Friday, May 23, 2008

cupcake heaven redux

hmmm . . . i think stephanie liked them but those cupcakes were not my best :( sigh . . . not perfection.

i think that particular recipe really only lends itself to peanut butter chips and chocolate/peanut butter buttercream. the cupcakes are so dark they need something really sweet for frosting. i love ganache but something about the way its then whipped was a turn off for me. so i highly suggest this frosting with the dark chocolate cupcakes. remember to swap out the milk chips for peanut butter ones or better yet, drop a mini peanut butter cup in the middle of each.

i like my cupcakes heavy on the frosting, so i always double the recipe. i also like them kind of messy and gooey looking. my method is to scoop the frosting on with an ice cream scoop, just throw a big old mound on there, then smooth with a cake spatula or butter name. see cupcake pic below. its so much easier than piping and makes the frosting as high as the cupcake itself, yum!

Chocolate/Peanut Butter Buttercream

This can be made ahead and refrigerated; if refrigerated, however, they must stand at room temperature to soften before use. If using a hand-held mixer, increase mixing times significantly (at least 50 percent). I always double this cause i love frosting!

Make 1 1/2 cups, enough for 12 cupcakes

8 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (don't use old-fashioned or natural brand)
cup confectioners' sugar

Pinch table salt
2 tbsp sifted cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon heavy cream

In standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter and peanut butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add confectioners' sugar, sifted cocoa and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.

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