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Recipe

Brooklyn Blackout Cupcakes

Andrew Meade

Yield: Makes 24 cupcakes

For chocolate lovers, this is the Holy Grail of cupcakes: a deep chocolate cupcake with chocolate pudding filling and a fudgy frosting.The result is everything a knock-your-socks-off chocolate cupcake should be.

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp. table salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (62%), finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. (3/4 oz.) unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the cupcakes

  • 7 oz. (1-1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 4 oz. (1 cup) unsweetened non-alkalized (natural) cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. table salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 oz. (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee

For the frosting

  • 4-1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate (such as Scharffen Berger), chopped
  • 4-1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate (61%), chopped
  • 12 oz. (24 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened
  • 13-1/2 oz. (3 cups) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tbs.  vanilla extract

Preparation

Make the filling

  • In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually whisk in the milk, making sure there are no lumps in the mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof silicone spatula, until the mixture thickens and just begins to bubble around the edges. Remove the pan from the heat and pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Add the chocolate and stir until it is completely melted. Add the butter and stir until melted. Stir in the vanilla. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

Make the cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two 12-cup standard muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the sugar and, using the paddle attachment, mix at low speed until blended.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla. While mixing the dry ingredients at low speed, add the egg mixture in a steady steam. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then beat at medium speed for 1 minute, until well blended. With the mixer on low speed, add the coffee, mixing just until blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and stir the batter from the bottom of the bowl a few times to thoroughly blend the batter (it will be thin). Pour the batter into the prepared cups, dividing it evenly (each cup should be about two-thirds full).
  • Bake the cupcakes (both pans should fit on one oven rack) for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool in the pans on a wire rack.

Make the frosting

  • Put both chocolates in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. Heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and set the chocolate aside to cool until tepid.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and beat at high speed for 2 minutes, until light and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, add the cooled chocolate, mixing until blended and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Raise the speed to high and beat for 1 minute, until slightly aerated. Use the frosting immediately, or cover well and keep at room temperature for up to 3 hours before using.

Assemble the cupcakes

  • Using a paring knife, cut a 1-inch-diameter cone from the center of the top of each cupcake, reaching almost to the bottom, and remove it. Set the cake scraps aside. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8-inch plain tip, such as Ateco #4, with the chilled filling. Pipe the filling into the cavity in each cupcake, filling it to the top.
  • Process the cake scraps in a food processor to form fine crumbs.
  • Spread the top of each cupcake with a generous amount of the frosting (or pipe it on with a medium star tip, such as Ateco #6, if you prefer). Sprinkle a generous amount of the crumbs onto the frosting on each cupcake. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled. The cupcakes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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