try-to-top cupcakes and chocolate frosting
this is the best cupcake - no, the best cake - i've ever had in my life. ever. no joke. this is serious. not messing around.
i've got to be honest, i've had some trouble with martha. i got her cupcake cookbook for christmas this year and have made a handful already. but they've been relatively dry. and really don't last longer than the day they're made. which is a big bummer since there's no way the two of us will go through 12 cupcakes in 1 day.
anyway...i was asked to bring something in for a coworkers birthday today. all i wanted was a simple yellow cupcake with chocolate frosting. so the search was on.
i went through at least six cookbooks looking for a basic cupcake recipe. and only came up with one, from "Martha Stewart's Cooking School." did i really want to give martha another try? i figured i didn't have much to lose and went with it.
i looked through those same cookbooks for chocolate frosting recipes. again, nothing...except Alton Brown's in "I'm Just Here for More Food." i thought the method was odd - melting chocolate, butter, and heavy cream together and then beating it in an ice bath until cool and it holds it's shape - but hey, i've seen alton's work. the man's good. so i had the recipe for the perfect cupcake. and man, it is.
the cake is so unbelievably moist and buttery, it's crazy. and the frosting! don't even get me started on the frosting. everyone at work raved - "i don't really like frosting, but this is the best chocolate frosting i've ever had in my whole life" - this is a no joke cupcake.
just be careful when you make them. it's impossible to only eat one.
the only thing that threw me slightly off was the frosting. butter, semisweet chocolate, and heavy cream are melted together in a saucepan on the stove. while still warm, the confectioner's sugar is added, the pan is set into an ice bath, and mixed with a hand blender until it thickens, holds it shape, and is lighter in color. (just make sure when it's done, you take the pan out of the ice bath. if you leave it there for a couple minutes while you do a few dishes, you'll come back to frozen buttercream. and then it's just a pain to mix it back in.)
martha's redemption cupcakes (yellow butter cake)
from Martha Stewart's Cooking School
makes 42 (i made a 1/2 batch and ended up with 24)
from Alton Brown's "Im Just Here for More Food"
makes 3.5 cups
UPDATE: find the recipe at this post