Sunday, February 27, 2011

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

In order to get over my frosting craving, I decided to make cupcakes.  Vanilla bean cupcakes to be exact.  Anything vanilla bean is Jeff's favorite so I knew he would help eat these, which he normally doesn't eat very many sweets. 

My cupcakes are a little darker than normal because of the coconut sugar, it has a brown sugar color versus the pretty white color of regular granulated sugar.  These cupcakes are really good, and the frosting is super good.  The addition of half and half to the frosting makes it really nice and fluffy.  

makes 24 cupcakes
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar  coconut sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together milk, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds.  Set aside.
In a stand mixer, fit with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  This may take 3 to 5 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is well incorporated.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition.  If the batter begins to looks a bit curdled, that’s alright.
with the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the vanilla milk mixture in three batches, starting and ending with the flour.  When the batter is almost combined, stop the mixer and finish mixing the batter with a spatula, making sure that any flour bits at the bottom of the bowl are well incorporated.
Divide into the lined cupcake pan and bake for 25 minutes (it took mine only like 15-18 minutes to bake, so make sure to keep an eye on them) or until golden and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely before frosting.
The Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes or one 8-inch layer cake
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup heavy cream ( used less than this amount)
1/3 cup Ovaltine 1/4 cup hot chocolate mix
Cream together butter, cocoa powder and salt. Butter mixture will be very thick. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add powdered sugar. Turn mixer on low and mix in powdered sugar while adding milk and vanilla extract. As the sugar incorporates, raise the speed of the mixer to beat the frosting. Beat until smooth. In a 1-cup measuring glass, stir together heavy cream and Ovaltine. Turn mixer speed to medium and pour cream mixture into frosting in a slow, steady stream, until you’ve reached your desired consistency.  You may not need the full amount of Ovaltine and cream.  Spread or pipe onto cupcakes. 

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