Tested Recipe: German Chocolate Cupcakes

Source: Adapted from Martha Stewart Cupcakes
Difficulty: intermediate
Satisfaction: less than delicious 

I was meeting a good friend for my birthday lunch, and I thought what a great time to test a new recipe and share them with her. Truthfully, I was less than impressed with these cupcakes. They were a bit dry, despite adding some sour cream to the batter for moisture, None the less, she enjoyed them, and I brought the remainder to work the following day and they were eaten immediately. It is amazing how many people will eat a cupcake for breakfast! So here it is...
Recipe yields 24 standard cupcakes (I halved the recipe and came out with 8 standard and 24 mini cupcakes).
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for tins*
  • 2 cups cake flour, plus more for tins
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract*
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled*
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins and lightly flour. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Mix in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each. Beat in chocolate until combined. 
  3. Divide batter evenly among prepared cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes. Run a small offset spatula or knife around the edges to loosen; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature in airtight containers.
  4. To finish, use a serrated knife (and a gentle sawing motion) to split cupcakes in half horizontally. Spread a heaping tablespoon of frosting on top of each bottom half; replace top halves. Spread more frosting on top of each cupcake. Serve immediately.
Coconut Pecan Frosting: 
  • 3large egg yolks
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 2/3 cups (7 ounces) sweetened flaked coconut*
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped*
  1. Combine egg yolks, evaporated milk, and brown sugar in a saucepan. Add butter, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick, about 10 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl.
  2. Stir in vanilla, salt, coconut, and pecans. Let cool completely. Frosting can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 day; bring to room temperature before using.
Notes:-Trick to making butter "room temp" if you are in a rush...place in microwave for 30-40 secs @ 20% power (microwaves vary of course). This should give you a pretty good start to room temp.
-I always use Butter-Vanilla Lorann Bakery Emulsion in place of your standard vanilla extract as I find it to significantly add to the taste.

-If you do not have buttermilk, combine 1 tsp lemon juice with milk and let sit for a couple of minutes before adding to the recipe. It mimics buttermilk perfectly!
-Best way to melt chocolate: place in small micro safe bowl and heat for roughly 60 secs until glossy on top. Let set a minute, then mix together. Save yourself a pan!
-my frosting was not as think and chunky as I had hoped, so I would add a little extra coconut and pecans-maybe 1/4 cup each. It will hold up better that way.
-I added 1/4 cup (1/2 cup had I made the full recipe) sour cream to the cupcake recipe in hopes to make it more moist. However, this didn't do the trick; you may try adding up to 1 cup (1/2 cup for 1/2 recipe), or if you like a dryer cake, make it as it is! Either way, there is something magical about layers of cupcake sandwich'd with frosting. Happy baking...happier eating!

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