I know these cupcakes have made their way round and round and round the blogging world. However, I made them again today. This time with Askinosie cocoa powder that was sent to me. Askinosie refined their cocoa into a finer powder, and asked me to give some feedback. Now, thats a job I would like to have all the time. I will gladly try chocolate any day of the week.
I often do not sift when baking. Okay, okay, I rarely sift. Rarely meaning never. When making the Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, I did not sift. It was extremely noticeable in the frosting. The flecks of cocoa stood right out. (This bothered the frosting perfectionist in me, although Jaos loved the look of the frosting, so what do I know?) Jaos and I both liked the texture it gave though. Kind of like a java chip frappuchino texture. I loved the coarser cocoa in my biscotti too. This time the cocoa was super fine. No need to sift and you could not tell one bit that I skipped it.
I have to say I really enjoyed the texture in the last cocoa, but this one is wicked good and no sifting necessary. Same great flavor, finer powder. I continue to love this cocoa. The smell of it, oh my, the smell, it is heavenly. I have tried it in multiple recipes now and it has not let me down. Thanks to Askinosie for letting me give the new and improved cocoa powder a try. I stand by my pledge to not go back to Hershey’s and Jaos agreed. Please go check out Askinosie, you will not regret it.
The Black Bottom Cupcakes are winner too. Love them, love them, love them. So good, they don’t need frosting. I say that being a total frosting junkie. They are perfect without it.
The Great Book of Chocolate, David Lebovitz
I snagged this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, so I feel the need to link there too.
Yield: 12 full-size or approximately 30 mini cupcakes
For the filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, regular or reduced fat, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup unflavored vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the filling: Beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in the chopped chocolate pieces. Set aside.
Make the cupcakes:
1. Adjust the rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F (175°C). Butter a 12-cup muffin tin, or line the tin with paper muffin cups.
2. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.
3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients, stirring until just smooth. Stir any longer and you will over mix the batter and end up with less-than-tender cupcakes.
4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Spoon a few tablespoons of the filling into the center of each cupcake, dividing the filling evenly. This will fill the cups almost completely, which is fine.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown and the cupcakes feel springy when gently pressed. These moist treats will keep well unrefrigerated for 2 to 3 days if stored in an airtight container.