I can't believe it's only been a week since I turned 22. Wait.. I can't even believe I'm 22, I still tell people I'm 21 :)
I had the most awesome birthday celebration, with a few select friends, and a whole lot of drama. These cupcakes were made before the day, since I never bake on my birthday, even though I love baking, my birthday is a day where I'm to be pampered :)
I also started working about 2 months ago, which is why I haven't been too regular with the posting, or browsing the blogs. I can't help but wonder how people are doing their own thing at work, having all the time in the world. I've had literally no time!
Anyway, I'd been seeing the flour frosting around the blogosphere a lot, and specially noticed it when Ree, the Pioneer Woman posted it as the best frosting she's ever tasted. It's called a million different names, the one I liked the best is heritage frosting. Reading up on it a bit, it sounded like something I would like, not too sweet, rich but not overbearingly slow, fluffy, and just a lot of fun. I can't stand the powdered sugar buttercreams, and I'm always looking for alternatives. This one was perfect. I loved it. My parents, the world's biggest frosting haters also ate these cupcakes, frosting and all. So it's a pure winner for me, and for anyone else who likes a not so sweet frosting. Usually sugar is the base, that gives stability to a buttercream, but here, the flour/cornstarch provides that required structure, allowing for a much more sophisticated end result.
Since I was experimenting with the frosting, I went with an old favorite recipe for the cupcake, Hershey's perfectly chocolate cake. It's one of the moistest cakes I've ever eaten. And you know what's amazing. I accidently left out the oil [I'm too scatter brained], and you would never know it looking at the cupcakes. I had happily gorged on a few, when I noticed the oil sitting on the counter. I haven't had the chance to try it again, so I can't recommend just leaving it out completely [maybe I made some other mistake too, because of which the cupcakes turned out well], but if you do try it, please let me know. It'd be so awesome to have a fat free cupcake!
Chocolate cupcakes with Heritage FrostingFor the cupcakes -
Yield - about 28
2 cups [480 g] sugar
1 3/4 cups [210 g] flour
3/4 cup [70 g] cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup [260 g] milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
- Preheat oven to 350 F [180 C]. Line two muffin pans with liners.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in the sugar.
- Add in the eggs, milk, oil and extract, beating for about 2 minutes on medium. Now pour in the boiling water. The batter will be very thin, don't worry.
- Scoop into prepared pans, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack while you prepare the frosting.
1 cup [260 g] milk
1 cup [240 g] sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup [2 sticks / 226 g] butter
- In a medium saucepan, heat together 3/4 cup of the milk, the sugar and salt, until sugar is dissolved. Don't allow it to come to a boil, keep the heat on slow.
- In a small bowl, combine together the remaining 1/4 cup of the milk and the cornstarch, to create a slurry/paste like mixture. Pour this slowly into the sugar mixture, and continue heating over medium heat, stirring gently. Do not stir too much, or you will break up the molecules that are forming, and thus ruin your base. Cook for about 1-2 mins, till it forms a thick paste. Do not allow it to come to a rolling boil.
- Now pour this mixture into the waiting bowl of your mixer. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Once cool, cut butter into 1 tbsp chunks. With your mixer on medium low, using the whisk attachment, beat the cornstarch mixture. Begin adding the chunks of butter, one at a time, until each is mostly incorporated. Once all the butter is added, increase the spead to medium high, and whip for about 5 mins, until the frosting is fluffy looking. Use immediately.