I’ve read and re-read my copy of Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking” a 100-odd times, but can’t get enough. The other day, I took out a sheaf of colored post-its and began marking each page that I liked. You can well imagine the number of post-its that were all over the book at the end of this futile exercise.
At some point, I decided quite randomly, to bake some chocolate cupcakes. And why not? Dainty treats don’t get better than this. Be it chocolate or lemon-poppy or any flavor, these little single-serve treats are guaranteed to cheer you up. You can go crazy with a little cake in hand, with limitless options for toppings and frosting.
Dorie’s recipe calls for a chocolate glaze, but I had some chunky peanut butter at hand and a jar of Speculoos spread that I have been snacking on and dipping into more times than I intended. Thus, a Speculoos and PB frosting was born.
(Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking- From my Home to Yours”)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Peanut Butter – Speculoos Frosting
3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup Speculoos spread
1 teaspoon confectioners sugar
Making the cupcakes:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 180 degrees C. Fit the 12 molds of a muffin tin with paper muffin cups. Place on a baking sheet and set aside.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Working with a stand mixer or a hand mixer and a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until soft and creamy.
Add the sugar and beat for two minutes, until it is blended into the butter.
Add the egg, then the yolk, beating for 1 minute between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Beat in the vanilla, then reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear.
Scrape down the bowl and add the buttermilk, mixing until incorporated, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients.
Scrape down the bowl, add the melted chocolate, and mix it in by hand with a rubber spatula. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared molds. Bake for 22 – 25 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes are springy and a tester inserted in the centers comes out clean.
Transfer the muffin pan to a cooling rack and allow the cakes to cool for 5 minutes before un-moulding them. Cool to room temperature before glazing.
Making the frosting:
With a hand mixer beat the PB, Speculoos spread and sugar at medium speed, until soft and creamy.
- PB pairs really well with chocolate and the Speculoos improved the taste of the PB by adding some sweetness and added flavor. If Speculoos is omitted, add some powdered sugar to the PB before beating it.
- In addition to frosting the cupcake, you can also fill up the center of the cupcake with the frosting. Using a paring knife, scoop out a hole in the cupcake, and fill up with frosting, pop the scooped up cake bit and top up the cupcake with more frosting.
Doesn’t that little cupcake look gorgeous in brown?