Cupcakes, anyone?

Eggless dark chocolate cupcakes with chocolate glaze

All ready to be served

I don’t know what it is about cupcakes that’s sparked off this whole craze. Can you imagine that there are stores in the city retailing just that, cupcakes! Maybe I’m being cynical, but I don’t really get swept off my feet by cupcakes and if its got a truckload of icing and sprinkles then rest assured I’m going to stay firmly rooted to where I am ๐Ÿ˜‰ but give me a nice, chunky slice of chocolate cake or even a sponge cake with fresh cream and fruit, now you’ve got me baby!

But sometimes when I get orders from friends for cupcakes, it is hard to say no especially when all that’s stopping you is your own mind-block against eating them. Anyway, even the cupcakes aren’t spared when it comes to my experimental nature – whole wheat flour instead of all purpose, honey for sugar, a dusting of cinnamon, a quick grate of orange zest… name it and my cupcake tin has seen batters of all kinds that puff up beautifully to form some yummy delights. Given my (and mom’s) egg allergy, I try as much as I can to avoid eggs in baking, and if you’re raising your eyebrows now let me tell you  that I’ve come out with some fantastic results, so much so that most of the orders I get these days are for eggless goodies!

Caution: This recipe is purely experimental and even though I’ve made it half a dozen times now, I think I’m still on the way to perfection. Meanwhile, this is what I do for delicious, chocolatey cupcakes and what works for me is the fact that there’s dark chocolate in these and that they’re not too sweet (you could adjust the amount of sugar you want accordingly).

This recipe makes about 12 medium size cupcakes or 8-10 big ones

2 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour (maida)
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of baking powder
100 gms of dark cooking chocolate, melted
3/4 cup of curd
1/3 cup of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar ( or lesser, if you prefer) 
1 tsp of vanilla essence
More butter for greasing, I followed Nigella Lawson’s tip and used the paper that’s used to wrap the butter to grease the tin

Sift the flour, baking soda and powder together. Keep this aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until it is fluffy. Add the vanilla essence and curd to this and mix well. Now add the melted chocolate to this and mix again. Next, add the flour and stir well to avoid any lumps. You could also use and electric beater to mix the batter if you’re short of time.
Ladle equal amounts of batter into a greased cupcake tin and bake for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cupcake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely before frosting/glazing them.

The dark chocolate cupcakes cooling on the table

I even made some plain, good ol’ vanilla cupcakes using the same recipe, but minus the chocolate and an extra 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence. 

Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, what’s your pick?

Meanwhile, here’s what you’ll need for the chocolate glaze:

50 gms of dark cooking chocolate
1 1/2 tbsp of unsalted butter
1/4 cup of boiling water
2-3 tbsp of powdered sugar

Melt the dark chocolate with the butter with some milk in the microwave or over a double boiler. Slowly add in the sugar and the boiling water and stir continuously until it thickens and it all comes together. Allow this to cool down a little and glaze the cupcakes.I added some coloured sprinkles for fun, but you could leave them plain or let your imagination run wild – almond flakes, walnuts, chocolate chips, finely chopped pieces of marshmallows and the works!

The vanilla cupcakes with the glaze and some chocolate sprinkles

* Be a little innovative with the batter – add some nuts, fruits or even orange zest to create some delish flavours.
* If you’re making the cupcakes for adults, add a shot of alcohol in the glaze. I’ve tried it with vodka, whiskey and even Bailey’s Irish Cream but what works best is a 20 ml shot of dark rum. Yum yum!
* If you’re looking for a quick option for the glaze, then just spread a thin layer of marmalade or jam. Think dark chocolate cupcakes with orange marmalade glaze, heaven ๐Ÿ˜€

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