Anyway, because it’s a celebration day, and because I have the kitchen for myself, that implies baking your own cake … or cakes for that matter. Because why have one cake when you can have several?
This is why I settle for cupcakes. Chocolate ones, of course (there is no such thing as too much chocolate!).
There are several suggestions regarding the birth of the cupcake. While it is famous for being an American treat, it seems cupcakes may have originated in 18th century England. Legend, or rather history, has it that wealthy people, instead of discarding old tableware and tea sets, would pass it on to their servants who, in turn, would use the tea cups to bakes in them. It turns out it was just the right portion for one person. Eventually, cup cakes made their way back “upstairs.” I suppose the now famous “mug cake” can easily be considered a distant relative.
I decided to put a slight twist on my friend Cat’s recipe. Cat has a cupcake shop in here in Paris, called Sugar Daze. She does what I consider the best cupcakes in Paris. I’m not saying this because I’m visiting the shop as often as I can, but because her cupcakes truly are delicious. Heck, even my mam, who has virtually no sweet tooth whatsoever, loved them. That’s telling you something!
Anyway, I chose her recipe because obviously it’s good. But I tweaked it because I can never do as I’m told. I tweaked it because, it’s fun to do. I tweaked it because it’s my birthday (there, I said it!) and I wanted to.
- 90g/3.1 oz. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 210g/7.4 oz. plain flour
- 150g/5.3 caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 125ml vegetable oil
- 250ml buttermilk (or plain milk with a few drops lemon juice – let sit for 5-10 minutes before using)
- 125ml hot coffee
- 125ml coffee liqueur (I used Kalhua)
For the frosting:
- 250g/8.8 oz. butter, at room temperature
- 250g/8.8 oz. icing sugar
- 125g/4.4 oz. fresh raspberries, washed and dried
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F and line your tins with cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt.
Crack the eggs in and mix well.
Add the wet ingredients one by one, mixing well before adding the next one. Add the coffee last.
Beat for another few minutes.
Fill your tins no more than ⅔ (I like using an ice cream scoop to ensure even distribution).
Bake for 12-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
For the frosting
Take the butter out of the fridge 15 to 30 minutes before using so it is soft enough.
In a bowl, beat the butter, icing sugar and raspberries until creamy, adding sugar or milk to achieve the right consistency. Note: using fresh raspberries, your frosting might remain a little grainy
Frost your cupcakes using a spatula or piping bag.
Cat says cupcakes can be stored in an air-tight container outside the fridge for up to 72hrs, or frozen for up to a month… but seriously, who keeps cupcakes lying around for so long?