Friday, June 26, 2009

A Cup of Meh


Ever had an idea for a recipe that, in your mind and on paper, looked brilliant - patent making, gazillions of books publishing perfect - but in practice all you manage to garner is a barely satisfactory "meh"? It's bound to happen at least once every once in a while, especially when you're like me and can't bear to be tied down to the oh-so-constricting black and white recipe text! With luck, the results are those that are still edible. That was the case with these very ugly, yet fairly tasty blobs you see before you.

I'm hesitant to call these a total all-in-all failure, since Andrew attested to their good taste, but they looked nothing like how I had intended. There's no way you could possibly tell my intent from the photos, but I wrote the recipe to be a type of marble cupcake. Instead of the typical chocolate/vanilla swirl, though, I had the (at the time) ingenious idea to try a double-chocolate marble effect with milk and dark chocolate batters instead. The white chips were a hasty afterthought, and the fact that they sunk right to the very bottoms of the cakes is evidence of the fact that the initial cake recipe was (unbeknownst to me) flawed. In retrospect, I could have added more flour or cocoa powder to try and thicken the batter (that was about as thick as skim milk when I went to pour it) but I forged ahead, quickly trading in the marbled look to try for a Zebra Cake appearance. In two separate bowls, the batters looked different enough in colour to make separate layers, but the thinness of the batter just meant that it all kind of mushed together.

Ah well. You can't win 'em all, right? I have a little bit of a pet project to do now, and I must be owed a success or two down the line somewhere!

Here's what I did this time, if you have any suggestions give a holler in the comments!

Double Chocolate Marble Cupcakes (Version 1)
Makes 26
Milk Chocolate Batter
190 g granulated sugar
87 g flour
35 g unsweetened cocoa
25 g powdered skim milk powder
3 g baking powder
3 g baking soda
pinch salt
1 egg
250 mL whole milk
60 mL canola oil
10 mL vanilla

Dark Chocolate Batter
87g flour
45g unsweetened cocoa (dark if you can get it)
3 g baking powder
3 g baking soda
pinch salt
1 egg
250 mL brewed, cooled coffee
60 mL canola oil
5 mL vanilla
150 g dark brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350F, grease or line muffin cups.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, flour, cocoa, milk powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. Beat together egg, milk, oil and vanilla, set aside.
  4. In another bowl, combine the second amounts of flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. Separately, beat together the second egg, coffee, oil, vanilla and brown sugar.
  6. Add the milk mixture to the first bowl of dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes.
  7. Add the coffee mixture to the second bowl of dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes.
  8. Dollop amounts of milk and dark chocolate batters into the prepared cups, filling no more than 2/3 of the way full.
  9. Use a chopstick or skewer to lightly swirl the batters.
  10. Bake 23-25 minutes, until the toothpick test comes clean. Cool in tins 10 minutes before turning out onto rack and cooling completely.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 132.1
Total Fat: 5.4 g
Cholesterol: 17.5 mg
Sodium: 28.8 mg
Total Carbs: 20.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g
Protein: 2.4 g