Deep Space Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

This recipe is adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe.  It’s a pretty firm crumb, which is exactly what you want for my changes- the addition of fresh raspberries.  The raspberries make the cake moist and flavourful, baked right in.  The recipe only makes a dozen cupcakes, which is actually quite nice when you just want to bake something, but don’t care to be foisting it off on co-irkers and friends for the rest of the week.  There are dire warnings on the original recipe about nevereverevercrossyourheart doubling it, which I blithely ignore.  Supposedly, your cakes will rise improperly if you double the recipe. I can state emphatically that I’ve never had a problem with the rise on these (I know- everyone has rise issues sometimes, and nobody likes a a braggart.), and all I do is add a teensy little bit more baking powder.  A pinch.  There are far better bakers than I who can tell you why this isn’t the perfect method, but frankly, if repeated applications don’t provide significantly differing results, I can’t be bothered to fuss with it.

 

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz) Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 3/4 cup (3 3/4 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder (plus a pinch, if doubling the recipe)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 oz) sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) sour cream
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries (NOT frozen), washed and patted dry
  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard-sized muffin pan (1/2 cup capacity) with baking-cup liners.
  2. Combine butter, chocolate and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and fully combined. Set aside to cool until just warm to touch.
  3. Whisk flour, baking soda and baking powder in small bowl to combine
  4. Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla and salt and whisk until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined; then sift in remaining flour mixture and whisk batter until it is homogenous and thick.
  5. Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Leave a little room for the fresh raspberries, and put 1 or 2 in each cupcake, hollow side down.  Press them into the batter, but try not to push them all the way to the bottom.
  6. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.
  7. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes
  8. Frost with Deep Space Dark Chocolate frosting, and garnish with edible silver stars, another fresh raspberry, or anything your little heart desires.

 


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