The interesting thing about this recipe is it's basically a build your own chocolate cupcake. You pick the chocolate you like best, the frosting you're craving, and any add-ins you want. In the end I had a moist chocolaty cupcake with a pile of chocolate cream cheese frosting on top. And they were pretty! Here's what I learned:
- I used Trader Joes cocoa powder.
- Skipped the coffee. Next time I will add it for comparison.
- Chose a Ghirardelli semi sweet chocolate bar.
- I baked them for 23 minutes and my oven tends to run hot.
- Used the recommended chocolate cream cheese frosting recipe. Next time I will try cookies and cream. And the next time I will try vanilla bean. I guess there will be a lot of next times.
- Kept them in the fridge but definitely let them sit out a bit before eating.
I will say these buggers are delicious. I'm not sure I would have given them the "Ultimate" title. Are they worth making? Absolutely. Will I make them again? Obviously. But I think I put these cupcakes a bit ahead in the "Ultimate" race. And calling something "Ultimate" seems hard to do unless it's darn near perfect.
The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes
By: Cupcake Project
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 ounces of your favorite chocolate (no white chocolate or candy melts). Real chocolate people!
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil.
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup room temperature water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl mix butter and sugar until combined (looks like wet sand). Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and let it cool until you can touch it. Add melted chocolate to the butter and sugar mixture and stir. Mix in eggs and egg yolks one at a time until combined. Mix in oil, vanilla, and sour cream.
In a separate bowl sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three steps, mixing after each step until combined. Mix in water.
Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full and bake. They recommend checking them at 18 minutes. If they aren't ready check again in 3 minutes. Mine took the additional 3 minutes plus which is rare with my oven. Remove from pan immediately and let cool before frosting.
I chose Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting found here.