Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mini Dark Chocolate and Strawberry Cupcakes and Those Unavoidable Moments

minicupcakes2

You know those awkward moments in life?

You know what I mean. Those moments that are completely unavoidable, and as hard as you may try, somehow manage to find you.

Those times that you run in to someone you really can't stand because the last time you saw her she through a basketball at your face and insulted you for wearing too much cashmere? Or that time you were making fun of the name Geoff. Not the name itself, but the funny way it's spelled, and someone with that exact name, spelling and all, walks past you and decides that they're obligated to inform you that that's their name and that "It rocks." Ok, Geoff. Awkward.

Generally, I seek to avoid all awkward encounters by a) either staying inside and watching reruns of Grey's Anatomy or b) go out of my way to avoid people, even if it means taking an extra ten minute walk around a building.

The worst is when you run in to a professor you had in first year in the elevator and they decide that they're going to be nice and remember you.

Prof: Oh, Jordan! Good to see you? How have you been?

Jordan: (At this point I'm already regretting even waking up this morning) Oh hi, Prof. *mumbles*! I'm good. How are you?

Prof: Oh, you know. Same ol', same ol'. Are you enjoying your classes?

Jordan: Oh, here's my floor.

Run.

I'm not a stuck up person, I promise. I also promise that about 90% of the people I know, I won't avoid. But, you have to admit that there are those select few people from your life that you just don't want to see ever again. It'd be like if Regina George had never been completely changed as a person after being hit by that bus. Cady would have to avoid her for the rest of her life, running around corners, hiding by the "back building". You know how it is.

You know what's even more awkward?

Having to tell someone that their pants make them look like they belong at a rodeo. Which, I've never done.

I also would never share baked goods with someone I want to avoid. These Mini Dark Chocolate and Strawberry Cupcakes are no exception.





minicupcakes

Mini Dark Chocolate and Strawberry Cupcakes

Cupcakes: via La Mia Vita Dolce
Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cup caster (superfine granules) sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup whole milk
Strawberries
 
Frosting: adapted from Martha Stewart
Ingredients: 
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
 approx. 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
 
Garnish:
Ingredients:
Strawberries
1 or 2 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Grease your mini muffin pan.
2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well combined, set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well combined, scraping sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
4. Add the egg eggs one at a time, and beat until well combined after each addition, scraping sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
5. Add the sour cream and vanilla and continue to beat on low-medium speed until combined, scraping sides of bottom of bowl as needed.
6. Reduce speed to low, add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, and mixing until just incorporated after each.
7. Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full.
8. Cut strawberries into small pieces, with each piece approx. the size of a pea. Add 3 or 4 pieces of strawberry to each cup, pressing in to the batter slightly.
9. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 8-12 minutes.
10. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool for a few minutes.  Remove cupcakes from tins and return to wire racks to cool completely.
11. For frosting, begin by beating the butter on medium speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
12. Reduce the speed and add the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping bowl as needed. Once all additions have been added, beat for a fe minutes until pale and fluffy.
13. Add vanilla, and beat until frosting is smooth.
14. Melt semi-sweet chocolate in microwave safe bowl. Once melted, let cool for a few minutes. Add chocolate to the frosting and, using a spatula, slowly fold in, being sure to incorporate all the chocolate with the frosting.

Assembly:
1. Pipe frosting on to cupcakes with round piping tip once cupcakes are completely cooled.
2. Slice whole strawberries vertically in to slices and place a single slice on each cupcake.
3. Shave semi-sweet baking chocolate and sprinkle on top of each cupcake.
 
TIP: I find adding melted chocolate to a frosting instead of cocoa powder makes it much creamier and chocolatey. Plus, it makes it much more enjoyable to eat with a spoon.

Enjoy!

These are extremely satisfying! Let me know if you give them a try!

Until next time, happy baking!

-Jordan

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11 comments:

  1. GORGEOUS photos! I'm super awkward too, but I'm getting better about facing it head on. So far so good :P

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  2. Thank you! I'm working on it too, but sometimes it's better for both people if you avoid them!

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  3. These look incredibly delicious!!

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  4. Blimey! These look every bit delicious and pretty! Great photo's as well!

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  5. @Bediels - You don't even know! They were awesome!

    @Mia's Bakehouse - Thank you! Glad you like them!

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  6. This is gorgeous! I love your photos and I'm glad I followed you from the foodie blog roll.

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  7. Alisa - Thank you so much! I'm glad you found me too! :)

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  8. These look/sound incredible! I made some easy, yet so full of strawberry flavor cupcakes with strawberry buttercream for my post today actually, but these ..looks so good!

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  9. Mmmm, just what I was looking for! I love this and used it to make about 24 regular cupcakes. I added more than just a few bits of strawberry and also dumped about 1/4 or 1/3 cup more chocolate into the frosting.
    I got such good reviews for this and I'm keeping this close! My boyfriend was disappointed to find out I added fruit to the cupcake itself, but he put his bias aside and LOVED these. The fruit keeps the cupcake moist and is pleasant to bite into.

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  10. Jordan I can't believe how adorable your blog is! And this post is great... I've been looking for ideas for minis for this big party I am catering cupcakes to this weekend and this is a gorgeous idea.
    Keep up the good work!

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I love you all for reading! Your support means everything!

If you have any questions regarding recipes, posts, or use of photographs, whip up some buttercream, then send me an e-mail: kitchenkarate(AT)gmail(DOT)com. You shouldn't have to wait too long for a reply. I'm a computer fiend!

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