Chocolate Cupcakes

Today I made some chocolate cupcakes. Wait strike that. Almost every day I make some chocolate cupcakes. It took me many tries to find a recipe that I liked. It never happened. What I ended up doing is taking the bits and pieces of all the recipes I liked and making one that I LOVED. Some of you may like it, some not. My customer love it.

I haven’t posted in a while. Things have been up and down. Busy, Back to school colds, all valid excuses. But just that excuses. So as my penance, I am tackling a big fear. Posting a personal cupcake recipe. Why is this a big deal you ask? Many reasons. Maybe I’m not good enough. Maybe someone will think I’m an idiot, or my biggest fear- If they can make it themselves, why will buy them from me? I can only hope that I charm them and dazzle them and they are as pressed for time as I am. So here goes…. Chocolate Sin Cupcakes by VCVC.

2 1/2 Cups of Flour

1 1/2 stick of butter WITH salt (room temp. softened but you should not see your finger print in it when you pick it up, that is TOO soft.)

3/4 Cup of Brown sugar well packed

3/4 Cup granulated white sugar

2 Tbs. Valrhona (or any decent dutch process coco powder… yes it makes a difference)

1/2 tsp espresso powder

1 1/2 tsp Baking POWDER (don’t use baking soda it is NOT the same)

2 eggs (room temp)

1 1/4 cup of whole milk (room temp)

pinch of salt

Splash of vanilla

 

First get your ingredients organized… in a small bowl put your brown and white sugar. Turn your Oven to 350F

Flour.. now don’t go a willy nilly with the flour. I keep mine in big bins. Most people don’t. If you keep it in the bag or a deep container that is your best bet. Take a whisk and stick it in there… stir that flour up…loosen it. (I learned this at King Arthur School of Cooking in VT). Then Dip your 1Cup measuring cup that looks like this… a DRY measure

Then level it off with an icing spatula. That is the proper way to treat your flour. It will make a difference. You end up with too much flour if you don’t fluff it first and your cupcakes will come out dense.

So… back to the recipe– In the Large bowl you are going to put your Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, Cocoa Powder, Espresso Powder and salt.  Stir lightly with the whisk and set aside.

Now… pop your butter into the stand mixer… add beater blade and turn on to medium speed. Let it go for 90 sec or until light and fluffy. NO LUMPS.

Then add your mix of white and brown sugar… Turn mixer back onto medium until that is nice and smooth. This will take 2-3 min. You really can’t over do this part. You can’t over mix until you add the flour.  So the smoother you can get this, the better.

Add a splash of vanilla (the better the brand the better the taste. I use Prova or Neilsen Massey. But anything will do in a pinch. Turn that mixer back on until it is nice and combined and smooth. Smell it… I love that smell.

Add 1/2 of your flour mixture and 1/2 of your milk and turn the mixer on slowly. If you turn it on fast you will end up with a mess… it is fun, but generally someone has to clean it up and that always ends up being me. Im  not cleaning up after you, just saying. When that has gone for about 30 sec and is just combined, add the other 1/2 of the flour and milk and mix completely. (about 90 sec) Make sure you scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl for rogue butter and flour.

The batter will seem thin, that is ok. Grab an ice cream scoop and the pans with cupcake liners that I know you have prepared (We are making cupcakes after all). Fill your cupcake cups about 2/3 full. I use Sutton Gourmet paper liners because I love the designs and they never bleed thru. But anything will do really. I am just OCD like that. I hate having beautiful paper that no one can see because the grease has seeped thru.

So after your tin is all set stick it in your oven for about 17 min (give or take a min depending on your oven) at 350 and enjoy!

And there you have it… My Chocolate Sin Cupcake recipe… I would love to know what you all think!

 

 

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36 hours

Yeah. this TOTALLY happened!!!

I always have to giggle a little (because if I didn’t someone might get stabby-stabbed with a spatula) when people say, “oh you own your own business AND work from home? That must be so easy!” Uhhh sure. But in general people who work outside of the home get a day off, on that day off they do not have to go into their work place. Not so easy for me. I spend that “day off” cleaning my work place. I don’t often get to leave this space. When I do it tends to be to do errands and chores, often for the business. What it DOES allow me to do is work 36 hours straight in the span of 3 days and not waste time on a commute, still see my family and rock out to some killer music. A side effect of me having a week of working non-stop is my kids eating really odd meals and/or take out. Because the last thing I want to do when I take 20 min to eat dinner, is cook. I love to cook but when you bake that much in a short amount of time, the last thing you want to do is make chicken piccatta or chicken anything really. Cereal it is!!!

Side note- I am watching the Chew… when did Batali start going so bald?!?!?!

Ok back to the blog… ADD kicked in there for a moment. So why do I do what I do? I’ll tell you.  A little over a year ago I met a woman and her mother. They asked me about doing wedding cupcakes. I froze. I had promised myself I would NEVER do weddings because birthdays come every year, you can always get a better cake/ cupcakes next year if I don’t hit the mark right. But weddings come once in a lifetime if we are lucky, I don’t want to be the person who misses the mark and ruins a wedding for someone. But this woman and her mother were amazing. I could not say no. They had some amazing ideas and I really thought that it was in my skill set. So I agreed, and it worked. They were amazing clients and I was proud of what happened. This year, they came back for the mother’s anniversary!! 30 years, if only we could all be so lucky. I designed a small cake and some cupcakes. It was part of that crazy 36 hours. At one point I was so tired and the kitchen was SO hot, the cake started to slide so I trashed it and started over. I couldn’t give them something that was sub par. I was much happier with the 2nd cake, even if it was almost 3am.  I delivered the cupcakes the following day, to make sure they got there on time. I was hoping to get to see the client the next day, but I was busy meeting Dan Akroyd at the Patriots game (totally happened). But today I got something in the mail. It is what makes all the of the sweat and late nights worth it. Clients can be amazing. In this business, making people happy makes it all worth it. There are very few people like me who have made it rich in this business. We do it because we love it and because we love our clients. I truly believe every person should have a cupcake on their birthday and every small accomplishment should be celebrated. If we did that a little more often and showed those we care about how proud we are of them, the world would be a better place.

Finding the Happy in a Rough Time.

I am sorry I have not posted in FOREVER. Sometimes, life gets away from us. Recently I had some difficult decisions to help make that involved the health and care of a very close family member to me. Decisions that HAD to be made but that no one ever wants to make. That was so all consuming. Not only of my time, but of my energy and emotions. Many years ago, I learned that these things come up, and the best thing I could do was work thru them and “find my happy” along the way. So here are the HAPPY things that occurred in the storm of the past few weeks.

Punk and Bear started school!!! Wow 2nd and 4th grade!! How did that happen?

 

Happy #2- I became an AllRecipes All Star! I get to try out new recipes and review new products that are provided to me! I am so awesome I even get to use a disclaimer… So.. here is my first review for you all!! Disclaimer included!

Disclaimer- I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com. Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews on Legalized Frostitution. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Cathy. This blog was written in support of Al Fresco and their Chicken Sausages.

I made stuffed mushrooms the other night. I had never really worked with cleaning out big mushrooms before. All I had ever done was chop up little white mushrooms. So I went with the recipe Stuffed Portabellas on Allrecipes.com. I checked the fabulous Youtube to find out how to clean those slimy suckers. Not the easiest thing ever, but not difficult. I was happy to find out that all you needed was a spoon. I was grossed out to find that the underside of a portabella, those funny line things, those are called GILLS… Gross! I wish I had taken photos of the process, but I didn’t. I was distracted with the emotional stuff. But it was WICKED easy and not hard to clean up. And they were super tasty. I loved the sausages from Al Fresco. There was not an over powering taste from the seasoning inside the sausage. One thing I generally hate about sausages of any sort is that they can have a strong taste of Fennel. I did not get this from the Al Fresco sausages. So, that being said here is a final photo of dinner… fresh out of the oven. It was SUPER good. Even Goalie who is not a fan of the texture of mushrooms loved it. The only suggestion he had (and I agreed) was to dry them better before starting the recipe.  Photo time!

Happy #3. This one has been my saving grace, the bright light (other than Punk and Bear). I’m getting married!!!! Goalie proposed a while ago while we were in Costa Rica. It was amazing. Now after 2 years, I am actively planning the wedding. I am making calls and getting going! Even just 10 min of this can make me smile. I know, odd. It was a goal of ours to truly enjoy our engagement and planning process. I am looking forward to some of the DIY. Maybe I’ll even share some of it with you!!

Ok.. I showed you my happy… What is yours?