The Cupcake Thread!

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Post by Mara » March 19th, 2008, 7:47 am

wow Freke you are a fountain of knowledge!! I love it!! The baking soda and powder thing is something that kind of has always stumped me. Some recipes I have DONT call for cream of tartar or lemon juice or anything like that react with the soda. So then, is it useless in the recipe? I wonder sometimes because some cake recipes have it and some just don't. But they all have baking POWDER.

Seriously I love to do stuff like this too, like experiment and research when I get into something and then I"m like damn job! Getting in the way of my fun!! This weekend I spent 4-5 hours baking and frosting on Sat and then 3 hours on Sunday as well. Greg was like what is going on!!! I just was on a tear!!

Here is the recipe I really liked for the chocolate cupcakes. I was looking for a very rich cocoa flavored cupcake as I made Vahlrona dark chocolate ones 2 weeks ago and my boss said they were not 'sweet or chocolatey' enough for her. She has a very sweet tooth and goes like 3x a week to Kara's in SF so that is what she is used to. So I thought, well I want to experiment. So I read up on the diff between Devils Food and regular Chocolate or a Dark Chocolate. Then I looked up various dark / double chocolate recipes on the blogs I like and google and a few cookbooks and made up my own recipe. I made a batch of it on Saturday. And then another one on Sunday and added Sour Cream. Both were really yummy, the one with SC was slightly more flavorful, why is that? The only diff was sour cream. And a small bit. But these cupcakes were DENSE and chocolatey, almost brownie like but with a cake feel. Everyone loved them but it just made me wonder how to get a more softy cakey squishy feel out of them but without losing the chocolate intensity. Anyway, here's my recipe.

Chocolate Cocoa Cupcakes
2c hot brewed coffee
1 1/4c unsweetened cocoa powder (Hersheys)
3/4c well shaken buttermilk (i did the 3/4c fat free milk and lemon juice/sit for 10 min to make my own)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2c baking sugar
2c flour all purpose
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla


in med bowl, mix hot coffee with cocoa til smooth paste forms. add buttermilk, whisk til smooth.
in third med bowl, mix flour, baking soda, powder, salt in med bowl.
cream butter in a stand mixer, add sugar and beat til fluffy, about 3 minutes.
add eggs to mix, then vanilla, blend til combined.
add flour bowl and cocoa buttermilk bowls to stand mixer, alternating, til combined. do not overbeat, just blend til combined.
spoon into liners. bake 350 for 17-20 min or until tester comes out clean.

that was Saturday's combined recipe (i made it up from other recipes i found).

then on Sunday i made the same thing but i think i only used 1 stick butter, added 1/4c sour cream, and one additional egg white. mixed buttermilk and sour cream together then added to cocoa bowl. i think that they came out better though interestingly enough how they baked was a bit different than saturday's, they 'fell' just a tiny bit after taking out of oven and when i tore one open it had a slightly darker swirl through the middle. the consistency was slightly more cakey i think than sat's. people liked both taste wise. no one said 'i wish this was more cakey' so that's just my own mental thing.

so from what i said above, this recipe should be pretty dense right? how to maybe make it lighter/fluffier and not lose the intense chocolate cocoa feel. i love the coffee add too because i love the rich flavor of coffee, some recipes called for boiling water but one used coffee and i thought that was so cool.

since you combine the cocoa/coffee/milk bowl with the stand mixer items, and then alternate with flour, this is why i think this recipe woudl be hard to do the minimal foldie way and keep it fluffier.

also random Q but how do you keep cakes or cupcakes from falling when removing from oven. i read it might be too intense change of temp from oven to outside. so sometimes i let them cool slightly by just pulling the rack out of the oven and leaving the oven door open and cupcakes on rack for 5 minutes before removing cupcakes to top of stove to let cool 5 more min THEN remove to cooling rack. thoughts?

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"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

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Post by Mara » March 19th, 2008, 7:50 am
oooh lorelei, red velvet cuppies sound so good!!! i really wanted to bake last nite but i am like darn i don''t have anything to bake for!! also i need to go out and find the super large wilton tips for decorating, all the cuppies i seem to like online use the big 1m tip.
________________________________

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

-Albert Einstein

Post by Lorelei » March 19th, 2008, 9:11 am
Date: 3/19/2008 1:50:47 PM
Author: Mara
oooh lorelei, red velvet cuppies sound so good!!! i really wanted to bake last nite but i am like darn i don''t have anything to bake for!! also i need to go out and find the super large wilton tips for decorating, all the cuppies i seem to like online use the big 1m tip.

I am making the second batch of frosting, the first lot '' split'' which I think was my fault, as I didn''t let the flour and milk mix cool enough before adding it to the creamed sugar and butter.  But as the cakies turned out so well, I am fine with making more frosting!

I am hitting the stores tomorrow night to load up on CC loot!  More tins, food colours, sprinkles, pretty cases....Image piping bags....Image
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Post by Mara » March 19th, 2008, 10:16 am
lorelei isn''t the shopping part FUN??? i am hitting up all the cooking and kitchen stores in the area because everyone seems to carry something different, i love fun cupcake liners!!!
________________________________

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

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Post by FrekeChild » March 19th, 2008, 10:20 am
Lol Mara! Your post made me giggle. I''ll have to write back later because I don''t have much time now, and I think it''s going to take a while to get everything down...

I''m glad you think I''m a fountain of knowledge. I spent 3 years in school (2 for an AAS in Culinary Arts and 1 towards a AOS in Baking and Pastry Arts) and a whole lot of $$$ to learn all this stuff. I''m honestly surprised I haven''t forgotten much, and I''m grateful to you ladies for helping me to remember it all. Image My parents think they paid a fortune to get a permanent Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner cook. But I think they think it''s worth it because not only do I not ask for any help-I kick them out of the kitchen (They might mess something up!Image) until the food is all ready. So they get to kick back while I work myself to the bone, and am exhausted by the time I''m done. Oh well. Anything for less stress from them Image.
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Post by Lorelei » March 20th, 2008, 12:26 am
Date: 3/19/2008 9:06:40 AM
Author: mrssalvo


Date: 3/18/2008 9:25:59 PM
Author: Eva17
mrs S, on the red velvet, you said 1/2 butter. do you mean half stick?



it's 1/2 cup...there is a 1 lb of butter in this recipeImage

here's a revised version with the corrected info:

Here's the Red Velvet Cake Recipe:
pre-heat oven to 350

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter (room temp butter)
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 oz. Red food coloring
2 oz. water
1 tbsp cocoa
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 cups of flour

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and blend well. Make a paste of the cocoa and food and add to the butter mixture. add flour & salt. then addd buttermild, vanilla, water, soda and blend well. stir in vinegar. Bake 350 20-30 min, let cool. (i use 3 of the small cake pans)

Frosting:

6 tbsps. flour
1/2 cups of butter (room temp. butter)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups of sugar (regular sugar)
1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla

Mix flour and milk over low heat until thickened. stir constantly till cool.
Cream sugar, butter and vanilla until fluffy. add to above mixture and beat well for 10 minutes. No cheating on the 10 minute thing, i promise it will mess up the frosting.

* make sure butter is room temperature. do not melt it in the microwave etc. it will make for a very runny frosting.


MrsSalvo, just curious, I weighed my Parkay butter and 2 sticks which = 2 half cups only weighed half a pound or 8 oz, just wanted to check please, as you mentioned there was a pound of butter in the recipe?
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Post by bee* » March 20th, 2008, 1:42 am
ok here''s the recipe for my mini-muffins that I made the other day. The recipe was to make 36 of them so I just used a third of the ingredients and here they are now-to make 12 mini-muffins (ww points after each ingredient!)

95g of plain flour (2 points)
l/2 tablespoon of baking powder (0)
1/4 teaspoon salt (0)
1 size 2 egg (2)
25g of caster sugar (3)
75 ml milk (2)
36 gm butter, melted and cooled slightly (6)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (0)
1 tablespoon oil (4)

It called for chocolate chips plus cocoa but to be WW friendly I just used a bit more cocoa instead of chocolate chips-next time I''d probably add a couple of chocolate chips as they missed a bit of that real chocolate taste.

2 level tablespoon of cocoa powder (sieved) 4
3 teaspoons of milk (2)

Preheat oven to gas mark 6, 400 F /200 C

Take large bowl and sift in the flour, baking powder and salt. Then in a separate bowl mix the egg, sugar, milk, melted butter and vanilla extract. Now put the dry ingredients back in a sieve and sift them straight onto the egg mixture. This double sifting is essential because there won''t be much mixing going on. Take a large spoon and fold the dry ingredients into the wet quickly, in about 15 seconds. Over mixing will make them heavy andnot light. Add in the cocoa powder and the milk, and also the chocolate chips if you''re going to use them. Spoon in just enough to fill each muffin cup. Bake for 20-25 mins.

Post by mrssalvo » March 20th, 2008, 2:25 am
Date: 3/20/2008 6:26:38 AM
Author: Lorelei


MrsSalvo, just curious, I weighed my Parkay butter and 2 sticks which = 2 half cups only weighed half a pound or 8 oz, just wanted to check please, as you mentioned there was a pound of butter in the recipe?


oops, well, I apparently will blame my mistake on the pregnancy brain but there is supposed to be 1 1/2 cups of butter in the frosting..a HUGE thank you for pointing that out!!!!

will revise for the 3rd timeImageImage for a second i thought maybe the recipe wasn't as unhealthy as I thought...lol..




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Post by mrssalvo » March 20th, 2008, 2:27 am
RED VELVET CAKE RECIPE- revision #3 (this one should be it)

Here''s the Red Velvet Cake Recipe:
pre-heat oven to 350

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter (room temp butter)
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 oz. Red food coloring
2 oz. water
1 tbsp cocoa
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 cups of flour

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and blend well. Make a paste of the cocoa and food and add to the butter mixture. add flour & salt. then addd buttermild, vanilla, water, soda and blend well. stir in vinegar. Bake 350 20-30 min, let cool. (i use 3 of the small cake pans)

Frosting:

6 tbsps. flour
1 1/2 cups of butter (room temp. butter)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups of sugar (regular sugar)
1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla

Mix flour and milk over low heat until thickened. stir constantly till cool.
Cream sugar, butter and vanilla until fluffy. add to above mixture and beat well for 10 minutes. No cheating on the 10 minute thing, i promise it will mess up the frosting.




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Post by Lorelei » March 20th, 2008, 2:29 am
LOL - no worries MrsS, it was just that my frosting wouldn't work, so I checked the recipe!  Thanks for reposting!

Bee, I will be trying yours also!
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Post by mrssalvo » March 20th, 2008, 2:36 am
Date: 3/20/2008 8:29:35 AM
Author: Lorelei
LOL - no worries MrsS, it was just that my frosting wouldn''t work, so I checked the recipe! Thanks for reposting!

!


i''m sorryImage so glad you checked on it and hopefully others will check back before making it to see the revision.




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Post by Lorelei » March 20th, 2008, 2:40 am
Date: 3/20/2008 8:36:37 AM
Author: mrssalvo

Date: 3/20/2008 8:29:35 AM
Author: Lorelei
LOL - no worries MrsS, it was just that my frosting wouldn''t work, so I checked the recipe! Thanks for reposting!

!


i''m sorryImage so glad you checked on it and hopefully others will check back before making it to see the revision.

Please don''t worry, the cakes are still yummy ( and vanishing rapidly....Image)
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Post by Deelight » March 20th, 2008, 2:40 am
I have never even heard of red velvet cupcakes before PS so I am for certain going to make these they sound delish :D

I LOVE CAKE :D



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Post by Lorelei » March 20th, 2008, 2:41 am
Date: 3/20/2008 8:40:07 AM
Author: Deelight
I have never even heard of red velvet cupcakes before PS so I am for certain going to make these they sound delish :D

I LOVE CAKE :D

They ARE delish, smooth and sweet....Also they make a lovely moist fluffy cake, not dry in any way, MrsS''s recipe is a winner!
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Post by Deelight » March 20th, 2008, 2:50 am
I think I might make some for easter when we head up to his parents house that way I won''t be tempted to eat them all :) I really am craving a cupcake right now :D:D:D:D:D



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Post by bee* » March 20th, 2008, 3:06 am
Date: 3/20/2008 8:41:21 AM
Author: Lorelei
Date: 3/20/2008 8:40:07 AM

Author: Deelight

I have never even heard of red velvet cupcakes before PS so I am for certain going to make these they sound delish :D


I LOVE CAKE :D


They ARE delish, smooth and sweet....Also they make a lovely moist fluffy cake, not dry in any way, MrsS''s recipe is a winner!


I''ll have to make these-I was telling D about them last night and he really wants one now. I love red velvet cupcakes!

Post by Lorelei » March 20th, 2008, 3:07 am
* wipes crumbs from mouth* I have just had one and it was soooo yummyImage Just a Brit note, it seems you need quite a bit of red food colour for the RV cakes, so grab large bottles!  A drop or 2 won't give enough colour.
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Post by bee* » March 20th, 2008, 4:29 am
Date: 3/20/2008 9:07:15 AM
Author: Lorelei
* wipes crumbs from mouth* I have just had one and it was soooo yummyImage Just a Brit note, it seems you need quite a bit of red food colour for the RV cakes, so grab large bottles! A drop or 2 won''t give enough colour.


Really? I''ll have to go down and try and find it in Tesco''s. Just went to superquinn and they didn''t have any red food colouring. Damn! I suppose it''s probably for the best that I don''t make them yet until my family get home as those twelve I baked the other day are tempting me as they are! D took 6 and I have four left to get rid of.

Post by Lorelei » March 20th, 2008, 4:35 am
Date: 3/20/2008 10:29:54 AM
Author: bee*

Date: 3/20/2008 9:07:15 AM
Author: Lorelei
* wipes crumbs from mouth* I have just had one and it was soooo yummyImage Just a Brit note, it seems you need quite a bit of red food colour for the RV cakes, so grab large bottles! A drop or 2 won''t give enough colour.


Really? I''ll have to go down and try and find it in Tesco''s. Just went to superquinn and they didn''t have any red food colouring. Damn! I suppose it''s probably for the best that I don''t make them yet until my family get home as those twelve I baked the other day are tempting me as they are! D took 6 and I have four left to get rid of.

The recipe says to use 2 oz red food colour, I had a tiny bottle and used it all ( nowhere near 2 oz) and it make the cakes a browny pink, but not the lovely deep red, so it looks as if you need quite a bit.
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Post by Mara » March 20th, 2008, 4:58 am
fyi re the food coloring...on cupcakeblog.com...she has this whole thing thing on red velvet, she looked at 8 recipes and posted what was consistent vs different in all 8. one of the things she mentioned was that all the recipes used varying degrees of cocoa...along with the red food coloring. also some recipes call for a vanilla cake and others use the cocoa/chocolate version. so the more cocoa, the less red color. the really red colored ones might be very dense modified vanilla version of cakes. so just an FYI. also interestingly enough, this gal who i love, said she made the recipe she thought was best, modified i think, and she thought it was pretty boring and not very tasty. so i was like hmmm.

so lorelei, how tasty are these things?? i have had a few good red velvets bought from bakeries and a few totally meh ones. so it seems like a really curious kind of recipe that can be totally hit or miss....i want to try them but i''m all intimidated and don''t want to waste my time if it won''t come out super yummy hehe.

i''ve been daydreaming about baking since starting this thread...and also chatting with some of the blogging gals. i need to get some larger tips like the ones they use but i might bake tonite, we''ll see. not sure WHAT. i was thinking about cinnamon streusel muffins thanks to some mix i have in the pantry, thinking i can make them taste way better than any ole mix. but then i thought hmmm red velvet sounds so intriguing. so not sure...!!

anyone doing special baking for easter?? also miss freke when you have a minute i''d love to hear more of your wisdom on my comments/questions/modified recipe hehee.
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Post by bee* » March 20th, 2008, 4:58 am
Date: 3/20/2008 10:35:19 AM
Author: Lorelei
Date: 3/20/2008 10:29:54 AM

Author: bee*


Date: 3/20/2008 9:07:15 AM

Author: Lorelei

* wipes crumbs from mouth* I have just had one and it was soooo yummyImage Just a Brit note, it seems you need quite a bit of red food colour for the RV cakes, so grab large bottles! A drop or 2 won''t give enough colour.



Really? I''ll have to go down and try and find it in Tesco''s. Just went to superquinn and they didn''t have any red food colouring. Damn! I suppose it''s probably for the best that I don''t make them yet until my family get home as those twelve I baked the other day are tempting me as they are! D took 6 and I have four left to get rid of.


The recipe says to use 2 oz red food colour, I had a tiny bottle and used it all ( nowhere near 2 oz) and it make the cakes a browny pink, but not the lovely deep red, so it looks as if you need quite a bit.


Thanks for that Lorelei-I''ve put a large bottle of red food colouring on my shopping list. Were they still tasty?

Post by Lorelei » March 20th, 2008, 5:04 am
I used one of those small McCormick red food colours from the box set, the whole teeny bottle.  The cakes ended up a browny deep pink, pretty colour but not the vivid red of the usual RV cake.

The cooked cake itself has a very moist and fluffy batter, really light and spongy as I like it!  The flavour is delicate, smooth and sweet with a hint of chocolate, I used dark cocoa powder as that was what I had to hand.  So these cakes are sweet and yummy, but not strongly flavoured.
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Post by Mara » March 20th, 2008, 5:09 am
here''s my tempting picture for the day...hehehe. my chocolate sour cream cuppies with the Bailey''s irish creme whipped buttercream frosting...the frosting was so so so good. the cake was very good but the frosting was BETTER!

here''s the frosting recipe, loosey goosey ''recipe'' because i tend to just add some of stuff and then do it by taste and consistency...aka want it softer then don''t add as much sugar, want it stiffer for piping, add more.

1 stick butter (4oz, 8 tbls)
2c confectioners sugar
1/4c heavy whipped cream
1 tsp milk
Baileys Irish Creme

whip butter, add in confectioners sugar and milk and beat til fluffy. add whipped cream, whip til extra fluffy (using stand mixer, paddle attachment). when mostly reached consistency you desire, add Baileys. pipe or frost onto cupcakes.

this frosting works great for dark chocolate but i imagine it''d be great with some other types too (maybe a red velvet???) it creates a slightly lighter buttercream with a bit of creamy whipped taste.
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Post by Lorelei » March 20th, 2008, 5:22 am
Those look HEAVENLY.....Image
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Post by bee* » March 20th, 2008, 6:20 am
Wow-they look amazing Mara!! Seriously tempting!

Thanks for that Lorelei-I love them when they''re light and fluffy also.

Post by FrekeChild » March 20th, 2008, 11:28 am
Ok. As for all these cupcakes you''re making, I think you should totally overnight one to me. I''ve been a good girl and have held out and not gone to the cupcake store that''s only 3 blocks from my condo.Image JK.

As for the baking soda question, I think any moisture will give it some kind of reaction, but that acids give it the full bubbling action. I know that "double acting" baking powder reacts to both the heat and the moisture, so I''m assuming that the same goes for baking soda-with at least the moisture part. I''m so tempted to go conduct experiments in my kitchen right now (imagine Freke in her kitchen surrounded with various white powders, cackling maniacally) to find out for sure, but I''m spending the day with BF, and unless I''m making something yummy he''s going to want to know why I''m having a science experiments in the kitchen and what that has to do with PS.Image I don''t know that an acid is useless, I''m just not sure it''s necessary. If something is calling for lemon juice, vinegar, buttermilk-it''s probably safe to assume that its a flavoring agent (Like this Texas chocolate pecan cake recipe that I used to have-YUM!I need to find that again.) But for cream of tartar, it''s safe to assume that it''s a chemical reaction that it''s being used for. Of course, there is always the risk that the person who made up the recipe had no idea what they were doing, and just threw it in there.

I probably should have gone into Research and Development in the food industry because-and this is weird, don''t make fun of me-I have dreams about making new food items, or altering recipes, etc. Like this thread has been giving me dreams about cupcakes. Not joking. Image And I spent about 4 days total of winter break with my chocolate chip cookie recipe-making it just perfect.

As for the sour cream and the dense rich chocolate cake...Sour cream has a tiny bit of the acid flavor that will enhance pretty much anything. There are really the 5 flavors-salty, sweet, bitter, sour, umami and they all can enhance each other. With adding the sour cream, you''re adding that sour flavor that will enhance the sweet and the bitter from the chocolate. And it cuts through the richness of the fat and the sugar just the tiniest bit since its got that acid in it. Plus the fat and the creaminess from the sour cream can''t hurt either!

Ok as for tackling the recipe itself these are the changes I would try first:

Keeping the second recipe intact:
2c hot brewed coffee
1 1/4c unsweetened cocoa powder (Hersheys)
3/4c well shaken buttermilk (i did the 3/4c fat free milk and lemon juice/sit for 10 min to make my own)
1/4c sour cream
1 stick butter
1 1/2c baking sugar
2c flour all purpose
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs + 1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla

I''m thinking the reason they fell a little bit is just the nature of the beast, meaning it could be a lot of things. Here are some possibilities:

-Mixing method. With cake recipes its a delicate balance between wanting to get it mixed just right, and making sure all the ingredients are incorporated properly. You could use the same recipe but try sifting all of the dry ingredients together (salt, baking powder, baking soda, flour, and the cocoa powder) creaming the sugar and the butter, mixing all of the liquids together (coffee, buttermilk and sour cream) adding the eggs to the creamed sugar and butter, then the liquids and then dry ingredients.

-Not mixing long enough. Mixing for a couple minutes longer than you did before.

-It sounds like a delicate recipe. I have a few recipes that even when I make it exactly the same, the end product comes out differently. Some of these recipes out there are just temperamental. For instance my brown sugar cake-totally comes out different when I make it in different pans-large ceramic-perfect, smaller glass pan, sinks in the middle, metal pans-becomes a pancake. What the heck? (But it''s incredible as a pancake too, so I don''t really care that much!)

-There could be a lacking in the stabilizers; eggs, flour. You added the one egg white and that probably helped, but possibly adding instead of just the egg white, making it three whole eggs might be a good step. And/or adding about 1/4 cup of flour. Its not really enough to change the flavor, but enough to give it more structure/fluffier crumb (the texture inside of the cake or bread). So changing those around might make a significant difference in the texture. I have to deal with this all of the time because we''re at high altitude and 99% of the recipe books out there(both home and commercial) are made for sea level stuff, and getting close to a mile up, I have to adjust everything at least once before it comes out the way its supposed to.

-Taking it out of the oven even a minute too early could cause this. So even though a toothpick might come out clean, leaving it in there only 30 seconds to a minute longer could make a huge difference.

Here''s an example. With the chocolate chip cookies I made over the break:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons butter (room temp)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips

This is the original (from The Joy of Cooking) recipe:
1cup + 2 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

The original ones came out flat and crispy, and BF was in the market for soft and cakey, so understanding the ingredients I knew that while I wanted moisture, adding fat would make it greasy and they were already a tad greasy, so I didn''t want to do that. Adding sugar would have made them more crispy, and that wasn''t wanted either. I couldn''t very well add milk because these are supposed to be cookies-not cake, and it''d just come out them anyway. So I needed to figure out what would have some moisture, add some structure, and give lift-all of this came down to eggs and flour. So I added 1 egg and bumped the 2 Tbl spoons to 1/4 cup. That result was way better but because there was still so much sugar, I decided to bump that down a little bit too. So instead of a whole cup of sugar, it went down to 2/3 cup-which didn''t make a HUGE difference in flavor but it allowed the eggs to puff up even more instead of getting bogged down. But they were still spreading too much. At this point he was happy with them, but I still wasn''t, so I went from baking soda to baking powder and it made all the difference in the world.

So, to make them a little lighter and fluffier I''d change the recipe to this:

2c hot brewed coffee
1 1/4c unsweetened cocoa powder (Hersheys)
3/4c well shaken buttermilk (i did the 3/4c fat free milk and lemon juice/sit for 10 min to make my own)
1/4c sour cream
1 stick butter
1 1/2c baking sugar
2 1/4c flour all purpose
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla

And just see how it goes. I added 1/4 cup flour and 1 whole egg to it.

As for why it might fall, the temp really shouldn''t have anything to do with it. This is all about the egg. Its really delicate in nature and those tiny little bubbles of air are tricky little %$#*&s. Seriously if the heat is too high, they don''t puff up and get bigger so you''re stuck with dense egginess, or if it''s too low, the holes could collapse on themselves before they have time to coagulate. Does that make sense? But again, it could have to do with not having enough flour to give aid to the eggs while they are coagulating-and as they come out of the oven-the jolts from moving it around could send the steam out of the bubbles (crumb) and it could collapse. This is why souffles are such a PITA to make.

BF is currently telling me I''m a "baking nerd" and that I know too much about the subject. Because, you know, he DOESN''T get anything out of my know-how.Image

If I could see the cupcake crumb in person, I''d have a much better idea of what up with the darker swirl. Because that could be lots of things...Image

Ending thoughts because I''ve already typed too much (I hope I got to all of your questions-let me know if I haven''t!) if I were going for super ultra uber chocolate-yness I would start thinking about adding some melted bittersweet or dark chocolate. Even if it''s not all that much, it should make a huge difference in richness. Valrhona, Callebaut (sold in chunks at Whole Foods) and Scharffen Berger are my favorites and the best quality according to many of my old Chef instructors. Anyway, it''s just a thought. ImageImageImage
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"In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane." Mark Twain

Post by Mara » March 20th, 2008, 11:48 am
Freke you rock. I will gladly send you a cupcake but not sure how it''ll arrive! hehee.

Interesting about the eggs and flour. Honestly this is the kind of stuff I love too. I love adaptation of recipes...it''s so interesting to experiment. I love making things healthier too but figured I''d get this baking thing down totally pat THEN figure out how I might be able to make small changes here and there. However nature of most baking of things like CAKES is old fashioned sugary goodness hehee.

So here''s a Q. In that chocolate recipe I posted, I end up having one stand mixer bowl with the creamed fluffy butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla; one bowl with cocoa, buttermilk mixture, hot coffee, sour cream whisked til creamy; and one bowl with the dry stuff, flour, baking soda, powder, salt.

In the recipe it says to add the cocoa and flour bowls in by alternating and mixting til incorporated. Lorelei mentioned the old fashioned way of slowly and softly folding dry into wet which I am very familiar with. Obviously this particular recipe seems to toss that notion to the wind because you are mixing in a wet and dry to a wet and beating in between each add. So it seems like the flour and eggs would be beaten into dense submission even if I added more flour and eggs?

So maybe if as you mentioned I added flour, eggs and then did the wet and dry separate...that might be more successful? Am I on the right track here?

Also funny you mention Vahlrona as I made a dark chocolate cuppie like 2 weeks ago without cocoa powder and using 1/2 a bar of Vahlrona as my sole chocolate source. I thought they came out great but my boss said she didnt think they were chocolatey enough and she thought I used milk choco! Everyone else LOVED Them, but I was curious how cocoa might change the cake so thats why I tried the cocoa ones this wkd. Maybe next as you note I can do BOTH in one and see.

Though, and this sounds like such sacrilege but I can''t help it, after trying, baking, eating 3 types of chocolate cupcakes all wkd long and into this week as we have them at home ... I am SO OVER CHOCOLATE Right now! All I can think of is like carrot cake or hummingbird or banana. So funny!! It''s hard to perfect something when your taste buds are like..YAK enough!
________________________________

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

-Albert Einstein

Post by FrekeChild » March 20th, 2008, 12:25 pm
Lol. I know what you're saying about having too much of a good thing (like chocolate cupcakes). The one class was called "Cookies, Tarts and Mignardises" and every single day we'd make at least 20-40 different kinds of cookies. Our homework was that we had to eat 2 of each kind of cookie, and write about it. I was eating 40-80 cookies (they were small-about 2 bites-THANK GOD!) EVERY night for 3 weeks straight. Not only did I gain about 5 pounds from that class but I also couldn't eat cookies for about 6 months afterwards. Image And I love cookies!Image

Whats really bad and totally sacrilege is that I'm not a big fan of chocolate in gneneral. Sure, I get my cravings, but I'm just not one of those people who loves chocolate. Everyone at school thought I was nuts.

You should totally make a batch (in a couple weeks when you like chocolate again!) that has melted chocolate AND cocoa powder. Yum! Even just a small bar added to your recipe might kick some butt.

After I wrote my novel (sorry about that by the way!) I started to think-what if you added a little bit more leavening agent to it-it calls for 2 teaspoons now, but what if you added another 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder? That should help give it more lift.

As for mixing methods, I think with the folding method it's mostly for cakes that are purely leavened by mechanical means (egg white's air bubbles) so as to not knock much air out. Because your recipe has baking soda and powder it might be overkill to try to do the folding. What you could do is just whisk a little of the dry mixture into the wet until it's homogenous, and do that 3-4 times, and then mix it for another couple minutes afterwards. So yes, I think you are on the right track with the wet/dry and added the extra flour and eggs.

I'm going cupcake crazy over here. I've been leafing through some of my recipes, and between the brown sugar cake and the gold cake-I'm getting ideas in my head about cup cakes and flavor combinations. Dang it.

What flavor are you going to try next Mara?
_______________________________

"In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane." Mark Twain

Post by Mara » March 20th, 2008, 1:42 pm
hee hee well since i am chocolated out...i am thinking of baking tonite... doing something like a vanilla lemon cake with raspberry something. bon appetit has the cutest lemon cupcakes with raspberry filling. i havent done a filled cupcake before. it has a little glaze on top and a raspberry. super cute. but i am thinking i dont want a SUPER sweet lemon cupcake. i love lemon stuff but i hate the overpowering sugar that so many recipes call for in items with lemon. it just makes it super acidic sweet. i want a soft vanilla cupcake with a hint of lemon. should be able to do something like a vanilla cuppie with lemon zest and juice right? old fashioned folding to keep it fluffy? glaze may be a cream cheese one...maybe mixed with raspberry. hmm. thinking!!!
________________________________

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

-Albert Einstein

Post by FrekeChild » March 20th, 2008, 2:13 pm
That sounds pretty awesome. Yum...BF and I are going to go get a video game, maybe we can go get cupcakes on the way back...

ETA: I just checked the websites for both stores and they both close at 6. And it's 6:15. ImageImage
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"In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane." Mark Twain


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