CALL off the sniffer dogs, the search is over. I have finally found the ultimate recipe for chocolate cupcakes, and I am delirious.
Over the past few months, I’ve been trying to consolidate my core “menu” by finding the best recipes for the four basics: sponge cake, chocolate cake, vanilla cupcake and chocolate cupcake.
This week, I cranked up my search for chocolate cupcakes because I’ve been asked to make 130 of them for my church’s kids camp next week. The recipe I’ve been using so far is good, but I wanted something really mind-blowing. I’m not shy to say this: I want to be the most popular auntie in church.
So I looked through my cookbooks and came across a recipe for “Chocolate Chiffon Cupcakes” by a very famous culinary school in the US. Any recipe coming off a famous name like that would be a winner right? So I sent En En off to my parents’ for the afternoon so I could concentrate on this trial.
It turned out to be a complete waste of time. Were the cupcakes like chiffon? Leather, more like. The cakes were so dense and compacted, I tipped them straight into the bin without passing Go. Defeated, I flopped into bed and sank into emergency mode. Who can I beg for a really good recipe?
Suddenly, I thought of my sister-in-law S, who had e-mailed me a vanilla cupcake recipe a few weeks ago. It was taken off a cookbook written by a famous bakery in New York, and it rocked. Soft and fluffy inside, it was the best vanilla cupcake I’ve made so far. So I sent S a quick e-mail, asking if the book had a chocolate version.
The next day, an e-mail from S arrived, complete with the recipe and this line: “I’ve tried this and it’s better than the vanilla one”. Oohh, it’s enough to weaken the knees. The next time En En and husband Z were out of the house, I sprang into action.
This recipe called for the simple creaming method, with melted chocolate and buttermilk added in later. When the cakes were baked and taken out of the oven, I touched the surface – and almost wept with joy. It had this amazing softness, like the insides of freshly baked white bread. So what if its pockmarked surface looked like Gordon Ramsay’s face? When I sank my teeth into it, it was so miraculously tender and light, I swooned.
What a milestone in my baking career, I thought. The cupcakes must be photographed, but Z Photo Studio opens only once a week (because the owner is so “busy” – see previous post). Then Z, seeing how jubilant I was for finding the recipe – he heard the words “world domination” come up a few times – he relented and shot the photo earlier this morning.
One down. Three more to go.