My soon-to-be 17-year-old daughter (her birthday is next Tuesday) was born a chef! She literally began cooking when she was six years old. I don’t think anyone really taught her (I’m a “medium rare” cook–I don’t love it and don’t hate it). She just taught herself one day and has been in the kitchen ever since. She is constantly inviting people over, researching recipes and using us as guinea pigs for her latest concoction. She’s not afraid to use strange, unusual ingredients, spend all day on one dish (no way would I do this) and to improvise if an ingredient isn’t on hand (I don’t do this either).
This past year she began cooking for us each weekday night. She comes up with a weekly menu on Sunday, then after school on Monday she goes shopping, then cooks each night. This has been a lifesaver for my husband and I and WOW! Wait until you try some of her recipes. She’s so cute–she keeps all her recipes in her own special binder and takes note on each of them: “Big hit,” “Cake great but filling not so good” and “Better with blackberries not blueberries.”
Starting today, each Friday I’m going to share one of Brecken’s Blissful Bites during the week.
Today’s recipe was made for my sister’s birthday party. I think every guest wanted the recipe: Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (shown on left).
She combined two recipes for this cupcake (the chocolate frosted one was good too but the vanilla was the bigger hit–great mix of vanilla and chocolate).
Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon hot water
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 & 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¾ cup sour cream
1. Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard-size muffin pans with paper liners.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
3. Combine the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is smooth, and the butter is completely melted. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-low speed until the mixture is cool, about 4 to 5 minutes.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture, beating until smooth.
5. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix each addition until just incorporated.
6. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. Using the wire whisk attachment of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.
2. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.
You can store any unused buttercream in the refrigerator in an airtight container; let it come to room temperature and then give it a quick whip in the mixer before using.
Next Friday I’ll share my VERY FAVORITE “Brecken” recipe ever: Baklava! My mouth is watering already!
Happy Weekend, Everyone!