Sunday, October 24, 2010

Peanut Butter-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

I love cupcakes. The idea itself is genius. I would like a piece of cake that I can eat with my hands. Wherever, whenever. With a cupcake you are one paper wrapper away from a small indulgence. So, for the hell of it, I decided to open up one of my cupcake books and give this recipe a whirl (or rather, a swirl).

Peanut Butter-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes. From Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Filling
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Put butter and chocolates in a heatproof bowl of a double boiler; stir until melted. Alternatively, microwave butter and chocolates in 10-15 second bursts, stirring in between, until melted. Cool slightly.

Whisk sugar into the chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir just until incorporated.

Swirling the Cupcakes

Prepare peanut butter filling by stirring together all ingredients until smooth. Spoon 2 tbsp chocolate batter into each paper liner, followed by 1 tbsp peanut butter filling. Repeat with another tbsp chocolate batter, and top with 1 tsp filling. Swirl top of cupcake batter and filling with a toothpick.

Bake until a cake tester inserted comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. Transfer tin to a wire rack to cool completely.

PB-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

There are two keys to making this recipe work. Firstly, remember that this is a chocolate cupcake filled with peanut butter, not a swirl cupcake. The difference is not much, but the peanut butter filling will not bake into a cake texture. Instead it stays pretty separate from the chocolate cake. Secondly, the directions are written in a very exacting Martha Stewart style. But if you follow them, you'll end up with a tasty end-product. If you're going to indulge, then chocolate and peanut butter is a great way to do it. While chocolate is always a good thing, adding peanut butter makes these cupcakes more sumptuous and rich. You may be glad you only have this mini-cake to eat per serving, because a full-sized cake of this sort would be a meal unto itself.

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