Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Cupcake Snobbery

What is it about cupcakes that makes me want to do a happy dance? Probably that they are cakes that you can eat all by yourself. And at most bakeries, they offer a variety of flavors and frostings, so you can get whatever kind you want without having to be agreeable and settle for boring white cake with lame vanilla frosting.

Personally, though, if a cupcake isn't the best I've ever had, I'm not going to eat it. Nothing is worse than biting into a cupcake and suspecting that it was baked and frosted yesterday. When the edges are all dry and crumbly. And even worse, when it's decorated beautifully but has no flavor. A pretty but gross cupcake is a travesty like no other. Therefore, I'm currently on a mission to find cupcake recipes that produce flavorful, moist, and perfect cupcakes. Plus, I have just a little bit of a passion for unique and interesting new flavors... So, as I find and try out these new recipes, I will be sure to post the winners.

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
makes 2 dozen

2 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
3 eggs
1-3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. grated zucchini
chocolate frosting

Melt chocolate. (I always melt things like this in a microwave-safe liquid measuring cup, in the microwave for about 3 minutes. Stir every minute or so and cook again until melted.) Beat together eggs and sugar until light and frothy. Mix in oil and chocolate.

In a smaller bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add to egg mixture. Stir in zucchini. (I also threw in about 1/2 a bag of Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips here for extra chocolatey meltedness.) Spoon batter into 24 paper-lined or greased muffin cups, filling to about 3/4 full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until tops spring back when touched or inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pans and let completely cool. Then, slather with chocolate frosting and sprinkles or chopped nuts.

These are moist and delicious and excellent for using up that zucchini that is ready to go bad in your crisper.

No comments: