When a food critic turns the poison pen on herself

The Best Chocolate Cupcake May 31, 2008

Filed under: Cupcakes — crummb @ 5:21 pm
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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.


10 Responses to “The Best Chocolate Cupcake”

  1. Daphne Says:

    i tried it !!! it was great !! Ready to dominate the world !!

  2. acollage Says:

    What is the name of the cookbook? I’ve gotta make 4 dozen cupcakes for a grad party next week, and these sound awesome!

  3. sarah Says:

    hi there!these sound absolutely divine!could you post up the recipe or the name of the cookbook?thanks!

  4. crummb Says:

    hi sarah,
    i’m sorry, i don’t have the cookbook with me right now, but perhaps you could look it up on the net? It’s from More From Magnolia, written by Allysa Torey. If you still can’t find it, let me know. I’ll dig up the book and post it here. 🙂

  5. Faye Lau Says:

    Hey, i have been following your blog for quite sometime now, and was thinking of baking cupcakes for a road trip this weekend, and these cupcakes would be the perfect fit, so was wondering if you could post the recipe please. Thank You

  6. crummb Says:

    hi faye,
    this recipe is taken from More From Magnolia by Allysa Torey. Makes about 24 cupcakes:

    2 cups plain flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 sticks (226g) unsalted butter, softened
    1 cup castor sugar
    1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
    4 large eggs (each 50g without shell), room temperature
    6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
    2. Sift together flour and baking soda.
    3. In the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter till smooth, then add the two sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
    4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add chocolate, mixing until incorporated.
    5. Add dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until just incorporated – do not overmix!
    6. Spoon batter into cupcake liners and bake for about 20-25 mins.

    • Faye Lau Says:

      Thanks so much ……I’m really looking forward to this!! Im actually half way out the door to get the ingredients….Thanks again…

  7. crummb Says:

    no probs! tell me how it went 🙂

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