Ladybug Sunflower Chocolate Cupcakes
January 29, 2011
So a couple of weeks ago my cute little niece Rosie had her 2nd birthday party! And since my Dad’s birthday was only a couple weeks away, my family thought to combine their birthday dinner. Naturally, I volunteered to take on the dessert…
For Christmas my good friend Becky got me the New York Times Best Seller Hello Cupcake! and they had a very cute decoration idea for sunflower – ladybug cupcake. However, I am a big fan of being able to enjoy whatever is on the cupcake just as soon as I unwrap it, and the book had the idea of setting an Oreo cookie on top…ew. So I substituted the cookie for chocolate ganache…yum.
Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes
Makes enough batter for 16-18 regular cupcakes, 12 jumbos, or around 60 minis!
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (you can find this at any grocery store)
1 Cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt (yes, every dessert needs salt. it brings out all the other wonderful flavors–chocolate)
1/2 cup (1 stick) UNsalted butter, at room temperature (if you have salted butter, omit salt from recipe)
1 1/4 cups white sugar
2 eggs (I use large)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
Set oven at 350.
1. Place your chopped chocolate in a glass bowl and set it over a pot of barely simmering water. It’s very important that the water is not tall enough to touch your bowl of chocolate! This creates a double broiler and will melt the chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from water and set aside to cool slightly.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. (if you do not have a sifter, whisk to remove any lumps)
3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium, beat the sugar and butter until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Remember you can stop and scrape the bowl with a spat at any time. On a low speed, mix in melted chocolate. On medium speed, add the eggs ONE at a time, mixing each until they are well blended. Add the vanilla and beat until mixture looks creamy. Mix in the sour cream until no white streaks remain. On low, add half of the flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate it. Mix in the water. Mix in the remaining flour mixture until batter looks smooth.
At this point your batter is ready to be divided into your muffin lined baking tins. Baking time is about 20 minutes for the regular size, set it for about 16 and then check with a toothpick to see the progress. If the toothpick comes out clean, they’re done. Pull them out and set on a wire rack to cool.
4 ounces chopped chocolate (use whatever you have on hand–chocolate chips work great!)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1. Bring cream to boil in small pot, pour over chocolate in small bowl; stir until smooth.
2. When cupcakes are cool, turn one upside down and dip it in the bowl of ganache. This will create the most delicious smooth top. Yum! If your cupcakes sink a little in the middle and the ganache doesn’t look as nice as you would like…simply smooth the ganache with the back side of a silver spoon.
Chocolate frosting (canned is great)
1. Scoop the chocolate frosting into a sandwich sized zip-top bag and cut off about 1/8 of an inch of the tip.
2. Squeeze the frosting down towards the corner of the bag and pipe one line down the center of the M&M, make a few dots on each side, voila!
For the flower petals I used a basic yellow dyed vanilla frosting (canned is fine) and a pastry bag with leaf tip. If you do not have either of these you can use a sandwich ziptop bag. Take the corner you plan on using and place four pieces of scotch tape across the corner to make the corner stiff. Next, cut a “diamond” shape into the corner to create a fake leaf tip.
To create the petal look, apply pressure to your bag for two quick seconds, release pressure, and pull bag back. Continue around the outside and do as many layers as you like. (I did two layers)
These cupcakes came out very moist, rich, and had the perfect amount of frosting! I couldn’t have been more pleased.
Isn’t she adorable??? :)
As for my Dad’s cupcakes, he isn’t the biggest fan of chocolate (can you believe people like this exist???) and he loves lemon, so I decided to create the best lemon cupcake to my ability. The recipe and pictures for these will be up within a few days, check back!