February 11, 2010

A Valentine Twist

Looking back, I have this to regret, that too often when I wanted a cupcake, I did not have one. David Grayson

Chocolate dipped strawberries are a classic treat for Valentine's Day. I'm an admirer of all things dipped in chocolate, but sometimes it's fun to combine familiar flavors in a novel way! Introducing...Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting.

Everyone in my family loves, loves, LOVES cupcakes. This blinding adoration comes from my husband. Daddy INSISTS that a cupcake taste better than a slice of cake. Despite the fact that the cake batter and frosting I use are identical--cupcakes taste better! The kids have followed suit, and now I rarely make a whole layer cake. It's always cupcakes at our house!

We took this particular batch to my little guy's school this week. They were a huge hit--especially with the teachers!

Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp. instant coffee granules
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 ¼ sticks butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 ½ tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325*. Place cupcake liners in your muffin tins—about 20-24. Sift all dry ingredient together.

*A little bit of instant coffee granules intensify the flavor of the chocolate. You can omit them if you want.

Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer, until light and fluffy. Set the mixer to the lowest setting and add the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla.

*Did you know you can make buttermilk? Take 1 cup of regular milk and add 1 Tb. of white vinegar of lemon juice. Stir and allow to sit and curdle for 5 minutes before using. If I'm doing a lot of baking, I buy a jug of buttermilk. If I only need a little, I use this method!

Slowly combine the dry ingredients with the wet, until the batter is smooth.

Fill the liners ONLY HALF FULL. Bake for 15-20 minutes—until the cake springs back when touched.

Remove the cupcakes from the tins and allow them to cool completely before frosting.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

1 ½ sticks butter, softened
1- 8 oz. package cream cheese
3 Tb. strawberry jam
3 ½ cups powdered sugar
2-3 drops red food coloring

Place the butter, cream cheese and jam in the mixture. Beat until fluffy and well combined. Lower the speed and add the powdered sugar, a little at a time. Beat in 2-3 drops of red food coloring until you reach desired color—I like mine light pink! Scrape the bowl and mix until smooth. Cover and place in the fridge until ready to use.

To frost the cup cakes: either use a spatula to mound the frosting over the tops OR use a piping bag. I used a large ½ inch tip to make the frosting dome-shaped.

*Add a slice of fresh strawberry as a garnish!

1 comment:

  1. I am trying these today- I've got fresh strawberries in the fridge and bible study at our house tonight!


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