Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
(For a white cupcake recipe and photo click here)
8 T unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 C Dutch-processed cocoa
3/4 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking soda
3/4 t baking powder
2 large eggs
3/4 C sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t table salt
1/2 C sour cream
Place oven rack in lower-middle position, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
Combine first 3 ingredients in medium heatproof bowl. Melt ingredients using a double-boiler or a saucepan over simmering water. Whisk until smooth and combined. Set aside to cool, until just warm to the touch.
Whisk flour, baking soda and baking powder in small bowl to combine.
Whisk eggs in medium bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla, and salt and wisk until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture; whisk until fully combined. Alternate about 1/3 of flour mixture with the sour cream into chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. End with remaining flour mixture and whisk until batter is homogenous and thick.
Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.
Cool in pan on wire rack, about 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes.
Easy Vanilla Bean Buttercream
10 T unsalted butter, softened
1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
1 1/4 C confectioners' sugar
pinch table salt
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 T heavy cream
In standing mixer with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into butter and beat mixture at medium-high speed to combine, about 15 seconds. Add confectioners' sugar and salt; beat at medium-low until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds. Scrape bowl, add vanilla extract and heavy cream. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Scrape down bowl occasionally. Note: If using a handheld mixer, increase mixing times by at least 50%.