Ever wish life played out like your favorite witty movie script? Not the actual story line so much, but just the well orchestrated brilliant banter and the appearance of being able to speak ones mind in non-offensive yet brutally honest, well thought out manner. As opposed to sitting around after an encounter thinking, “geez, if only I’d thought to say THAT at the time…” If you can’t tell, I’m sitting on the couch on a Friday night watching movies. The brilliant performance by Ellen Page that is Juno happens to be on the idiot box and I find myself wishing half the things that came to her (er, the script writers, anyway) came to me.
Juno: Hey, Dad.
Mac: Hey, big puffy version of June bug. Where you been?
Juno: Oh, just out dealing with things way beyond my maturity level.
OK, enough of that…on to the real reason for this blog…request #3 AKA co-worker birthday cupcakes #2.
I love this particular request because of the manner in which it was made AND because it got me to make something I’ve never made before. Yesterday was my co-worker’s birthday. I’ll call him Dan because, well, that’s his name. A week or so ago I asked Dan what he wanted for his office birthday party decadence of choice. After some back and forth with ideas, Dan settled on the following request: “definitely cupcakes with “ridges” [in the frosting] and chilled rather than room temp. the darker the chocolate the better. mint sounds great, I love dark chocolate and mint, never thought of that for a cupcake….” Never have I had such a specifically vague request! I loved it and set forth to create.
“The darker the chocolate the better” and “I love dark chocolate and mint” led to this purchase:
I started with a recipe for mint chocolate cupcakes from www.simplyrecipes.com and chopped up some of those Andes mints to add to the batter.
I couldn’t find a dark chocolate mint frosting recipe that didn’t get terrible reviews, so I used a plain dark chocolate frosting recipe and substituted mint extract for the vanilla. Sadly, my favorite ridge-making icing tip met an untimely demise at the
hands teeth of the garbage disposal. Dan still got his ridges, but they weren’t the ridges I was going for.
I confess that I don’t particularly like dark chocolate. I know, I know. As chocolate goes, it’s good for you, yada yada. I like red wine…I think that’s good enough as “healthy” vices go. Since I don’t love dark chocolate, I didn’t taste these, but my co-workers didn’t seem offended by them, so I’m going to declare request #3 a success. Got an idea for the next request? Bring it! Oh, and if you make these, I can promise you they’ll make your whole house smell like a Thin Mint!!
Chocolate Mint Cupcakes
(adapted as above from www.simplyrecipes.com)
8 Tbsp (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons mint extract
1/2 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a muffin tin by lining it with cupcake liners. Use a double boiler or add an inch or two of water to a medium sized saucepan and place a metal bowl over it, bringing the water to a simmer. Add butter (cut into chunks), chocolate, cocoa to the bowl. As the butter and chocolate melt, whisk until the ingredients are well combined and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to touch.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
In a large bowl (can use a mixer), beat the eggs. Add the salt, the sugar, the mint extract and beat until well combined. Slowly add in the chocolate butter mixture and beat until combined.
Add in half of the sifted flour mixture, mix to combine. Mix in the sour cream. Mix in the remaining flour mixture.
Spoon the batter evenly into the lined muffin cups. Place in oven in middle rack. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until tops spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let cool in muffin tin on a rack for 15 minutes. Then gently remove cupcakes from the tin and let cool completely before frosting.
Makes 12 cupcakes.
Dark Chocolate Frosting
(adapted from www.beantownbaker.com)
6 Tbsp butter (I used unsalted)
2 tsp vanilla extract (I used mint)
3 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1/3 cup milk (I didn’t use that much)
Cream butter and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix. Add milk to reach desired consistency. **NOTE: this recipe says it’s enough for 24 cupcakes so I halved it for my 12. It was BARELY enough for piping 12 cupcakes, so if you’re piping, make extra!!