Just for one moment imagine you have met someone incredibly interesting. And that someone happens to be handsome. Fairly funny. A giant nerd who loves sic-fi and web related nerdery. He wears google glass and loves open-source software. Now imagine he can recite Shakespeare and quoted the first sentence of Pride & Prejudice when you were discussing your favorite books.
Don’t forget to imagine him as charming. The sort of charming that disarms you. Makes you want to hang on his every word. He tells you stories about a past filled with the types of risks you wish you took.
Oh, and then he kisses you. A real foot-popping kiss. An earnest, sweet kiss. The kind you both want to call all your girlfriends to discuss but want to keep it to yourself just a little bit longer.
Yes, imagine all that (although, if you would rather a surfer dude with a love of detective novels, feel free to replace my dream dude for yours in this little fantasy).
But as a cupcake. (Yes, I totally went there. And, no, I am not ashamed).
It is no secret that I have a life-long love affair with baked goods, so it should come as no surprise that I might have fallen in love with these particular cakes. Because unlike the boy, there is something real to the relationship. There is more than boyish charm and nerdy good looks. There is cake.
More precisely, there is moist chocolate cake, velvety chocolate buttercream, surprise peanut butter centers. This is a serious cupcake. Appropriate for any situation in which a cupcake needs to love you back. Like the time when the aforementioned boy decides you are not the girl of his dream, you know it’s ok because you have this cupcake.
A magic gluten-free cupcake that loves you.
- For the cupcakes
- 63 grams (1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons) cocoa
- 1 cup boiling water
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 235 grams (2¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons) GF AP flour*
- 1 teasponn xanthan gum**
- 300 grams (1½ cups) granulated sugar
- 15 grams (1 tablespoon) baking powder
- 5 grams (3/4 teaspoon) salt
- 227 grams (2 sticks) butter, softened.
- 170 grams (1 1/2 cups) confectioners’ sugar
- 135 grams (1/2 cup) creamy peanut butter
- 26 grams (2 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the Frosting
- 8 large egg whites (30g each–total 225g, or 1 cup)
- 400 grams (2 cups) granulated sugar
- 560 grams (5 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened but cool, cut into cubes
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 400 grams (about 2 cups of discs) high quality chocolate
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare the cupcake tins with papers & grease the tops.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the boiling water and cocoa til smooth. Let sit for a couple minutes to come to room temperature.
- In a second bowl, lightly beat together the eggs, ¼ of the cocoa mixture and the vanilla.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and stir on low to combine.
- Add butter and the remaining cocoa mixture and mix on low speed until all ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to medium for a minute and a half to develop structure.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the cocoa & egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for about 30 seconds after each addition.
- Use a scoop and fill the tins ½-2/3 full. You should end up with exactly 30 cupcakes.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. If you are baking with multiple pans in the oven at once, rotate them halfway into baking.
- The cake should spring back when lightly pressed, or a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
- Cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, and then move to a cooling rack until completely cool.
- While the cupcakes are baking, make the filling.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a handheld mixer, beat together the sugar, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla at medium speed. The dough should end up slightly crumbly.
- Roll the dough into 30 balls, about 1 teaspoon each. Set aside.
- While the cakes cool, make the frosting.
- Combine the egg whites and sugar in a small pot until they reach 140 degrees fahrenheit.
- Transfer to a clean stand mixer bowl. Using the whisk attachment, beat until light and fluffy (soft peaks).
- Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter one chunk at a time until it is all combined.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave on half power, heating it first for 30 seconds, and then in 15 second intervals after that, always stirring after each burst of heat. Once melted, let the chocolate cool so that it is still melted but just warm, not hot – you don’t want it hot so that it melts the butter, and then add it to your frosting, beating and scraping down the sides so you have a velvety and evenly mixed buttercream.
- Remove the centers from the cupcakes using a cupcake corer, melon baller or pairing knife.
- Place one peanut butter ball in each cake. Top with the tops of the centers so there is cake on top of the peanut butter. You just want the top 1/4 inch or so of the removed center.
- Pipe a generous swirl of buttercream on each cupcake.