I have to admit I'm a little disappointed with the Martha Stewart's Cupcakes cookbook. I've only tried two recipes, but the results have been merely mediocre. I'm a huge fan of her Cookies cookbook, from which I've probably made 20 different cookies that all came out fantastically, so I had high expectations. I thought Martha was like the gold standard for these types of things...
Maybe it's me. Maybe I don't love cupcakes as much as I love cookies. I don't know. But, so far, the only thing that has impressed me about the Cupcakes book has been this frosting recipe. I LOVE cream cheese frosting, and you know butter cream is ok, but I've never come across a frosting recipe like this. Cocoa powder AND tons of melted chocolate (ok, lots of butter, too.) But I like the idea of a melted-chocolate-based frosting. It tastes just like you'd think it would--very chocolate-y. It is definitely important to use your favorite high quality chocolate here.
I halved the following recipe when I made my chocolate mint cupcakes, because this will give you 5 cups of frosting. Which is fine---if you are feeding a small army. I also added pure mint extract as I was mixing in the chocolates at the end. I'd imagine any other complimentary flavor would work well here, too. Coconut? Almond? Mmmm. I haven't completely given up on Martha's cupcakes. Yet. I'm willing to give the Cookies and Cream Cheesecake cupcakes a try.
Dark Chocolate Frosting
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
- 2 1/4 cups unsalted butter (4 1/2 sticks), room temperature
- 3/4 cup powered sugar, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 pounds best-quality semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped (or use chips)
- Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water. Do not let any of the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat until chocolate is almost melted, then stir with a spatula until it is completely melted. Remove bowl from pan and let cool, stirring occasionally. Wait 30 minutes before using.
- Meanwhile, boil water. In a small bowl, combine cocoa and boiling water, stirring until the cocoa has dissolved.
- With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, mix butter, sugar and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add melted and cooled chocolate. Beat until combined. Beat in cocoa mixture and any extracts.
Yield: 5 cups