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Three weeks of visiting with Haddy, Luke the Dog, Adopamop, Pumpkin and Turnip, have taught me an important lesson. I have learned that 4.5 million accumulated drops of happiness can be matched in sorrow the instant you have to say goodbye.
Now, don’t fret. I have also learned that: chocolate cupcakes slathered with a delightful chocolate frosting can do a lot to make one feel better.
And also: French kids do, indeed, like icing.
This was a theory put to the test when Pumpkin and Turnip arrived. Because their mother, Isa the French Mermaid, told us that: French kids don’t like icing. That she’d been an eye witness to children rejecting icing in her homeland. That French children would wave it away, saying, “non! Je déteste le icing! Také vous le icing away!”
When I heard that, I said: ALL kids like icing. It is law. And I set about proving myself right.
And guess what, France? French kids do like icing. Like, they’d bathe in it if they could. Pumpkin loved the classic buttercream icing I slathered all over a cake for her. And Turnip? She went totally bonkers for a test-version of this frosting. So now I can only assume that French people don’t know how to make proper icing, and that is why French kids reject it in their own country.
Anyhoo, these cupcakes are from the Joy of Baking website. You go to that site, right? Because you should. It’s a great site for tested, fool-proof recipes. I often use it for referencing – if something seems… not right in a recipe. I head right on over to the Joy of Baking site to see what they say. It’s like asking your mother. Except the Joy of Baking people won’t question your decision to wear boot-cut denim. (Hey… do you think the French government has blocked the Joy of Baking website from its people? So they won’t find out about buttercream?) Oh, and just so you know, these cupcakes are chocolatey and moist. Spot on tasty, if you ask me.
The frosting for these cupcakes is MONEY. Or perhaps I should say, EUROS. It is awesome. It isn’t a piping sort of frosting, so put your Wilton 1M tip away. This is a frosting for slathering. For licking off your fingers. It is sweet, but not cloying. And it’s smooth. Light, not heavy. I think it’s my favourite chocolate frosting ever. I adapted it from a recipe in Rosie Beaucoup‘s collection. I adjusted it so you’d have enough for about a dozen cupcakes – because that’s what you’ll have if you use the Joy of Baking cupcake recipe I am recommending. Also, the original frosting recipe had shortening in it. But I knew you would FREAK OUT, so I swapped it out for butter. I was tempted to leave the shortening in just to annoy you haters, but I resisted. Because frosting shouldn’t be used as a weapon. Nope, not ever. Frosting is for peace.
And also, I really like butter.
Oh, and you. I really like you.
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Yield 12-16 cupcakes – I get 12 lovely, floofy cupcakes, the original recipe states a yield of 16 – your yield will depend on the size of your muffin tins.
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup boiling hot water
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line 12-16 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a small bowl, combine the boiling hot water and the cocoa powder, whisking until smooth. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
In another small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Add the flour mixture and beat only until just incorporated. Then mix in the cooled cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth and fully incorporated.
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Chocolate Frosting – adapted from a recipe found in Rosie Beaucoup’s family collection, original source unknown – print and frost
Yields enough to frost about 12 cupcakes – this is a soft, spreadable frosting, not suitable for piping. Double the recipe to frost a small cake.
- 1 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 ounces unsweetened, dark or semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 tablespoons butter
Place the sifted icing sugar, salt, heavy cream and vanilla in the bowl of your stand mixer.
Melt the butter and chocolate in a stainless steel bowl placed over a pot of simmering water, stirring until completely melted and smooth. Add the melted chocolate and butter to the ingredients waiting in the bowl of the stand mixer. Mix on low speed at first, and then increase speed to medium and beat until well combined.
Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting onto cupcakes.