Do you love Chocolate? Oh I'm sure you do! I love everything about chocolate. It's taste, color, it's texture, and most of all it's ability to make anything and about everything taste so special. No wonder then that it's one of the most favorite and loved flavors of all time.
There is something so seductive about that velvety, smooth and shiny melted dark chocolate, I just feel like licking the entire bowl of this goodness.
Have you ever had a cream cheese frosting with chocolate? No? Then you ought to. Yes? Then you know what I am talking about. The deep dark chocolate flavor paired with a sweet and tangy, creamy and fluffy icing. You'll have to eat it to believe how good it tastes.
I've used cocoa powder most of the times in the past for my chocolate baking, like when I made the Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes. It imparts a wonderful chocolate flavor and aroma to the baked goods. However, I've been wanting to use pure dark chocolate in cakes for quite some time now. In the dark and dense chocolate loaf cake that I had baked some time back, I had used melted dark chocolate. The loaf cake had a very moist texture and a pure chocolate flavor. However, I wanted to make cupcakes that were soft and not dry, using dark chocolate rather than cocoa powder.
Since dark chocolate has a very low fat content, it's got the tendency of absorbing a lot of liquid. So it becomes a little tricky to get a soft and moist texture with it. It took me two failed attempts and quite a few changes in the recipe to get the taste and texture I was looking for.
This chocolate cupcake recipe uses dark chocolate that has a 70% cocoa content. I've used heavy cream and milk both, since cream gives the texture a certain smoothness due to it's fat content and milk gives the much needed moisture to the otherwise dry batter.
Though I've teamed up these cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting, you can adorn these dark beauties with a Swiss Meringue Buttercream or even a Dark Chocolate Frosting, yummmm so chocolatey!!
Recipe Source: Bakingyummies
Makes 12 Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes
150 grams / 5.3 ounces plain or all purpose flour plus extra for dusting the muffin tray
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
50 ml / 1.7fl ounces heavy cream at room temperature
50 ml / 1.7fl ounces milk at room temperature
115 grams / 4 ounces unsalted butter, a little cold
110 grams / 4 ounces caster or superfine sugar
100 grams / 3.5 ounces dark chocolate buttons or chopped (with at least 70% cocoa content)
2 large eggs at room temperature
For the Frosting
200 grams / 7 ounces full fat Philadelphia cream cheese, cold
55 grams / 2 ounces sifted icing sugar
140 ml / 4.7fl ounces sweetened whipping cream, chilled(if the cream is not chilled, it won't whip up).
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C / 350 degrees F. Grease a 12 cup muffin tray with butter and dust with flour tapping out the excess or line the muffin tray with paper liners. Combine the cream and milk together and mix. Keep aside.
Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water (double boiler method), or melt the chocolate in the microwave on 50% power stirring after every few seconds, until it's melted.
Meanwhile, sift the flour, salt and baking powder together in a bowl. Mix thoroughly with a hand held whisk to distribute all the ingredients.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and on medium-high speed, or using an electric hand mixer, cream the butter for about 2 to 3 minutes, till it's soft.
Add the sugar and beat until light, pale and fluffy about 5 minutes. Add the just melted dark chocolate and beat until the chocolate is thoroughly mixed, about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as and when needed.
Divide the batter evenly among the cups. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 mins or until a cake tester or a wooden skewer comes out moist but not wet. Place the muffin pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 mins. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and place them on the cooling rack to cool completely.
For the Frosting
With the mixer on medium speed using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract and beat until well combined and smooth.
Switch to the whisk attachment (keep the whisk attachment in the refrigerator an hour before you make the frosting to chill it). Gradually add the cream and once the cream has mixed in, increase the speed of the mixer to maximum and beat until it forms stiff peaks(do not over beat). Decorate as you wish.
Note: If you plan to spread the frosting rather than piping it, reduce the frosting ingredients's measurements by half.
Storage Suggestions: Iced cupcakes can be stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 3 days.