When I was about five years old I had a white tee shirt with a navy neckband that read,” The devil made me do it!” in semi-permanent, heat press sparkle. I got it from one of those beachside, boardwalk shacks where you pick out the shirt, select the art and watch your motto get melted smack onto your new T-shirt.
That’s what I have to say about these mini Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting…
…the devil made me do it!
These mini cupcakes are feather-light and have a subtle chocolate taste. The frosting is simple, silky, sweet.
Here’s another thing I had when I was five: a mother who could cook, bake, concoct confections and copy dishes she tried in restaurants. My mother was the best cook in the neighborhood. She lit desserts on fire at tableside and eventually mastered flaming steaks. Neighbors, relatives and friends asked for her recipes every time she hosted a dinner party or brought a bubbling casserole to a potluck.
My mom liked being the best so much that when people asked for her recipes she left out a thing or two. Teaspoons and tablespoons got mixed up. Baking powder became baking soda. Maybe the sugar and salt somehow got the switcheroo. We know who to blame, right?
Devil. Made me. This much is clear.
I didn’t get any special treatment for being related to the reigning queen of flaming baked Alaskas when it came to getting correct recipes. My mother did not believe in just handing you her hard-won secrets. She expected you to know some things about cooking or look it up, figure it out for cryin’ out loud. She did, however, teach me some basic techniques when I was about five and probably wearing my devil made me do it tee shirt. Here they are:
Scoop and sweep when you measure flour. Mom kept flour in a big, red, UTZ’s potato chip can. I store flour in a large plastic bin with a snap-shut lid. The idea is to have a sizable container so you can easily plunge a metal measuring cup in and scoop up a fluffy cup of flour. Next take a knife and sweep it across the top of the measuring cup so that the flour is level to the top edge. Level is level and nothing else. Make it level.
When you measure baking soda use the edge of the cardboard box to level the soda you just scooped up. Think mini scoop and sweep and make it level.
When you measure baking powder use the straight edge of the lid to level the powder. That’s why there’s a straight edge built into the top of the container. Make it level for cryin’ out loud.
Folding batter means mix gently with broad strokes. Basically you take a spatula or spoon and scoop through the batter bringing the bottom to the top till the ingredients are just combined. Don’t keep on keepin’-on once the ingredients are acquainted. Overmixing can change the texture and mess up the lightness of a baked good. Resist overmixing.
Well…that’s it. That’s what my mama taught me. I realize now that her penchant for giving inaccurate renditions of recipes was also a lesson regardless of whether it was intended to be one. Since I was wary of any recipe I finally cajoled from her I began looking things up, comparing amounts, thinking about the chemistry and balance of what I wanted to make.
Here’s my recipe for mini Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting in honor of tee shirt shacks, Halloween and devilishly strong women who teach themselves to do the things they want to do…for cryin’ out loud.
p.s. Nothing is left out or switcheroo-ed in my recipe.
Summary: Mini cupcakes that are feather-light and have a subtle chocolate taste. The frosting is simple, silky, sweet.
Ingredients for mini devil’s food cupcakes:
- 1/2 ounce of dark chocolate, I used Theo rich, dark 70%
- 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup very hot espresso or very strong coffee
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Ingredients for vanilla buttercream frosting:
- 1 cup butter at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
Ingredients for Pizzaz:
- small piece of dark chocolate
- vegetable peeler
Instructions for mini devil’s food cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Line one mini muffin tray with cupcake papers.
- Roughly chop the chocolate.
- Place the chopped chocolate and the cocoa powder in a heat proof bowl.
- Pour the hot espresso over the chocolate and cocoa powder.
- Whisk till smooth.
- Add the milk to the chocolate mixture and whisk again until smooth then set aside.
- In a separate bowl whisk or sift together the flour, baking soda and salt then set it aside.
- In a third bowl beat the butter, brown sugar and sugar together till light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla to the butter and sugar mixture and beat till fluffy.
- Add half the chocolate mixture you set aside earlier and half the flour mixture and beat briefly to combine.
- Add the remaining chocolate mixture and flour mixture and fold together till everything is just combined.
- Resist over mixing.
- Bake for 16-19 minutes.
- Cupcakes should be just done, springy to the touch. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out relatively clean.
- Don’t over bake and dry your cupcakes out! You want them to be just done.
- Cool on a rack before frosting.
Instructions for vanilla buttercream frosting:
- Beat butter and sugar together till the mixture becomes light in color and fluffy.
- Add vanilla and cream and beat again till frosting is light and very fluffy.
- Use a piping bag or sptatula to frost cupcakes. You need to be gentle since the cake is very light and breaks easily.
Instructions for Pizzaz:
- Shave some dark chocolate on top the iced cupcakes. Make it pretty!
I didn’t have a proper piping set so I used a ziplock bag to get the icing onto the cakes then I gave it a little swoosh with the back of a spoon to make it pretty.
This recipe makes twenty frosted mini cupcakes.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 16-19 minutes
Culinary tradition: USA (General)
Copyright © fatpiginthemarket.
Recipe by fat pig.
Microformatting by hRecipe.