of the sugar, milk and cream and mix together. Set aside. The second step is to take out a stand mixer bowl and fill with the other half of the sugar (2 tbs and 2 tsp), cocoa powder, egg, egg yolk and cornstarch.  Using a wire whisk attachment, beat the sugar/cocoa mixture until it changes from a dark chocolate color to more of a milk chocolate color, about 3 minutes. Turn off mixer.

Set up a food processor and leave top open.  Place the saucepan that is filled with the sugar, milk and cream and place over medium high heat and cook.  Once it comes to a boil, remove from heat.  Turn the mixer back on medium high and slowly pour the saucepan liquid into the chocolate mix, while the mixer is running.  When it is all blended, transfer batter back to saucepan and return to heat.  Stir constantly and bring back to a boil (mixture will thicken up quickly).  At the boiling stage, remove from heat and transfer to food processor bowl. Process the custard until smooth.  Transfer to heatproof bowl and stir in melted butter and vanilla extract. Cover and seal the surface with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. This custard needs to chill for a minimum of 30 minutes, but it is safe to let it chill while you are creating the other components.

For the chocolate cupcakes, you will need 2 cupcake pans with 12 cavities each.  Grease the upper edge of cavities and line with paper baking cups.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium size bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder.  Set aside.  Then fill a bowl of a stand mixer (fitted with paddle attachment) with cocoa and pour in the hot coffee.  Blend on low speed for about one minute.  The batter will have a thick paste-like consistency.  Turn mixer off.

Pull out a another medium size bowl and add egg, egg yolk, salt, vanilla, buttermilk and oil.  Whisk together until fully blended.  Turn the mixer back on to medium speed and while running, stream the egg/buttermilk mixture into the cocoa blend.  Run for 1 minute then stop to scrape down sides and bottom to pick up any dry cocoa remaining.  Turn on mixer again to medium speed and run for an additional minute.  Shut off mixer.  Take off paddle attachment and remove bowl.

Using a wooden spoon, fold sifted ingredients into the batter until no dry streaks remain.  Then fill the prepared cupcake cavities with the batter.  Make sure that they are only 2/3 full, so they do not rise and spill over the edges.  You should be able to fill all 24 cavities, if not more.

Place in the oven and let bake for 10 minutes and then rotate pans and bake for an additional 10 minutes.  Use a tester to check to see if done, cupcakes should take about 20-25 minutes to bake. Remove from oven and let cool in pans for about 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.  Once cupcakes are completely cool, take one and crumble into fine crumbs by hand or by using a food processor. Set crumbs aside in bowl.

Start on the frosting by placing marscapone and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Beat on medium high for 10 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then add heavy cream and beat for another 5 minutes. Once ingredients are fully melded together, sift in 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and mix.  After it is all mixed in repeat the process in increments until all the powdered sugar is mixed in.  Then take out custard and add to the bowl of frosting.  Beat for 1 minute until combined.  Taste and test for consistency.  In order to thicken and sweeten more, blend in more powdered sugar.  If too thick, beat in more cream.  Set aside.

The glaze is the easiest to prepare.  Place chocolate, corn syrup and butter in a microwaveable bowl.  Heat in microwave for 1 minute.  Remove and stir.  Continue with the process until all chocolate is completely melted and blended. Then stir in the vanilla.  Set aside.

Then frost the cupcakes with the chocolate butter cream, either using a tip or a knife.  I used a knife and formed the frosting into a smooth dome on top.  After all the cupcakes are frosted, place in refrigerator to allow the frosting to set up.  It will set up in about 20 minutes.

After the chill time is completed, check your glaze to make sure it is still liquid.  If not, add 1 tbs butter and place in microwave for 30 seconds, then stir.  Then dip the top of the cupcakes in the liquid glaze and allow the excess to drip off.  Then sprinkle on the cupcake crumbs.

Note: Since the glaze is for dipping you will have excess.  Should you not want any excess, cut the recipe in half and then drizzle on the glaze.
                               **LAST YEAR:Cherry Mahlab Muffins**