I finally have the time to transfer my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe to my blog! This recipe was originally posted to my Facebook page EC Bakes (formerly EC Treats) in September from last year. I have been making these cupcakes for almost two years and I still haven’t found any other recipe better than this yet. The recipe is slightly adapted from Baking A Moment and I have reduced the amount of sugar. Recently I have started adding a bit of instant espresso powder to intensify the chocolate flavor. I love these babies because of the following:
They are so chocolatey. One third of the flour component comes from cocoa powder.
They are super fast and easy to make. You simply use cold butter taken right out from the fridge. The preparation time is less than 5 minutes with a stand mixer. And most of all, there is only one dirty mixing bowl to clean up!
These cupcakes are crumbly and fluffy without being overly sweet. They pair up nicely with my silky Swiss meringue buttercream which is made with reduced amount of sugar as well. Of course they are also good on their own without any frosting.
The cake batter is thick as Greek yogurt is used, meaning absolutely no drippy mess when you transfer the batter to the cupcake liners.
Last but not least, the recipe calls for a combination of all purpose and cake flours. As a result, the cupcakes will be sturdy enough to withstand the weight of the frosting (even a generous amount) but yet retain a super fluffy texture.
Cupcakes, as well as many other butter cakes, are traditionally made with the creaming method. You beat softened butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, incorporate the eggs one at a time, and finally add in flour and other liquids alternatively, mixing them until just combined. With this method you may sacrifice some tenderness because of the mixing. These cupcakes are mixed a bit differently, namely with the reverse creaming or the two-stage mixing method. Dry ingredients are first combined with fats and later followed by the incorporation of wet ingredients. When the flour is coated by fats (butter in this case), the formation of gluten is minimized. The result is a tender cake with a velvety crumb. Cakes made this way also rise with a flatter dome and not as high as one made with the creaming method, in which the rise is created by the tiny air bubbles created during the creaming process. With the same recipe, you will get different results in terms of height, texture and mouthfeel. If you have never tried this mixing method, try one with a cake recipe you are familiar with. Compare the results and see which method you prefer.
These cupcakes have received rave reviews and I got various questions regarding the ingredients as well as the methods ever since my recipe was published. Therefore, I’ve included my answers to some commonly asked questions at the end of this post. I hope you will find them helpful. Do let me know should you have any other questions.
終於有時間為EC最喜愛的朱古力杯子蛋糕食譜搬家了！這原是去年九月在Facebook專頁EC Bakes (那時仍叫EC Treats啊)的分享，食譜已用了差不多兩年了，暫時仍未遇到更好的食譜。蛋糕配方修改自Baking A Moment，EC將糖量減少了，最近亦開始在配方中加入少量咖啡粉協助提升朱古力粉的味道。這杯子蛋糕令EC着迷是因為：
傳統杯子蛋糕及很多牛油蛋糕都是用糖油攪拌法(creaming method)製作，先將軟化牛油加糖打至鬆發，再將蛋逐顆加入攪拌，最後才將粉類及液體隔着分次加入攪拌。EC的做法有點特别，用的是reverse creaming 或two-stage mixing method，意思是先將牛油與所有乾性材料拌匀，然後才將其他濕性材料加入混合。當麵粉被牛油包裹着時，就不會因過度攪拌而出筋，因此蛋糕質地能保持鬆軟。蛋糕在焗的過程中沒有像傳統方法一樣有牛油加糖打發後做成的氣泡協助膨脹上升，所以蛋糕上升時會較平坦，不易有小山丘的情況出現，有利於擠上各種霜飾。倘若用不同攪拌方法去做同一個配方的話，成品無論在高度、蛋糕結構及口感上均有分别，未試過用reverse creaming method做蛋糕的話，可以用自己常用的蛋糕配方改一改次序做一趟來個對比，或許你會像EC一樣愛上這個方便快捷的攪拌方法！
Easy Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 12 standard or 36 mini cupcakes
60 g all purpose flour
30 g cake flour
50 g unsweetened cocoa powder
120 g granulated sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder (optional but recommended)
115 g butter, cold, cut in cubes
2 eggs, large
120 g plain Greek style yogurt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
Notes: The eggs I use are about 50 g each without shells.
即溶特濃咖啡粉 1/2茶匙 (可省略，加了會更好)
Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Line a standard 12-cupcake pan with paper liners. Bring eggs and yogurt back to room temperature.
Combine and sift all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add cold butter cubes all at once. With a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until mixture resembles wet sand or bread crumbs. More time will be needed for a hand mixer. Use a bigger mixing bowl if a hand mixer is used to prevent ingredients from flying around.
Add eggs, greek yogurt and vanilla bean paste. Stir on low speed until smooth and well combined. Batter will be thick.
Divide batter evenly among liners. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of cupcake comes out clean, about 15 minutes in my oven. For mini cupcakes, bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Adjust time accordingly for your own oven.
Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to wire rack to cool completely before frosting. Do not let them cool completely in the pan as condensation will make the cupcakes soggy and may even cause the liners to pull away from the cupcakes.
Here are some of my previous works using this chocolate cupcake recipe.
Q: Can I use plain yogurt instead of Greek style yogurt?
A: Yes, but the batter will not be as thick. If you plan to use plain yogurt, try to drain out the liquid by letting it sit at room temperature for an hour. Discard the liquid then measure again. You will need slightly more yogurt to start with.
Q: I use a hand mixer and the ingredients fly out of the bowl.
A: Use the biggest mixing bowl you can find in your kitchen. Before I got my stand mixer, I used to place my mixing bowl in the kitchen sink when I prepared my batter. Everything was mixed with the slowest speed. That made both preparation and cleanup easier.
Q: Should I use cold or room temperature butter cubes?
A: I have tried both and got better results with cold butter taken right out from the fridge. When mixed with the dry ingredients, room temperature butter will more likely produce a dough-like mixture whereas cold butter will give one that is sand-like. Both works at the end, but from my experience I prefer cold butter.
Q: Why aren’t my cupcakes as flat as yours but domed and cracked on top?
A: Every oven is different. Try lowering your oven temperature by 25ºF/10ºC and see if that helps.
Q: Why are my cupcakes greasy on the bottom?
A: You have chunks of butter left in your batter that has not broken down into fine pieces and coated with flour, which leads to a pool of melted butter sinking to the bottom of your cupcakes. When you mix your butter and dry ingredients, mix them until they resemble wet sand or bread crumbs. If you see butter chunks, make them smaller by rubbing them with your fingers or cutting them with a spatula or the back of a knife.
Q: Can I replace the cocoa powder with flour and turn it into vanilla cupcakes?
A: I’ve tried but that didn’t work out for me. Click here for my vanilla cupcake recipe.
If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.
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