So today is the day to celebrate the lovelies in my office who happened to be born in this most festive of months, October. While I would prefer to celebrate Oktoberfest-style with some deliciously cold-yet-warming brews, I'm at work. So we'll have cupcakes instead. Sometimes I take requests because it's nice to make your coworkers happy. Requests for this month: Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, and really chocolately cupcakes with frosting of some sort.
We're talking deep chocolately cupcakes filled with Nutella, and frosted with Dulce de Leche buttercream.
Joy of Baking.com.
I hadn't ever made a chocolate cupcake using this method (basically making my own chocolate syrup minus the sugar) before, and it was kind of fun. While the chocolate frosting that goes with this recipe looks amazing, I had to go with something a little more warm and autumn-like to cut the intensity of the chocolate cupcake. Here's where my favorite blog comes in: Joy the Baker. (Not related to Joy of Baking, actually). This girl is amazing. She makes things I have wanted all my life but never knew about. Plus, she is hilarious, and Joy if you're reading right now, which most assuredly you are not, let's be best friends forever. I found this frosting recipe on her site, which I think she actually borrowed from The Pastry Queen. Dulce de Leche is caramel usually made from goat's milk. It's actually available in the ethnic foods section of most grocery stores and is fairly inexpensive. I probably should have cut this recipe in half since I only made 12 cupcakes and had a lot left over. If you have leftover batter after a dozen cupcakes, you may want to pile it in a ramekin and bake it with the rest for a delicious molten lava cake for the chef. I was pretty happy with it.
The cupcakes are not as sweet as some (which I love), and the frosting is really sweet, so it strikes a nice balance. I still had to mess with it. I had visions of grandeur that involved piping a little suprise well of Nutella into the center of each cupcake before frosting them. Those visions came to a disappointing end quickly. (Picture me clutching pastry bag feverishly with chocolate all the way up my forearms, and aforementioned pastry bag exploding into giant supernova of chocolate and brokenness.) Solution: use butterknife to spread a thin layer of Nutella on the tops before frosting. In the absence of a functioning pastry bag, a little Ziploc baggie with a snipped corner served just fine. I couldn't resist decorating them seasonally with those disgusting little candy corns and somehow-delicious pumpkins made of the same stuff. *These are not part of a healthy diet.
...And I'm spent. Happy Friday!