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Devil's Food Cupcakes

The deep color of devil's food develops when regular cocoa is "Dutched" by the alkaline baking soda. You can substitute Dutch process cocoa for an even deeper color and a more mellow flavor. There will be no difference in texture.

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup boiling water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray enough cupcake pans to hold 18 cupcakes with nonstick baking spray, or line with cupcake papers.

Place cocoa in a small bowl. Add water slowly, stirring until well blended into a smooth paste. Set aside until lukewarm.

In a small bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt.

In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated. Add the vanilla. Add the cooled chocolate mixture all at once and stir well until blended. Add the flour mixture all at once and stir until smooth and all patches of white disappear. Do not overmix.

Using a 1/3-cup measure, scoop out the batter and turn into pans. The pan's depressions should be about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes clean when inserted into the centers of the cakes.

Makes 18 2 1/2-inch cupcakes.

"What Einstein Told His Cook"

Sunday, June 09, 2002

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