So the weather here is a merry 40°C (104°F) and I must confess that I’m not the nicest person to be around at these temperatures. Unless there’s air-conditioning and/or unlimited Mojitos. Since only one of these is available to me and not all the time (thank you, voltage fluctuations!), I’ve decided that taking on elaborate meals or desserts is best left for more hospitable times. Basically, anything involving me being in the kitchen for more than 15 minutes at a time could spell disaster for Hubs & my domestic happiness.
Yesterday, I was leafing through my copy of the The Big Book of Treats (by Pooja Dhingra) looking for something simple yet delicious and of course, containing chocolate and these cupcakes just called out to me. I had all the ingredients on hand, the recipe looked easy enough and it promised a small pile of mini cupcakes. I was set! I’m a thorough cook, in the sense that I always like to look at 4 or 5 recipes for something before I make it but I almost never use a recipe as is, usually instinctively adapting it to my tastes. This is both good and bad, but has worked really well for me so far, so I’m going to stick with it!
These cupcakes are super moist and very, very light making them the perfect snack but I must warn you – I had 8 of these and they were ALL gone within the hour. You can serve these plain & warm from the oven but they’re also delicious frosted & cold! Hubs & I aren’t the biggest fans of frosting, so I didn’t bother making any but you should! I’ve linked up some simple frosting recipes in the Adaptations & Hacks section!
BASIC CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
Adapted from The Big Book of Treats by Pooja Dhingra
Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 15-18 mins | Makes 8 cupcakes*
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/ 350°F
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together 100g butter and ½ cup dark brown sugar till smooth and fluffy
- Break in 2 eggs, whisking well after each egg till combined
- Add 2 tbsp whole milk and 1 tbsp freshly brewed coffee (stronger the brew, stronger the flavour) and mix well
- Sift together 1/3 cup flour, 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa, 1 tsp baking powder into the wet ingredients and combine gently with a spatula till well mixed
- Line a cupcake tin with liners or grease with soft butter/olive oil. (I use silicone moulds, so I totally skipped this step.) Fill with batter till ¾th full
- Bake for 15-18 minutes and check for doneness with a toothpick. Mine were perfect at 17 minutes!
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool and then frost as you like!
*I really, really did try to make an even number like half or a whole dozen but this was a recipe for 20 mini cupcakes and 8 are all I got out of them! Also, I may or may not have tried using a piping bag for the first time and gotten batter all over my kitchen counter and apron before giving up and using my scoop to do the job.
ADAPTATIONS & HACKS
- Add ¼ cup chocolate chips to the final batter and sprinkle on a few more before baking for chocolate chip cupcakes
- Frost these for added indulgence – chocolate ganache or buttercream, mint buttercream & nutella buttercream are all favourites (The linked recipe is for a Vanilla buttercream but you can add any flavouring of your choice!)
- If you don’t have whole milk, no worries, use skim. Whole milk just makes it a little bit richer.
- Feel free to skip the brewed coffee. If you do, increase the milk to 3 tbsp