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Cream-Filled Devil's Food Cupcakes

For Devil's Food Cake:

  • Nonstick vegetable spray for coating muffin tin
  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brewed strong, hot coffee

For Vanilla Cream Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup light corn syrup

For Ganache Frosting:

  • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Make Devil's Food Cake: Set a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Generously coat 12-slot muffin tin with nonstick vegetable spray.

Into large bowl, sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt together -- three times.

In mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together at high speed for 15 seconds, until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Continue beating until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes more.

With mixer on lowest setting, beat in a third of flour mixture. Beat in buttermilk and vanilla, then another third of flour. Beat in coffee and then remaining flour.

Fill cups of muffin tin two-thirds full and bake for 15 minutes, or until centers spring back when lightly pressed and a cake tester comes out clean. Set pan on a rack to cool.

Make Vanilla Cream Filling: With an electric mixer, beat together vegetable shortening and butter until blended. Turn mixer down to lowest setting and gradually add the confectioners' sugar. Turn mixer back up and beat at high speed, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. At a drizzle, gradually beat in the vanilla and corn syrup until filling is the consistency of mayonnaise, about 2 minutes more.

Scrape vanilla cream filling into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip. With a small knife, carefully carve a 1-inch-round by 1-inch-deep plug out of bottoms of cupcakes--you'll need plug to refill the hole, so don't chuck it out. Fill with vanilla cream. Cut a 1/4-inch disk off cake plug and cover exposed cream.

Make Ganache Frosting: Put chocolate in small bowl. In small saucepan, over medium heat, bring cream just to simmering point. Pour hot cream over chocolate and, working from center out, gently stir with a whisk to melt chocolate and blend until smooth.

Dunk cupcakes into frosting to coat, then place on a rack, frosted side up. Transfer to refrigerator for 20 minutes to set before serving. Makes 24 large cupcakes.

Optional: For a nostalgic and decorative touch, fill a small bowl 1 inch deep with very hot water. Put 1 ounce white chocolate in a completely dry coffee cup, then set cup in the bowl of water. Let sit for 2 minutes, then stir until completely melted and smooth. Transfer white chocolate to a paper cornet or pastry bag fitted with a 1/16-inch tip. Inscribe a squiggly line across tops of cupcakes. Let set.

"Retro Desserts" by Wayne Harley Brachman

Thursday, August 08, 2002

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