Chocolate Cocoa Cupcakes

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On our little cupcake baking frenzy, we decided to make some chocolate cupcakes. We found a recipe in the The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook by Jennifer Graham, you can buy the recipe book here and check out their website and details on the official website. Their actual cupcakes are quite different to what we’ve decided to make, because we didn’t make the icing/toppings or add the little rock chocolates. However the cupcake itself is the same, apart from reducing the sugar but I’ve listed the entire recipe along with what you need to do for the decorations as they do look quite fancy.

Dinosaur Rock Cupcakes – Chocolate Birthday Cakes

Makes: 24

Ingredients
3 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons bicarb soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
1 cup hot water
1 cup cocoa
1 cup cold water
200g softened unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups castor sugar
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Icing sugar for dusting

Method
1. Preheat oven to 170C. Line two 12-hole muffin trays with chocolate-coloured cupcake papers

2. Sift together the flour, bicarb of soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together the coffee, hot water,and cocoa until you have a smooth paste. Add the cold water and whisk until evenly combined.

3. In a separate bowl, creaming the butter for 1-2 minutes. Add the castor sugar a third at a time, beating for 2 minutes after each addition. After the last addition, beat until the mixture is light and fluffy and the sugar has almost dissolved. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition or until mixture is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.

4. Add a quarter of the flour to the creamed mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Add a third of the cocoa mixture and beat until combined. Repeat this process twice more. Add the remaining quarter of the flour and beat until thoroughly combined, do not over-beat as this will toughen the mixture.

5. Spoon mixture into cupcake papers, filling each about three quarters full. To prevent the cupcakes cracking on top, allowing the mixture to sit in the cupcake papers for 20 minutes before baking. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted comes out clean.Remove cupcakes from the trays immediately and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before frosting.

6. If you prefer no icing, and for simplicity, just dust some icing sugar over cooled cupcakes. Looks like Christmas!

Decoration
1 quantity Vanilla Buttercream
Food Colouring: Apple-Green, Wilton’s Buttercup Yellow
24 Dinosaur/star candles
Chocolate Sprinkles
Chocolate Rocks

1. Divide the buttercream into two small bowls.Add a couple of drops of apple-green food colouring to one bowl and a couple of drops of yellow to the other. Mix to create even colours.

2. Frost half the cupcakes with the yellow buttercream, add half with the green. Working quickly, before the buttercream dries, top each cupcake with a candle, and decorate with sprinkles and chocolate rocks.

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Impressions

The recipe itself is quite nice, the cupcakes are as light as a butter cupcake can be. I found the taste of chocolate to be very mild, as it only uses cocoa powder. I couldn’t really taste the coffee either, I think it’s because our coffee granules have been oxygenated for too long and it has lost most of its coffee aroma. I think I’d prefer a chocolate cupcake to use actual melted chocolate in its recipe because you can really taste the difference when one uses cocoa or chocolate.

Other than that it’s a simple recipe, but if you went all out with decorations, I’m sure it would have tasted even better.

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