I'll start by saying, I'm *not* eating all the cupcakes I'm making :) I promise. I actually didn't even taste this one. I had leftover whipped cream from one project, and wanted to make up a new chocolate cupcake recipe. The kids each tasted one, and I sent the rest to work with Husband.
These Chocolate Cupcakes are made with instant pudding. I know it's not a new concept, but I wanted to play around with it.
The chocolate cupcake recipe:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) room temperature butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 standard size 4 1/2 cup serving chocolate pudding mix
1 cup buttermilk
Prep) Line muffin tin with paper liners, and spray them with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. There is a yield of about 18 cupcakes.
1) Cream together butter and sugar. Once mixture is light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time, and the vanilla.
2) In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and pudding mix. Whisk them together with, yes... a whisk :)
3) If you do not have buttermilk on hand, nor feel like buying any because it can be a little pricey, there is an easy way to make it. Use a ratio of one cup of milk to 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes until the milk "curdles". Walla! Homemade "buttermilk" :)
4) When mixing the actual cupcake batter, it's important not to over mix. Begin by alternating adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk to your butter/sugar mixture. Add a little flour, add a little buttermilk, etc. You want to end with the flour mixture, and you might want to hand mix, or set mixer on your lowest "stir" setting.
5) I assume you've already prepared your pan :) Scoop the batter in to the papers, filling them about 2/3 full.
18-20 minutes, until a toothpick entered in to the center of a few of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool on wire rack until completely cool before moving to next step.
In Culinary Arts school, I've obviously learned a lot about baking. There are so many baking staples that we usually buy pre-made that are actually quite easy to make at home. Whipped cream is one of them.
Whipped Cream Recipe:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup confectioners sugar (more or less to taste)
1 tsp vanilla
Prep) You can pre-chill your bowl and whisk if you would like to. I have learned that in baking class and it worked well. However, I've also forgotten to pre-chill my bowl and had no issues.
1) Whisk heavy whipping cream on a medium-low level until you start to see some "fluff", for lack of a better word :)
2) Add confectioners (powdered) sugar a little at a time, and start to crank up the speed. You should also add the vanilla at this time. Do taste tests to see if you would like your whipped cream sweeter. The amount of sugar depends on how sweet you personally like it. I add a lot :)
3) Whipped cream is finished when it's whippy and creamy. You'll know. It *will* look like the stuff in the container in the frozen food aisle, but taste oh so much better!
**Note** You can over whip this. If you over whip, it'll start to look like cottage cheese, so make sure you watch it.
Assembly of Whipped Cream Filled Chocolate Cupcake
Now you have your chocolate cupcake, and you have your whipped cream. It's time to make the magic so you can wow your friends and family. So far, it wasn't hard, right?
This will work best if you have a decorators tip. Preferably a medium to large size. I used a large closed star.
1) Stuff a bunch of whipped cream in to your decorators bag or large ziplock bag. (Making sure the tip is in first :)
2) Stick the tip down in to the top of the cooled cupcake. I jammed the tip all the way in, but feeling for the "half way" point would work best. Squeeze. Squeeze a lot, squeeze a little, play around with it. It's your preference as to how much cream you want in the middle. There will be a point where the whipped cream will start squirting back out the top. Stop when you get to that point :)
3) After you have finished filling all your cupcakes, it's time to frost them.
A very basic, classic buttercream recipe is simply just 1 pound of butter per 2 pound bag of confectioners sugar, with a bit of vanilla thrown in (obviously that can be divided). Mix until light and fluffy, adding milk or water if you need to. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.
I didn't get too many pictures of the cuppie cakes because they were either eaten, or taken to Husband's work. However, sometimes the look on their face is all that's really important to me. I think this one was a winner.