I think it’s safe to say I can be described as a very bubbly person. I’ve also been described as crazy, but never mind that.
I often get asked what I am on that I manage to be so happy (say no to drugs!) – the answer is nothing, though I’m sure chocolate helps.
While life is not always tea parties and rainbows, I simply prefer to make the effort to stay positive and will encourage you to do the same.
I say make the effort because it isn’t easy to keep a smile on your face when a ninja army of mosquitoes has managed to attack the entire lower half of your body, or Taylor Swift has infiltrated your head and stolen 4 of your 7 hours of nightly sleep, you’ve stumped your toe for the second time today, or it’s Monday.. For the whole day.
But in the grand scheme of things, isn’t life good? In fact, it’s pretty great! So let’s embrace that and remember to enjoy.
(If only I was into selfies, I would insert cheesy grin here)
Have some rumpunch.
Less sleep than normal?
Treat yourself to a store bought coffee over homemade.
Ice and icecream
You’ve made it through Monday?
Skip the gym and indulge in a marathon of Law and Order SVU.
It’s your friend’s birthday and she’s being forced to participate in strenuous group excercise?!
Make a ton of cupcakes for her to share with the team!
Birthdays are always worth celebrating but some situations aren’t ideal for a full blown multi-layered cake. Cupcakes can be just as fancy but are much easier to transport as well as distribute (says the girl who has arrived to a party with 3 layers of cake In place of a 3 layered cake).
This recipe is the mini version of Sweetapolita‘s Choco Choco Birthday Cake. Her recipes are divine and it was a fun task doing the cupcake version.
So, whether it’s your birthday, your friend’s birthday or some-random-you’re-not-even-sure-how-you’re-friends-with-on-facebook’s birthday, make these cupcakes to share. Do it. Only positive things can come out of it!
Choco Choco Birthday Cupcakes very slightly adapted from Sweetapolita
Makes approx. 36 cupcakes
145 grams semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
260 grams unsalted butter, softened
315 grams cake flour* see notes
24 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
200 grams granulated sugar
220 grams light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
500 millilitres crème fraiche
Preheat oven to 200°C (392°F) and distribute 3 racks in your oven evenly (if your oven is small, you may need to do these in batches. Or, eat the remaining batter instead) Line your cupcake tins with plain wrappers, or if you’re feeling particularly enthusiastic, butter and “flour” them with cocoa powder (I was too lazy for this method).
Melt the chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl over simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bowl) until smooth. Let cool.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
At low speed, mix in melted chocolate until incorporated, followed by dry ingredients in 3 batches alternately with crème fraiche, beginning and ending with dry ingredients and mixing until each addition is just incorporated. Don’t over-mix.
Scoop batter into your prepared tins using an ice cream scoop or soup spoon. Turn oven down to 170°C (325°F) and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes clean.
Let cupcakes cool in tins for 5 minutes. Remove from tins carefully and let cool completely on wire racks.
After they’ve cooled, stick them in the fridge while you make the frosting so they can firm up for slicing.
200 grams granulated sugar
47 grams all-purpose flour
36 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
1.5cups/360 milliletres whole milk *see notes
4 ounces/115 grams semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
6 sticks/680 grams unsalted butter, softened
Whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the milk and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture boils and is smooth and thick (5-10 minutes).
Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in chopped chocolate and vanilla extract, until smooth. Transfer mixture to a heatproof bowl to cool to room temperature, covering surface with parchment paper to prevent a skin from forming (stick in the freezer if you’re running out of time).
In electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy, about 5 minutes, (resist the urge to slather on a loaf of bread and consume) then gradually add cooled chocolate mixture, beating until frosting is fluffy and spreadable.
Remove the cupcakes from the fridge and slice each in half to create two layers. Place the bottom layer in a cupcake wrapper and pipe a swirl of frosting on it. Top it with the remaining layer. Pipe a generous swirl of frosting on the top and douse with sprinkles. Repeat until you’ve finished them all, fill up your cupcake carrier and spread some cupcake cheer!
Have a sweet and positive week!
Cake flour is not the same as self-rising flour. Sweetapolita has a great post explaining the difference between flours. According to her instruction I used regular flour and removed 5 tablespoons from the measured amount.
I read the recipe wrong and used just 1 cup of milk, it still turned out delicious