September 19th, 2009
Someone commented on the above photo on Flickr today, which made me think, Hey, I never blogged about that! I checked the date on the photo and looked in my archives, and sure enough, that was right about the time I was lamenting the Bloggers’ Paradox. No reason I can’t write about it now, though.
So. About a month ago when Brenda and I were IMing late one evening. I mentioned that I was thinking about baking some cupcakes. She said she was thinking about watching an episode of Chuck. I said, why don’t we do both?
I took my laptop into the kitchen and Brenda and I both watched Chuck vs. the Dream Job on Hulu, IMing with each other from time to time, while I baked. I used Nigella Lawson’s easier-than-you-think Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes as inspiration, adapting the recipe to ingredients I had on hand (apricot preserves instead of cherry, vanilla cream cheese frosting that I had in the freezer leftover from making Joe & Nina’s birthday cake swirled on the top of each mini-cupcake instead of a glace cherry).
Pretty and delicious. Want the recipe?
Rich Chocolate Mini-Cupcakes
adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
- 1 1/3 cups apricot preserves*
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
for the icing
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp heavy cream (I used half-and-half, which worked fine)
- small amount of vanilla cream cheese frosting for decoration (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Line 24 cups of a mini-muffin pan with cupcake liners, or spray with non-stick spray.
- Put the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and put over medium heat to melt. When the butter is almost completely melted, stir in the chocolate. Leave it for a moment to begin softening, then remove pan from the heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the butter and chocolate are smooth and completely combined. Add the preserves, sugar and salt and stir well. Add the beaten eggs and stir till everything’s pretty well-mixed. Stir in the flour and baking powder.
- Spoon the batter into the muffin papers in the pan, dividing evenly between the 24 cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes, till a toothpick entered in the center of one of the cupcakes comes out almost clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before turning out.
- When the cupcakes are almost cool, break the chocolate for the icing into little pieces and add them to the cream in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat and then whisk, either by hand or with an electric mixer, till thick and smooth. Frost the cupcakes, smoothing the tops with the back of a spoon. If desired, spoon some vanilla cream cheese frosting into a piping bag and use a decorative tip to add a small swirl to the top of each cupcake.
*You can use almost any kind of preserves, really. Marmalade works well, as do cherry and raspberry.