Monday, August 17, 2009

If at First You Don't Succeed...

...try, try again. After not one but TWO epic fails with King Arthur's Tender White Cake recipe, I accepted defeat and started looking for other options. Experienced baker that I am (ha!), I will attribute the massive overflow and weird goopiness to ingredient substitution rather than user error. Sorry, but my local grocer stocks neither Queen Guinevere Cake Flour nor KAF's new Unbleached Cake Flour Blend. I guess regular grocery store cake flour was too pedestrian for use in a King Arthur recipe. My dreams of plush, pristine white cupcakes topped with a cookie-flecked icing will just have to go unfulfilled for the moment. Dark chocolate cupcakes, however, are another story.

A word about doubling or tripling this recipe: Don't do it. Because these cupcakes get their poof from the vinegar and baking soda reaction (with some help from baking powder), you'll want to get these babies in the oven post-haste! You'll see what I'm talking about when you mix up your own batch--there's a heck of a lot of bubbling going on, so don't waste time trying to fill up 24 or 36 muffin cups. Make a single batch (12 cupcakes) at a time, and mix up more batter when your first batch is almost ready to come out of the oven. I made three batches, which sounds like a lot of trouble but took no time at all. These are so easy you don't even need eggs or a fancy-schmancy mixer--a whisk will get the job done just fine.

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes (adapted from VCTOTW)

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • cup Hershey's® Special Dark™ cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • Cookies & Cream frosting, recipe below
  • 1 pkg. chocolate sandwich cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and place 12 paper liners in a muffin pan.
  2. Combine milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside to curdle. Meanwhile, sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in separate bowl.
  3. Add sugar, oil, and vanilla to milk mixture, whisking until foamy.
  4. Add half of dry ingredients to wet mixture. Whisk until combined. Add remainder of dry ingredients, and whisk until combined (some small lumps might remain, but that's okay).
  5. Pour batter into 12 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each about ¾ full. It might look like it's too much batter, but they'll be fine. Bake for 18-21 minutes, or until cakes test done. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. Cupcakes might shrink a bit while cooling.

Cookies & Cream Frosting (makes enough for 36 cupcakes)

  • ½ cup salted butter, softened
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2-4 Tbl. heavy cream
  • 6 chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed finely
  1. With a mixer, cream butter and shortening together until smooth.
  2. Add powdered sugar to creamed mixture in 4 additions, beating well and scraping bowl after each addition. Beat for a minute or so once all the sugar has been added.
  3. Add vanilla extract and 2 Tbl. heavy cream, beating until combined. Add remaining cream as needed, depending on desired texture. Beat frosting for several minutes, until fluffy. Fold in crushed cookies.

To assemble cupcakes, use a medium cookie scoop to portion out scoops of frosting. Top frosting mounds with a chocolate sandwich cookie, pressing down to spread frosting out to edges of cupcake. I used a store brand cookie containing 43 cookies per pack, which ended up being the perfect amount: 36 for cupcake tops, 6 for the frosting, and 1 for the baker! Not bad :)

No comments:

Post a Comment