this recipe from martha stewart's baking handbook has become my favourite recipe of the moment. i made it as a 9 inch layer cake first and it also turned out beautifully. you just dump everything into a bowl, mix, scrape down the sides of the bowl, mix again, pour into prepared pans, bake & *poof* - you have awesome chocolaty baked goods. here is the super easy recipe. i was lucky and received a kitchenaid stand mixer for my birthday/christmas present so it's super easy for me to whip up a batch of these =)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large whole eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups warm water
preheat the over to 350 degrees fahrenheit. line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners. Into the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. attack bowl to mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; add th eggs and yolk, the milk. oil, vanilla, and warm water. beat on low speed until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. bake, rotating pans halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. transfer pans to a wire rack to cool slightly. invert cupcakes onto the rack; then reinvert and let them cool completely, top sides up. cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
martha uses a swiss meringue buttercream to frost the cupcakes but i chose to use her dark chocolate frosting instead. recipe is as follows...
1 pounds best-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 tablespoons dutch-process cocoa powder
6 tablespoons boiling water
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
pinch of salt
place chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water. turn of the heat; stir occasionally until chocolate has melted completely, about 15 minutes. set bowl on countertop, and let chocolate cool to room temperature, 25 to 30 minutes. meanwhile, combine cocoa powder and boiler water in a small bowl; stir until cocoa is dissolved.
in the bowl of an electric mixed fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, confectioners' sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. add melted chocolate; beat on low speed until combined, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. beat in the cocoa mixture.
and now are a few more than two of my cents...
1) there was way more batter than needed to fill 24 standard muffin cups. a few of my cupcakes baked over the paper and stuck a bit to the tins.
2) i wanted raspberry flavoured chocolate frosting but could not find any raspberry extract (shit loads of orange, almond, lemon, and vanilla extracts though) so i used smirnoff raspberry twist vodka instead. instead of the boiling water, i used 6 tablespoons of the vodka and just stirred the cocoa in. i didn't heat the vodka because i was afraid of losing the raspberry flavour. the frosting turned out well. you could definitely tell that there was alcohol in the frosting so i wouldn't give these to little ones.
3) coloured sprinkles and candies make great garnishes if you're going after a theme. i didn't notice anyone at the bulk barn giving me dirty looks while i picked out only pink conversation hearts but it wouldn't have stopped me if i did.
4) the cakes themselves were super moist and just light enough. not so light that it felt like a krispy kreme donut and not so dense that it felt like a brick. i will definitely be making this recipe again.