Peanut Butter + Chocolate = Sheer Bliss
I’ve been reading this wonderful novel entitled Julie & Julia for a while now and am really enjoying it. It’s amazingly encouraging and makes me want to cook up a storm, and indeed learn the fine art of French cooking from Julia Child’s cookbook (I nearly bought it the other day while at the bookstore!) I narrowly managed to stop myself though, since I doubt I’d end up making anything in the book as I really very much prefer just making desserts.
Still though it’s been wonderfully inspiring especially since we’ve just started up this food blog and I’m simply enjoying reading Julie Powell’s everyday success story celebrating the little miracles and triumphs of life. Just the way I love to live my own life 🙂 It’s been really motivating in getting these posts up! I always need a bit of a push to do anything properly 😉 So on to completing the cupcake series!
One of my all-time favorite combinations in dessert is chocolate + peanut butter. Especially dense, chocolatey-chocolate, dark and rich and moist. Plus sweet ‘n’ slightly salty melt-in-your-mouth peanut butter. The perfect marriage of taste, sensation and color. A delicious symphony of melodious flavors if you will.
Naturally, I knew one of the cupcakes in the series simply had to be peanut butter + chocolate and so, after much deliberation I settled on this recipe.
And ooooh, what an absolutely amazing choice!
The cake was moist, dense, chocolatey, super rich and yet wonderfully light. The frosting was melt-in-your-mouth-peanut-butter-perfect. Unfortunately however, these cupcakes were the victims of volcanic ruptures. The perfectly formed tops were marred by exploding cupcake mixture. Sigh. Plus the frosting was waaaay too thin for me to pipe on with the perfection of the original. So I used a spatula to slather it on (liberally) instead and decorated with some nice sugar and wafer rosettes as well as van houten chocolate buttons.
You can see some of the sorry pictures of the cupcakes in their unsaved state near the top of this post. I had to perform some major cupcake surgery on this lot But the end result was so worth it. And did I mention how a-maz-ingly delicious they were? Like seriously, nearly unbelievably so? 😉
Would definitely go for this recipe again. The cupcake explosion, again I think happened because of the cupcake liners I used. The frosting. Well the frosting, I really don’t know. I think I’m just incapable of whipping up any kind of good frosting some major practice needed ahead! 😉
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk (I replaced to 2tbsp yoghurt + warm water to make one cup)
- 1 cup strong coffee (2 tsp instant coffee + 1 cup boiling water)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line cupcake pan with liners & set aside.
- Sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil & vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes until well combined.
- Pour into prepared pans about 2/3 full and bake for 20 mins or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
Peanut Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from Une-deux Senses & originally from The Boastful Baker
Yields enough to frost 12 cupcakes (with a spatula; if you are planning to pipe this on, probably better to double the recipe).
- 1/4 cup margarine, softened
- 2 tbsp shortening (I used butter)
- 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1-2 tbsp soy milk
- Cream together the margarine and shortening at medium speed until smooth.
- Add the peanut butter, honey and vanilla and beat until smooth (approx 2-3 mins). Beat in the powdered sugar (the mixture will be stiff).
- Slowly add the soy milk, beating continuously until frosting is pale tan and very fluffy. If too thick, or too thin, add more soy milk or powdered sugar until the right consistency is achieved.
- At this point I had to tip in at least 1/4 cup more powdered sugar then the recipe recommended because the frosting was too soft. Even after the addition it was still too soft so perhaps it needs even more. Do keep a watch on the stiffness of the mixture as you’re beating to be sure of proper consistency.