We had four desserts at the potluck: dark chocolate brownies, no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies, chocolate cupcakes with espresso buttercream frosting, and pound cake with chocolate sauce. My friends must know about my thing for chocolate.
Here is the recipe for the cupcakes.
Easiest Chocolate Cake makes 32 cupcakes
Recipe found in Sarah Magid’s Organic and Chic cookbook and here
2 1/4 cups organic all-purpose flour 2 cups organic cane sugar 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 2 teaspoons baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt1 tablespoon vanilla extract 2/3 cup organic canola oil 2 teaspoons organic white distilled vinegar2 cups cold water
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners, set aside
2. In a large bowl, place sifter on top and add dry ingredients. (Or you can sift each ingredient and mix together in the large bowl).
3. In a medium bowl, mix all wet ingredients together.
4. Slowly add wet ingredients to dry, using a whisk to incorporate.
5. Using a ladle or spoon, pour batter into cupcake liners, filling batter 2/3 up in each liner.
6. Bake for 25 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool before frosting.
Espresso Whipped Buttercream
Makes 3 1/2 cups
2 sticks unsalted organic butter 1 cup organic cane sugar 1 cup organic whole milk 1/4 cup sifted organic all purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons strong espresso (either from a shot or from powdered espresso)
1. In small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of the milk and flour, whisk until there are no lumps, then slowly add remaining 3/4 cup milk. Over medium-high heat, whisk frequently until mixture is thick and bubbling, remove from heat. Keep stirring and let cool to room temperature. (You can cheat by flash chilling in the freezer).
2. In standing mixer, add softened butter and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Then add sugar and beat for 3 more minutes until mixture is light and thick.
3. Add cooled milk/flour mixture, and beat for 4-5 minutes until it is thickened and creamy.
4. With mixer on low speed, add espresso, and whip at high speed for 1 minute.
5. Frost cupcakes, or cover with plastic wrap and keep in refrigerator up to 3 days. If refrigerated, make sure it comes to almost room temperature then re-beat for fluffy texture.
Good news! This recipe can be adapted to those of us who don't have organic cane sugar laying around - just use regular flour, sugar, and oil. Either way, the cupcakes and espresso frosting taste like heaven. This is the second time in a month that I have had the extreme pleasure of eating these delights from Mary's kitchen, and I'm afraid that I will never allow her to bring any other dessert to a potluck. I won't judge you if you make a batch for me, just to see how they compare to Mary's. I may have to eat six or seven of yours just so I can give a well-informed statement about the quality of your cupcakes and buttercream frosting. And then take a few home to see what Mr. rhymeswithsmile thinks of them too. I'm just saying. I want to be fair to you.