Chocolate Cupcakes

Ever since I read pages 44-45 in A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg, her Chocolate Cupcakes with Bittersweet Glaze were in my mind. More because I’ve been dying to eat chocolate cake so much lately, that’s a normal craving right?
molly's chocolate cupcakes
[Ferrania Solaris 400 film]
One day I started making the cupcakes only to realize I did not have enough chocolate for the glaze. I still had enough chocolate to make the cakes exactly by the book (surprise! I did not improvise that) but then I made a simple, buttercream frosting. You could say I made two frostings — I colored some pink with beet powder, and some green with matcha, the fine Japanese green tea. As you all know, I’ve a growing aversion to artificial colors.

These made me feel ready for spring! I also photographed them in film, which I will probably never stop shooting along with digital.

molly's chocolate cupcakes
[Ferrania Solaris 400 film]

I cannot believe I am admitting this, but I made these cupcakes once and then 10 days later I made them again :) The second time, I just poured the batter into a square pan and baked a big cake! Both times, the cake had no problem vanishing from its containers, and I even had a few friends ask me for the recipe. The cake is amazingly light, moist, and easy to make. In fact, one of my cousins made something close to this for my birthday once, when I was a little girl back in India, but this chocolate cake is unbeatable! Give it a try!

Below is the synopsis of Molly’s recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes …

She uses:
1 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup hot brewed coffee
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup well-stirred, plain, whole-milk yogurt (not low fat or nonfat)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Her method:
1. Preheat the oven to 300 F (150 C). Line the muffin tins with paper liners.
2. Put the semisweet chocolate in a medium bowl with hot coffee. Let it stand, stirring occasionally until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.
3. In another medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with whatever mixer you have or by hand, until it is pale yellow. Add the oil, yogurt, and vanilla, beating well.
5. Gradually pour the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and beat till it combines thoroughly.
6. Add all the dry ingredients all at once, and beat on low speed until the batter is just combined. With a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and briefly stir to make sure all the dry ingredients are absorbed.
7. Spoon the batter into the lined muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in a cupcake comes out clean.
8. Let them cool completely before frosting, or eat a few warm with some coffee like we did. Store them in an air tight container at room temperature.

Molly had an important note in the book that I quickly remembered on day two of devouring these cupcakes: she said they get better on day two … and she was not kidding!