DEVIL’S FOOD CUPCAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING March is birthday month. There are so many March birthdays in my family I feel like I’m indefinitely in the kitchen. What happens in July that gets everyone so rowdy? How do I get in on it?
Consequently, there are a lot of Pisces wondering around. Too many. It’s unhealthy. We’re infamous for our (over) sensitivity. Which can often be perceived as weak, or at the very least incredibly irritating.
My mother told me a story once. She works in a daycare and there was a boy in her class named Michel. Michel was very sensitive, and it often cause problems because if his feelings were hurt, he’d lash out at other children, say mean things, become aggressive. His hurt would erupt.
At the same time, his sensitivity was one of his most admirable qualities. It could be beautiful.
There was another child in the class, a Russian boy, who didn’t speak English and whose mother recently died. Michel could tell the Russian boy was sad. He didn’t know why and he couldn’t communicate with him. Still, he sat with the Russian boy, made funny faces until he laughed, played with him wordlessly. What he did was such a basic, yet uncommon, display of human kindness.
Sensitivity is usually a double-edge sword. It can make you a maniac or a sweetheart.
Anyway, I’m really sensitive, so that story made me cry.
…Cue smooth transition back to cupcakes.
These cupcakes use the same Devil’s Food Cupcake recipe used in my last blog, but have a cream cheese frosting. People go crazy for cream cheese. If you have to bake something, and you really want people to mouth orgasm, do something with cream cheese. It works every time. It’s a human truth.
Man Rating: Delicious!
(By the way, there’s nothing more endearing than a grown man with cupcake all over his face.)
DEVIL’S FOOD CUPCAKES 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder 3/4 cup hot water 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter 2 1/4 cups sugar 4 large eggs, room temperature 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line standard cupcake pans with paper liners. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and the sugar over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally to combine, until the butter is melted. Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium-low speed, 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is cooled. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed and beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture and beat until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, beating just until combined.
Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling them about ¾ of the way full. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 32 cupcakes
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar 2/3 cup cold heavy whipping cream
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat until smooth. Using the whisk attachment, gradually add the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is thick enough to pipe. Add more sugar or cream as needed to get the right consistency.
Makes 12 cupcakes
On the Bright Side: Imaginative and sensitive Compassionate and kind Selfless and unworldly Intuitive and sympathetic
On the Dark Side: Escapist and idealistic Secretive and vague Weak-willed and easily led
Likes: Solitude to dream in Mystery in all its guises Anything discarded to stay discarded The ridiculous To get ‘lost’
Dislikes: The obvious Being criticized Know-It-Alls Pedantry