Cupcake Lovin’, Part Two
Megan is my rooms. In fact, this is the fourth year in a row that she has been my rooms. That’s a pretty solid relationship right there. Two years ago after a particularly thirsty night out I came home and asked her, quite plaintively I believe, if we could be roommates forever, and ever, for life. I was completely serious. I still am completely serious. She would have to let a seriously large amount of laundry mixed with dirty dishes accumulate in the living room for me to change my mind.
There are a lot of reasons Megan is a good roommate. She’s very generous with her car, which is a. the only vehicle I’ve ever enjoyed driving since the demise of my poor, poor pimpmobile, b. the only vehicle I’ve ever driven, period, where I didn’t have to adjust the seat when I got in because we both drive inappropriately close to the wheel, and c. full of jammin’ music which I refer to in my head as Megan tunes. Megan tunes include a significant portion of the Glee soundtrack, usually followed by JJJJ J R, with some random a capella that makes me cry suddenly and unexpectedly while driving home from work thrown in there. Annnnd … that’s all the reasons I have.
Just kidding. I love Megan to death. I love when she dances around without pants. I love that she gives the best drunk hugs known to man. I love that we have the same conversation every night as we sit around the kitchen table and then laugh (or cry, depending on how many hours past midnight it is) about how pathetic we are. I do not really love the flotsam she tends to eject but I will deal with it. I love that she suffers from baby-itis as badly as I do. I love that she does things like eat entire boxes of nilla wafers dipped in frosting and four slices of cheesy bread at midnight. I love that she’s just the right amount of normal mixed with just the right amount of weird. Megan is incredibly smart, caring, funny, and mature, and I really mean every single one of those words. She’s a great person to have around.
I had sort of a hard time deciding what kind of cupcakes to make for Megan. Mostly it was hard because she obviously knows whatever I’m cooking and sometimes she watches over my shoulder when I’m foodgawking and says things like “I want that. And that. Oh and those pumpkin ones.” And since I want them all too it’s hard to focus. My initial inclination was, like my dad said, to make something messy on the outside but delicious and sweet on the inside. I almost went for some sort of chocolate filled peanut butter candy covered concoction, but then I asked her if she wanted something vanilla-ish or chocolate-ish and she said “light, so I can eat five at a time. But it’s OK if you work a little chocolate in there somewhere.” So I regrouped. I decided to go for these fondue cupcakes, because fondue is decidedly messy but in a fun, communal way. Appropriate. Also they have berries on top, and Megan eats a lot of berries. And berries are healthy so you can eat 5 of these at a time. Tah dah! The perfect Megan cupcake. These came out very well. I used Martha Stewart’s buttermilk cake recipe and it was just what I wanted – great flavor, great texture, and very moist. It will definitely be my go-to yellow cake recipe. The chocolate topping was decadent, but when combined with the light cake and the cold fruit it was just right … and all together they really did remind me of chocolate fondue!
So, three down, one to go. And after October 23rd, no more cupcakes until at least Christmas. Time. Ish.
- 1.5 c. cake flour
- 3/4 c. AP flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick salted butter, room temperature
- 1 c. + 2 TBS sugar
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 c. buttermilk
- 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
- 2/3 c. sweetened condensed milk
- 2 TBS butter
- fresh strawberries and raspberries for topping
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, sift together flowers, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add whole eggs one at a time, beating vigorously in between additions. Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat to combine.
- Add flour mixture and buttermilk to wet ingredients in alternating additions: add 1/3 of the flour, mix, 1/2 of the buttermilk, mix, 1/3 of the flour, mix, the remaining buttermilk, mix, the remaining flour, mix. Only mix very gently between additions, just to fold the ingredients into the batter evenly.
- Spoon the batter into cupcake liners, filling about 3/4 of the way. Bake for 17-19 minutes – when done, they should spring back lightly when you push down on them and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean, but the edges should not have begun to brown. Let cool.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt together chocolate, condensed milk, and butter, stirring regularly. When it has formed a smooth, even mixture, spoon on top of cooled cupcakes (leaving the chocolate over low heat so it doesn’t lose it’s texture). Spread to form a smooth cap, then top with fresh fruit. Be careful not to let the chocolate get to warm, as it will begin to burn and the texture will change to become grainy.
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