Monday, April 12, 2010
Janet here: I'm flying mostly solo this week as Rachel juggles something like three papers and a test or something crazy like that. She'll weigh in if she's got time. That means I could pick whatever I wanted to focus on so I decided to kick it all off with dessert. There's nothing like a good dose of sugar to kick off the cooking week, don't you think?
I made these very tasty cupcakes for a dinner party after a friend's art opening. They're from Christie Matheson's Salty Sweets, a book dedicated to the delicious culinary magic that occurs when salty and sweet things meet. I went high end on the chocolate, eschewing my usual Toll House chocolate chips for Ghiradelli bittersweet. It was soooo worth it. The frosting was killer, as were the few chips that found their way to my mouth while baking. Hope you like these!
Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
makes about 12 regular size cupcakes
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) softened unsalted butter
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk (I used skim and it was fine)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl (or be like me, someone who has never sifted something in her life and it all still tastes just fine)
In a mixing bowl mix the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed until light-colored and creamy, about one minute. Beat in the egg for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix in the vanilla and beat on medium spped for one minute. Scrape down the bowl sides again.
Add in the flour mixture in three increments, alternating with the milk, ending with the flour. Mix until just combined each time.
Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full with bater. Bake for about 20 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a cake taster comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. When cool, frost each cupcake with chocolate frosting. Sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel or chopped salted peanuts or...., especially for kids, chopped up Reese's Peanut Butter cups or Reese's Pieces.
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3/4 teaspoon fine seat salt
Put the chocolate in a medium-size heatproof bowl.
Combine the cream, butter, corn syrup and salt in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until very hot but not boiling, about 4 minutes. Quickly pour the hot cream mixture over the chopped chocolate. Let it stand 5-7 minutes to melt the chocolate. Then whisk until smooth. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes and then beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. The frosting will keep for up to 3 days, refrigerated, in an an airtight container. Bring to room temperature before using.