Here I am with another one of my bakes…seem to be doing a lot of that lately, aren’t i? 😉 Well no one’s ever accused me of not having a sweet tooth. Also, I’ve been unwilling to slog too much in the kitchen these past few days; not that baking doesn’t even slogging, but at least I can do things at an easier pace.
Now, I’m not really a cupcake person. I like cupcakes, and muffins, and scones, but I find it rather cumbersome to bake, since I use a convection microwave and have to bake in batches! Cakes are easier since they’re done in one go. However, it’s no secret that cupcakes are often easiest to bake. The other day a dear friend of mine got me some extracts and essences from the UK, and I’d been dying to experiment. Normally, I’m not a fan of mint, except on very rare occasions, and usually with desserts. I’m happy to report though, that I absolutely loved this one!
I promptly decide to use this to make something easy, and quick; what better than Chocolate Mint Cupcakes? This is also the very first time that I made Buttercream frosting for my cuppies.
I seldom make cupcakes, and when I do, I don’t frost them, ever. Unless I have ganache or whipped cream, and then too, very, very rarely load the cuppies anymore. This time however, I wanted to bring out the beautiful minty flavour in these cupcakes.
As you can see, I did not pipe the buttercream; I worked in an AC room the entire day and even then the buttercream was getting soft the minute I brought it out of the fridge. (Also, my piping skills suck 😛 ) and so I decided to lather the frosting and added some chocolate shavings on top.. 🙂 I am happy to report, my mint-resistant parents absolutely LOVED THIS! 😀 yay me!
And the best part? The cuppies were soooooo soft and moist!!! It did take me a little longer to bake than the time called for, probably because I added too much boiling water 😛 but yes, these were the softest cupcakes I’ve made.
Recipe adapted from Handle the Heat website
For the Cupcakes:
- Granulated sugar – 1 cup + 1 tbsp (204 gms)
- All-purpose flour – 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp (100 gm)
- Unsweetened cocoa powder – 7 tbsp, sifted
- Baking powder – 3/4 tsp
- Baking soda – 3/4 tsp
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
- Eggs – 1 large or 2 small
- Milk – 1/2 cup
- Veg oil – 1/4 cup
- Peppermint extract – 1/2 tsp
- Vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp
- Boiling water – 1/2 cup (you may reduce down to 1/4 cup; test your batter consistency first)
For the Frosting:
- Confectioner’s/Icing sugar – 2 cups, sifted (128 gm)
- Salted Butter – 8 tbsp (I used a 100 gm pack)
- Heavy cream – 3 tbsp (I used Amul cream, discarded the whey and used the thicker part)
- Vanilla extract – 2 tsp
- Peppermint extract – 1/2 tsp
- Green food colour – few drops (I had to used 12 drops to achieve this shade. I’ve used Dr.Oetker’s green gel colour)
- Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F, and keep 2 standard muffin trays ready with liners (you may double the liners as the batter is thin, I didn’t have to)
- Combine granulated sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl.
- In another bowl, or liquid measuring cup, combine oil, milk, eggs, vanilla and peppermint extract.
- Use an electric hand-beater to combine them well, and slowly pour into dry ingredients.
- Using the same electric hand-beater, whisk for 30 seconds, before scrapping down the sides and whisking it again for 1 to 2 minutes until a smooth batter comes together. The batter will be thick.
- To this, add the boiling water, half first, stir and then add the rest or as much as you need.
- Fill cupcake trays three-fourths full with batter, and bake for 18 to 20 mins, or until tops are firm and cake tester comes out mostly clean. (a few crumbs are fine).
- Let them cool completely on a wire rack, and then frost with buttercream, and decorate with chocolate shavings.
Mint Buttercream Frosting:
- Beat the icing sugar with the butter (cubed and room temperature) until it resembles coarse sand, or crumbs. (will take about 1 min).
- Add the cream, vanilla and peppermint extract and green food colour, beating until smooth. (about 3 mins)
- Refrigerate until use.
- Pipe into bags and frost cupcakes or use a knife/spatula to spread it on cupcakes.