I love chocolate, but baked goods containing chocolate are often disappointing. The addition of flour, milk and eggs often means that the decadent richness of chocolate is gone, and the chocolate turns into just another flavoring. I feel that many “chocolate cakes” need to be named “chocolate *flavored* cakes” – The intensity of the chocolate experience is just too low.
These chocolate cupcakes are different. They are rich, moist and have an intense chocolate flavor. They are so good, that my family prefers to eat them without the frosting. They’re based on several chocolate cake recipes, tweaked so that the chocolate-to-flour ratio favors chocolate without ruining the recipe (I’ve ruined many recipes in the process, though).
It’s an easy recipe. Just a few ingredients, no need to separate the eggs, beat the egg whites and carefully fold them into a stubbornly thick batter (this is probably my least favorite baking-related chore), and you mix all the ingredients in the pot you used to melt the chocolate. This makes it a perfect recipe to prepare with your kids.
Easy Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe
Makes 18 cupcakes
♦ 200 grams (about 1 cup) unsalted butter, preferably European or European style
♦ 200 grams (about 2 bars) high quality bittersweet chocolate. Today I ran out of chocolate, so used just a small amount (about 50 grams or half a bar) Ghirardelli dark chocolate, and the rest was chocolate chips. But the better the chocolate, the better the cake will turn out.
♦ 1 cup sugar
♦ 1 cup all purpose flour, mixed with 1.5 teaspoon baking powder (make sure it’s fresh) and 1/4 teaspoon salt
♦ 4 eggs, lightly beaten
♦ 1/2 cup whole milk
♦ 1 package (8oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
♦ 1.5 cups powdered sugar
♦ 2-4 tablespoons chocolate syrup, depending on how chocolaty you want it
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners and lightly spray with oil.
In a large pan, over low heat, melt the butter, sugar and chocolate, stirring frequently. Chocolate burns quickly, so keep heat low and remove from heat as soon as melted.
Gradually add milk, flour and eggs to pan, mixing with a wooden spoon.
Spoon cupcake batter into muffin tin, filling lined muffin cups about 3/4 full.
Bake 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Avoid over baking – you want them to be moist. Start checking after 13 minutes.
Allow to cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack. Avoid the temptation to eat them warm. They’re much better once they’re completely cooled.
While cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting: beat the cream cheese until softened, using an electric mixer on medium. Slowly add the sugar and chocolate syrup, and beat for a couple more minutes, until creamy.
Frost the cupcakes, and serve. They keep well in the fridge for a few days – just warm in the micro for 5 seconds per cupcake before serving.
As I said, we actually prefer these cupcakes without the frosting: