So now that I’ve posted the pictures and recipes from the Cupcakes for Cures Contest, I thought I would re-visit the Champagne and Cupcakes party from a couple of weeks ago. I already posted the recipes for two of the cupcakes I made for the party (they were the same as the ones for the contest), but we have yet to talk about the other two cupcakes: Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Peanut Butter Frosting, Roasted Peanuts, and Fleur de Sel; and Moonshine Cupcakes with Raspberry Mousse Filling, and Fluffy Meyer Lemon and Raspberry Buttercream.
Now, I recognize that moonshine is a pretty esoteric ingredient, so I’m going to post about the chocolate & peanut butter one first. But don’t worry, I’ll post the moonshine cupcake recipe sometime soon. But here, today, right now, is the recipe for:
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Peanut Butter Frosting, Roasted Peanuts, and Fleur de Sel
Get this stuff together:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
So you want to:
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line your muffin tin with cute liners.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift in the cocoa. Seriously, you guys, sift it. I wouldn’t say that if it wasn’t important. Now whisk this mixture together for about thirty seconds, to make sure it’s evenly mixed.
3. Pour the almond milk into a glass measuring cup and add the vinegar to it. Let this mixture sit a few minutes, until the almond milk looks slightly curdled.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until very well combined. Add the extracts. Now beat in the curdled almond milk.
5. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat with a whisk until the batter looks very smooth. Don’t worry about over-mixing; it’s better to beat it until there are no lumps left.
6. Fill your baking cups two-thirds of the way full with batter (usually about a scant quarter cup of batter per cupcake).
7. Bake at 350ºF for twenty minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the biggest cupcake comes out mostly clean. A few moist crumbs on the toothpick are absolutely fine.
Now let’s make frosting! This recipe started out as one from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I, um, fudged with it (ha ha) to make it much thicker. In the end we liked how it is really fudgy and rich, but at the same time somehow fluffy. And don’t doubt the molasses. We almost didn’t add it because it sounded really weird. But it made the frosting taste like peanut butter cookie dough, in a totally amazing way. So here’s the recipe for
Fudgy Peanut Butter Frosting
1/4 cup nonhydrogenated margarine
2 tablespoons nonhydrogenated shortening
1/3 cup creamy, no-stir, all-natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons rice milk (or almond, or coconut, or whatever)
So then you want to:
1. With an electric handheld or stand mixer, cream together shortening and margarine until smooth.
2. Add peanut butter, molasses, and vanilla, and beat until very smooth (about 2 minutes).
3. Beat in sugar; mixture will be very stiff.
4. Beat in milk, a little at a time, until frosting is pale tan and fluffy. This may take up to five minutes. If after that long it is still too thick, add a little more milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
Now for the rest, you need:
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon nonhydrogenated shortening
1/3 cup salted peanuts, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fleur de sel (more or less to taste)
1. In a double boiler (or a bowl set on a pot of steaming, but not boiling water), melt together chocolate and shortening until totally combined and smooth.
2. Add melted chocolate to a piping bag fitted with a small writing tip. Place cooled, frosted cupcakes on a cooling rack, and use the piping bag to make thin drizzles of chocolate over the cupcakes. The easiest way to do this is to just make long, fluid strokes back and forth over the whole batch of cupcakes, and wipe your counter when you’re done.
3. IMMEDIATELY sprinkle your cupcakes evenly with roasted peanuts and salt. Sorry for the intense emphasis, but it’s super-important that you do this before the chocolate sets, or your nuts won’t stick. And don’t you want your nuts to be sticky? Sorry.
4. Place your cupcakes in the freezer or refrigerator until the chocolate is totally set and firm before serving.
OK, so here’s a couple of things you should know about these cupcakes. First, don’t be afraid of the salt. Really. If anything, the people at the party said that they wished that there had been more salt on the cupcakes. So start with 1 teaspoon, but don’t hesitate to go a little heavier!
Also, these cupcakes are very, very intensely chocolatey. If you don’t love dark chocolate, you may want to reduce the cocoa in the cake by two tablespoons. Up to you, and I really liked how intense they were, but they would not be appropriate for, say, a kid’s birthday party. So know that. But if you’re having a Champagne and Cupcakes party (and you totally should), these are a very sophisticated, adult tasting cupcake.
This is what they looked like at the party:
And this is what I looked like at the party:
And this is what Kristina looked like at the party:
And this is what Courtney looked like at the party:
And, of course most importantly, this is what the Lady Madonna looked like at the party:
She loves cupcakes, but keep her away from the champagne. Ahem.
So now, if I have inspired you to throw a cupcake party, my work here is done. If not, at least consider making these cupcakes, since they are totally awesome! If nothing else, make the frosting and eat it with a spoon. It may not make you feel good in the long run, but it’s totally satisfying in the moment. Take it from one who knows.