Have you known anyone who bakes someone’s birthday cake on the very same day?

If you have not, you now do. :)

Because that was what i did last Saturday!

It was a last minute affair. I almost called off the partaaayyy as the boy was feeling under the weather the day before. But as the hours passed by, he was all well again! It’s all psychological isn’t it? If it was school that he would be having the next day, i doubt he could get well this fast! Hahahaa!

Oh yes, do pardon the bad photos. Lighting was horrid as parents came to pick the children late. It was supposed to end at 4pm but the last child left at 5.30pm! So, i couldn’t snap any photos till then, when the sky has already turned dark and threatened to pour. With my very limited knowledge on Photoshop, this is the best i could do.

And, ermmm… the prettier cuppies which i kept at one corner got gobbled down by a smart little boy who ignored the rest and dove straight to the pretty ones on the rack! By the time i arrived on the scene, he was already halfway on the second cuppie! AIYO! Hahaaa!

So yes, pardon the photos!

As there wasn’t much time left on that Saturday morning, a super easy recipe is a must. I do have this particular stellar moist chocolate cake recipe which i’ve been using for years but i thought, why not a different recipe this time?

Yes i know.. i’m doing it again! Always!

…. trying out new recipes on important days… Haha!

I never learn, do i? ^_^

Thankfully this recipe works out fine if not fantabulous. As you probably could tell, the cupcakes are not for faint hearted. It’s wonderfully rich and has got deep chocolate flavour. Definitely for hardcore chocoholics. Best of all, this is a recipe where you could churn everything out under 30 minutes – including baking time!

How cool is that?!?!

Oh, did i mention….. no mixer is required?

Uh huh.. that’s right! There’s no need for mixer. All you need is a large bowl, a whisk and an oven! ;)

Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

(adapted from Baking Bites)

Ingredients
(yields 22 cupcakes)

1/2 – 3/4 cup unsweetened dutch cocoa (i’d use 1/2 cup next time)
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup cream (feel free to substitute with milk, buttermilk and even yogurt! moistness varies though)
1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place liners in 2-12 cup muffin tins.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, white sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt until thoroughly mixed. In the same large bowl, add in eggs, water, cream, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Whisk well till no streaks of flour remain. Add in optional mini chocolate chips, if using.

3. Fill muffin cups evenly with the prepared batter.

4. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, or with only a few crumbs.

5. Remove cupcakes from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

For the meringue

3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1.5 tablespoon cornstarch
6 (150g) large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar

Combine the chopped chocolate and cornstarch in a small bowl, and set aside. Place the egg whites in a clean mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until frothy. With the mixer running, slowly add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Fold in the chocolate.

To finish

Remove cupcakes from oven. Using a large offset spatula, spread meringue mixture on top of cake using as little strokes as possible not to deflate the meringue, and return to oven. Bake until meringue is lightly browned and crisp, 15-20 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack immediately.

If you like, you can torch the meringue a little bit more using blow torch for nice finishing.

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Helpful kitchen tip!

I believe many who are new to baking have this problem which i used to face when i first started – messy cake batter all over the muffin tins.

But headache no more.

This is what i do.

Use ice cream scoop!

Not only the amount if perfect for each and every muffin / cupcake cups, it’s fuss free too. All you do is….

  1. scoop
  2. tilt
  3. squeeze
  4. release

Look!

Messy no more :D

This works for all cake batter.. thin or thick, i’ve tried them all!

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