Thursday, March 12, 2015

vanilla cupcakes + sour cream chocolate ganache frosting

As said to me by my filipino gardener, "These cupcakes are good. Better than sex." For those imposter bloggers who throw around the term #foodporn willy nilly, don't listen to them anymore. This recipe is literally food porn. (it gave this man a foodgasm!)

In today's world, where the temptations of pretentious cronuts and yuza matcha pavlova ice cream sandwiches bombard us from twitter and instagram, sometimes it's nice to take a step back and reminisce about good ol' times. Those days when we happily nibbled on vanilla cupcakes and overly sweet chocolate frosting, not because they were even that good, but because that's all we knew. The only difference is this time it's going to taste good. I mean so good, you're going to find yourself having to make another batch cause you somehow ate a dozen cupcakes in the span of writing a short paragraph. 

Before we start the recipe, I want to tell you what I did wrong. It may seem as if the most efficient way to approach this recipe is to bake the cupcakes first, and while they are baking, you make the frosting. However, if you want to avoid the disastrous scenario where frosting as all over you because it's too runny, then you might want to rethink your strategy. I would suggest that you make the frosting first, and then transfer it to a piping bag to chill in the refrigerator. This way when the cupcakes are done baking, the frosting goes on cleanly and professionally. Just for the sake of clarity, some of the pictures show me making the frosting with my cupcakes cooling in the background. Yeah...I messed up a'ight. As always, I mess up so you don't have to. Now onto the recipe. 

1. The first step is to make powdered sugar. In a food processor, pulse together equal parts of granulated sugar and cornstarch. Make sure you get it super fine. If you have to scrape down the sides and pulse it several times that's absolutely fine. Sift it and reserve in a bowl. If you have store-bought powder/confectioner's/icing sugar, you can use that also. But, I'm not a lazy...I'm just joking...I just forgot to buy it at the store. Luckily it's so easy to make you would be a lazy idiot not to do it yourself. (i'm sorry. i let my emotions get the better part of my usually composed blogging)

2. In a small bowl, melt together the chocolate and the butter. I like to do this over a double boiler, which is just a pot of simmering water with the bowl of chocolate sitting on top. I think I have better control over how it melts if I use this method, although you could just zap it in the microwave if you pleased. Just remember when doing the latter method that you use a microwave safe bowl, and melt it on increments of 30 seconds so as to insure that you don't burn it. 

3. In a bowl that is one size larger than the size that you think you need so that you minimize the amount of powdered sugar that will inevitably be flung all over the table, combine the chocolate mixture with the sour cream and salt. Stir it until you cannot see anymore streaks of the cream. Using a hand mixer, slowly add the powdered sugar. Keep whisking it until all of the powdered sugar is in the frosting, and the frosting holds a peak. Taste for salt. I know that sounds like a weird thing to be doing for a dessert, but anything chocolate will not taste good if you don't have enough salt. Transfer it to a piping bag, or a ziploc bag (I've done it before), and chill in the fridge while we make the cakes. 

4. In a third bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar with a hand mixer until it becomes pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. And stir in the vanilla. 

5. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Try not to overmix it because that'll cause the cupcakes to become tight and dense. We want a light, fluffy cupcake. 

6. Divide the batter into a dozen cupcake molds. I used white cupcake baking liners and sprayed the inside with vegetable oil. Fill each tin 3/4 of the way up. Bake in a 350F degree oven for 18-20 minutes. I would check them around 18 minutes with a toothpick. If you poke the center of them with a toothpick, and it comes out clean you know they are done. Immediately transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool. 

7. The frosting is the most tedious, but fun part. If you're not much of a froster (like me), you can draft small children, nephews, brothers, even parents. Some parents never grow out of it. 

The best part about these mini morsels of paradise is the fact that they're so simple. It's just a vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting. Recently I've found life just passing by way too quickly. This is one of those recipes that you can just take an afternoon to slow down and make. I sat on the back porch with a cup of coffee and a couple cupcakes and just took a moment to appreciate the simple things life has offered me. It's amazing how much you can miss by just going through the motions. If slowing down and relaxing isn't a good enough answer for you let me rephrase. Frosting. More specifically, Sour Cream Chocolate Ganache Frosting. Enough said. 

Thank you to everyone who read and enjoyed this recipe. I really encourage all of you to give this one a try and spend an afternoon with your grandma making them. If you really really liked it please like and comment, you don't know how much I appreciate the simplest "thank you". Share this recipe to your friends so we can all be reminded of how delicious and underappreciated our old friend the cupcake is. I love you all. And as always, 



Sour Cream Chocolate Ganache Frosting

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups powdered sugar (1 cup granulated sugar + 1 cup cornstarch)

Vanilla Cupcake

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup flour, sieved
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

extra chocolate chips for garnish

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