Chocolate Chip Cupcakes - December 2, 2009
Think of this as a brown sugar cupcake with chocolate chips. It's very tasty but the texture was a bit dense once the cupcakes cooled. I find cupcakes are also tricky because if you bake them too long, they become dry. If you don't bake them long enough, they're heavy. You have to nab them at the just-right stage which isn't always easy to do. I always tend to err on the side of underbaking so my cupcakes are sometimes on the heavy side. They're the perfect texture when they're warm out of the oven but dense up a bit when they cool.
But, here's a trick - warm them up before serving them. This is also tricky if your cupcakes are already frosted but you just have to monitor them closely in the microwave. It also depends on your frosting. Buttercreams and cream cheese-type frostings will melt very easily. I used a chocolate butter frosting with these and they held up well to having the cupcakes heated slightly. Just microwave them for 10 seconds at a time and check to see if that's enough or if they can withstand a little more heat. I wasn't wild about how the frosting turned out because it was a little too stiff and didn't look very nice once it was frosted onto the cupcake - talk about amateur hour when I finished frosting the cupcakes. I should've added more milk to the frosting to get it to more of a spreading consistency. But it was late when I was making them because I got home late from work that night and I was dead on my feet and just wanted to get them done so I went with what I had and called it a day. I served them at work and to my Fantasy Football league at lunch the next day.
The frosting recipe I used isn't the same one below since I wasn't in the mood for a glaze on these - I wanted a frosting. But I'll post the original glaze recipe anyway since that's what the recipe called for. Someday I'll make these cupcakes again and try them properly with the glaze.
Chocolate Chip Cupcakes from Cupcakes by Elinor Klivans - made December 2, 2009
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup whole milk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup Chocolate Fudge Glaze, slightly warm
1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Line 18 muffin tin cups with paper cupcake liners.
2. Make the cupcakes: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, mix the flour, brown sugar, and baking soda to blend them. Add the butter and mix until the butter pieces are the size of peas, about 2 minutes. You will still see some loose flour. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Mix in the egg and vanilla. The batter will still look dry. Mix in the sour cream and milk until the batter looks evenly moistened; you may still see some lumps of butter. Mix in the chocolate chips.
3. Fill each paper liner with about a generous ¼ cup of batter, to about 1/3 inch from the top of the liner. Bake just until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. If the toothpick penetrates a chocolate chip, test another spot. Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pans on wire racks,.
4. Carefully place a wire rack on top of one pan of cupcakes. Protecting your hands with pot holders and holding the pan and rack together, invert them to release the cupcakes onto the wire rack. Turn the cupcakes top side up to cool completely. Repeat with the second pan of cupcakes.
5. Add the chocolate glaze: Use a fork to generously drizzle thin lines of the topping over each cupcake. Let the cupcakes sit at room temperature until the glaze is firm, or refrigerate the cupcakes for about 15 minutes to firm the topping quickly. Serve at room temperature.
The cupcakes can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Yield: 18 cupcakes
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
9 ounces (1 ½ cups) semisweet chocolate chips
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and butter (and corn syrup, if making the glaze) over low heat until the cream is hot and the butter has melted. The mixture should form tiny bubbles and measure about 175˚F on a thermometer; do not let it boil. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate chips and let them sit in the hot cream for about 30 seconds to soften. Add the vanilla and whisk the sauce until it is smooth and all of the chocolate is melted.
2. You can use the sauce warm or let it sit at room temperature until it reaches the thickness desired. To store it, pour the cooled sauce into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Reheat as much sauce as is needed by spooning it into a saucepan and heating over low heat to soften or melt. For the glaze, let it sit at room temperature just until it is thick enough to spread.
Yield: Scant 2 cups glaze