Sometimes I like to reflect on my train of thought, and try to remember the pathing from one thought to another. Even more fun? Link pathing. Okay, it’s not as much fun, but at least there is an easily navigable history.
These Lovecakes came from a late night read on Flipboard (my favorite app), which pointed me to this article by the Huffington Post, which led me to stumble upon this recipe by wee eats.
I am naturally skeptical of recipes on the web. They often have typos, rarely have solid reviews, and sometimes have never even been made by the writer. Add to that the expense of high quality ingredients and the high pressure of Valentine’s Day, and I was more than hesitant to try this one out, but after drooling over chocolate recipes for several hours, I finally settled on giving this a go.
No, wait, let me say that again…
Throw away all your other chocolate cake recipes, this is the last one you’ll ever need. It’s simply heaven. My coworkers raved the lovecakes, and they were gone before 9AM. Chocolate for breakfast, is there really any other way on Valentine’s Day?
Dark Chocolate Lovecakes
Makes 24 cupcakes. Recipe adapted from wee eats.
- 1 3/4 c Flour
- 2 c Sugar
- 3/4 c Cocoa Powder
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 c Buttermilk, shaken
- 1/2 c Vegetable Oil
- 2 Eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 c Coffee, hot
- 6 oz Dark Chocolate, chopped
- 2 sticks Butter
- 1 Egg Yolk, room temperature
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 – 2 c Powdered Sugar, to taste
- 1 – 2 tbsp Milk
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line cupcake pan with cupcake tins.
- Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. After sifting, mix the ingredient on low speed until combined.
- In a second bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
- With the mixer on a low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until just combined.
- With the mixer still on low, slowly add the coffee to the mixture, being sure to scrap the bottom of the bowl. The mixture will be very thin and runny. This is okay.
- Pour the batter into the cupcake tins. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely before making the frosting.
- Melt the chocolate in 30 second intervals, stirring between each until completely melted.
- Beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg yolk and vanilla to the butter and beat for 3 minutes. This is where your frosting is going to learn to be fluffy.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. The original recipe called for 1 – 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, but I felt like this wasn’t sweet enough. Feel free to vary to your particular taste. I may have even added more than 2 cups in the end. To compensate for my added sugar, I added a tbsp or so of milk to adjust the texture. How sweet should the frosting be? I used the scientific method of dipping my finger first into the butter concoction and then the melted chocolate. Judge me. It worked.
- Continuing on low speed, add the chocolate in a steady stream.
- Frost the cooled cupcakes immediately. Top with sprinkles.
Natalie at Wee Eats is totally right, these were absolutely better the second day. Be sure to use top quality coffee as the flavor balances the chocolate.
I once saw a photo of these chrysanthemum cupcakes, and thought they would be impossible to reproduce, but it turns out they were rather easy, if a little labor intensive. Even better, when I brought them into work my colleagues thought I was a super-genius, though in truth, these required no special skills.
The basic principle is simple: cut mini marshmallows in half on the bias. Dip in sugar. Attach to cupcake with frosting.
Your best bet is to employ a friend to do the cutting of the marshmallows while you attach them, or vice versa. Just make sure the person with the most attention to detail does the attaching. Marshmallows that have been poorly sliced can be eaten 🙂
- Mini Marshmallows
- Colored Sugar Sprinkles
- Let cupcakes cool completely
- Pour one color of sugar sprinkles into a cereal bowl
- Cut mini marshmallows on the bias and drop immediately into the sprinkles
- Toss marshmallows with the sugar, ensuring an even coat on the exposed sticky cut
- Frost one cupcake at a time
- Arrange marshmallows onto cupcake, starting in the center
- If desired, add larger sprinkles to the center for the stamen
I was oddly out of colored sugar sprinkles, so I made some by taking simple white table sugar and adding food coloring. I found I had to use my fingers to evenly disperse the color, but it otherwise worked perfectly. Start with a couple drops, though I ended up using quite a bit.
For whatever reason, my company choose little rubber duckies as its mascot. The urban legend is that we wanted to bring a cheap giveaway to a trade fair, and Oriental Trading Company was the only place that could deliver en mass in time. So, we bought a bajillion of the little guys, and gave them away. I don’t know if they were a success or not, but I do know that they have been laying around the office since my first day.
So, when my team had to work over the Fourth of July weekend, I thought a cupcake version of the ducks would be appropriate, and I’ve named them Duckcakes.
- 1 batch of Vanilla or Lemon Cupcakes
- 2 batches of Frosting (lemon worked well)
- Large Marshmallows, like for S’mores (1 for every 2 cupcakes)
- Donut Holes (1/cupcake)
- Yellow Food Coloring
- Dark Chocolate, small amount (for decorating)
- Orange flavored Starburst, or other chewy candy (1 for every 2 cupcakes)
- Cool cupcakes completely
- Cut large marshmallows on the bias
- Frost cupcakes and immediately add a donut hole and a marshmallow as pictured. You may want to add some extra frosting to secure these in place. Chill in the freezer.
- Cut the orange chews in half, and working like silly putty, form into beaks
- Microwave remaining frosting in 15 second intervals until liquidy, stirring between each interval. Add food coloring to desired color.
- Put a cookie sheet into the freezer, flat.
- Working quickly, dip the cupcake with the donut hole and marshmallow into the melted frosting, letting excess drip off. Add the beak to the donut hole lump. Put into the freezer on the cookie sheet (this was my idea and kept the beak from slipping). Work one at a time until finished.
- Melt chocolate, and pour into a ziploc bag or piping bag.
- Once the ducks have set (5 – 10 minutes), remove the tray from the freezer. Using the chocolate, decorate each duck with eyes as desired.
Army of Duckness