Sunday, August 19, 2012

Black Tie Mini Cupcakes

That's right, these are "black tie" cupcakes.  There's a bakery in my hometown that has a cupcake similar to these, called black tie cupcakes, so I figured I would borrow the title.  These are very simple... chocolate mini cupcakes with white chocolate cream cheese frosting and some chocolate shavings for garnish.

Feast your eyes.

My friend Alon was having a party at his house last night and my first thought was, "an excuse to bake something!"  So of course I surfed the internet for a few hours looking for inspiration and did not find anything but eventually came up with my own plan!

Funny story... this recipe made about 55 mini cupcakes and I probably brought about 30 over to my friend's house.  After a little over half of them were devoured we put them down on a very low table and completely forgot about the fact that there were 2 huge, hungry, chocolate labs roaming the house.  By the time we realized, the box that the cupcakes had previously been in was 100% empty.  No mess.  No evidence.  Sneaky pups. 

There's something about mini cupcakes that just makes me smile.  You can eat them in 1-2 bites with less guilt, therefore more happiness.  Not to mention they are adorable!


This recipe makes about 50-60 mini cupcakes.

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes (inspired by Hello, Cupcake! ):
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1.5 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup or 2 oz. of semisweet melted chocolate chips
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting (inspired by Country Living):
5 oz. melted white chocolate (I used Ghiradelli chocolate chips)
5 oz. cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat Philadelphia cream cheese)
5 tbsp. softened unsalted butter
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar


Mini Chocolate Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line mini muffin/cupcake pans with liners. 
Mix dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 
In an electric mixer beat brown sugar and butter until creamy (several minutes). 
Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by the melted chocolate.  Tip: to melt to chocolate you can either place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals or melt over simmering water.
Slowly beat in the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk (starting and ending with the dry ingredients).  Stir in the vanilla.

Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling about two-third's full.  Tip: to make your life easier you can fill a Ziploc bag with the batter, cut a hole in the corner, and pipe it into the liners (this makes it a little bit faster/mess free). 

Bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. Allow to cool completely. 

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:

Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals or in a bowl over simmering water. 
In an electric mixer beat cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy.
Beat in white chocolate, salt, and vanilla and mix until well incorporated. 
Slowly add sifted powdered sugar until you reach the right consistency (smooth and creamy). 

Tip: I refrigerated mine for about 10 minutes before piping onto the cupcakes. 

Pipe onto the cupcakes once they have completely cooled using whichever technique you like.  I used a wide open star tip.  Start at the center of the cupcake, squeeze until you have your desired amount, and pull up quickly to make a nice pointy tip.

Chop some chocolate shavings off of a chocolate candy bar using a knife.  I used a basic Trader Joes dark chocolate bar.  Sprinkle over the top and your done!  Not too hard huh?

These are great for parties, handing out to friends, or just for yourself (we all need a little pick-me-up every once in awhile, don't we?).  I know that a recipe for 55 cupcakes sounds like a lot but they are so small and they do go fast! Hope you try it out and had a good weekend! 

Happy baking!

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