Cupcakes complete me. Their sprinkled little buttercream heads, twinkling away, make me giggle with glee and bring me back to my childhood days (not to be mistaken for childish days which, I admit, I still have). I'm reminded mostly of the tea parties I would host for my little friends where I would give them all a pair of gloves and a party dress to wear from my dress-up box, and most importantly would have them speak in English accents for better tea-party effect. After all, the best tea parties are British aren't they? Quite.
And so, the cupcake saga begins with a delicious recipe I reworked a touch for Chocolate Zucchini (Courgette for all you Brits) Cupcakes. I say saga because of all the drama that seems to go along with cupcakes (think icing sugar and buttercream frosting splattered all over counter-tops and wriggling fingers, not to mention haughty gossip sessions over cupcakes and tea...) But more importantly begins the official Haut Appetit search for the best cupcake!! My search begins with these little wonders...
Chocolate Zucchini/Courgette Cupcakes
60g 70% dark chocolate, melted and cooled
3 large eggs
2 Tblsp double cream (1/2 and 1/2 cream)
1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup light olive oil or vegetable oil
1 Tblsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp coffee grounds
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cup finely grated zucchini
2. In a large bowl, beat eggs with sugar for about 10 minutes or until thickened and pale. Blend oil, double cream, and cooled chocolate into the beaten egg mixture.
3. In a small bowl stir together flour, coffee grinds, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir flour mixture into egg mixture until just blended. Stir in zucchini. Spoon batter into 24 paper-lined or greased muffin cups, filling the cups 2/3 full.
4. Bake for 20 minutes or until fork or toothpick inserted in a cupcake's center comes out clean. Let cool in pans on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans; let cool completely. Spread with chocolate frosting.
Chocolate Butter Frosting
1 Tblsp boiling water
450g Royal icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
1/4 tsp coffee grounds
100g 70% chocolate melted and cooled
1 Tblsp double cream (1/2 and 1/2 cream)
Mix the cocoa to a paste with the boiling water. Add an extra touch of boiling water if the paste is too dry, then leave to cool. Melt the 70% chocolate in a heavy saucepan, then leave to cool. Beat the butter and double cream until smooth. Beat in the melted chocolate, coffee grinds, and cocoa paste. Gradually beat in the icing sugar until light and fluffy and gorgeous.
Its good to note that a touch of coffee grounds will bring out the chocolate flavour without leaving a coffee taste, which is why this was added to the recipe. I bought double chocolate frosting from the store as well for a lazy variety. Both are heavenly in their own way.
Chocolate Zucchini cupcakes kick ass... And so can your style!