Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Chocolate Lovers' Cupcake

Before I get on with this post I must take a moment to bow down in gratitude .... just for being alive, for the universe aligning itself to get me this recipe, and for being able to prepare and savour these magnificent cupcakes. A tad over-the-top? Make it, and then decide.

Knowing my love for baking, a friend lent me this book: The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook by Jennifer Graham. They're a Melbourne-based business, and currently supply to cafes and markets in that city. (Guess what's on my to-do list if ever I make it to Melbourne?) I'm so glad I got my hands on this book, because every single recipe I've tried from it has been fabulous, and this gorgeous chocolate cupcake tops them all. In fact, I'll even go so far as to say that it's the best cupcake I've ever had.

Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes
(Makes 12 regular cupcakes)
175 g butter
225 g dark cooking chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
3/4 cup almond meal
1 cup cocoa
5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 140C. Line muffin tray with cupcake cases.
2. Combine butter, chocolate and caster sugar in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Mix continuously with a flat-bottomed wooden spoon until melted and smooth. Let cool slightly.
3. Sift the almond meal and cocoa into a bowl. Add the chocolate mixture and beat for 1 minute on low speed till thoroughly combined.
4. The original recipe in the book was for 24 cupcakes which I've halved. It said to add the eggs two at a time, beating after each addition till just combined. I added the eggs in three additions of 2, 2 and then the last egg and vanilla extract together. Over-beating will make the cupcakes crack during baking.
5. Divide the batter between the cupcake cases. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or till a skewer inserted comes out clean*. Remove cupcakes from the tray and let cool fully on a wire rack before frosting.

* In the book, the cupcakes were baked in foil cases with a baking time of 30 minutes; it said that with paper cases, it'd take longer. In my oven, with paper cases, these took the entire 45 minutes. So please check on the cupcakes according to the cases you use.

Buttercream Frosting 
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 cups icing sugar, approx
1 tsp vanilla extract (or flavouring of choice)
2-3 tbsp milk or heavy cream

1. With electric beaters (or in a stand mixer), cream butter to get it smooth. Add sifted icing sugar a cup at a time, and work in gently before turning beaters on. Beat till all the sugar is incorporated.
2. Add vanilla extract and milk a little at a time just till you get the frosting to a soft peak consistency, so that it'll hold its shape for piping swirls. But don't worry even if you happen to add too much milk; you can always thicken the frosting back with more sugar.   
3. Place the frosting in a piping bag fitted with a large star or round nozzle and pipe the frosting on to the cupcakes. Top with sprinkles or flowers of your choice. 


Now I tried to be as careful as I could to not over-beat the cupcakes. The tops still ended up cracking. Not the end of the world. At first bite, they still tasted like heaven, and that was just without the buttercream. With it, it ascended to a whole new level. It really was an emotional moment for me, to have finally found the perfect chocolate cupcake.

I'm also a big believer in make-it-ahead-of-time food, that gives you plenty of breathing room to get dishes ready without rushing like crazy. This way, you enjoy the process as much as the result. That's why I was delighted to read that this cupcake keeps for 1 week, unfrosted. One more reason to love this recipe!

I have to say though, that if you like your cupcakes light and fluffy, this is not the cupcake for you. I cut one in half to illustrate:

This is at the other end of the spectrum from light and fluffy. Look how gorgeously gooey, how decadently dense it is! Pure bliss if you're as choco-crazy as I am. Again, I am so immensely glad I found this recipe. Definitely not your everyday thing, this is truly worthy of any special occasion.


  1. Oh Salom, first of all, congratulations on the new look of your blog. I absolutely love it!

    I do not think you have went over the top at all. There are times when we make/cook something and it turns out so well, that we just can't believe it! :)

    Thank you for sharing the recipe. The fact that it has no flour makes it even more tempting - no that I eat healthy all the time, but it will definitely make me feel less guilty. ;)


  2. @Neelu - thank you so much! I absolutely love the look too, it makes blogging a pleasure! Save this one for a special treat & then indulge, guilt-free :)

  3. No flour huh;-o!!!!

    Cupcakes look yummy:-)).

    I'm actually looking around for a good no eggs cake because of lent and all;-P

    1. Thanks so much! And for good eggless recipes, I can recommend, it's a friend's sister's blog.

    2. Anonymous12:24 PM

      Hey thanks for recommending that link. Will check it out.