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German Chocolate Cupcakes

The Challenge


We're (almost) back on track! Last week, we had 2 recipes, some kind of carrot dish and this one, German Chocolate Cupcakes, which you can find here or on page 227 of Foolproof.


Lea's Take:

Have I told you guys how much I love dessert? I loooooove dessert.


Eating, not making.


But, hey, who doesn't like cupcakes? And how hard could they be?


Oh, how I regret asking that question.


So, my story takes place on a Sunday. Even though we aren't getting together for Sunday Dinner (dampandemic, when will you end?!?), we try to make a "Sunday Dinner"-type meal anyway. This week, we landed on roast beef, which will come as no surprise to my family since it is one of three things I offer them on Sundays at my house. But, I'll have y'all know this was the first time I'd reverted to my old ways since we started this challenge. So there.


What was I saying? Yeah, so we had 2 recipes to make this week and I, like always, waited until the last minute. But I thought the carrot thing would go nicely with roast beef (and boring mashed potatoes, of course). And then I'd make the cupcakes for dessert. Perfect, no? [Mary: I do think that sounds perfect.]


I got a late start...I was busy cleaning or watching TV [Mary: or reading] and didn't go to the grocery store until mid-afternoon. By the time we got home, I had to hustle. I threw the roast in the oven and got started on the carrots. Once those were doing their thing, I started the cupcakes. The timing worked out well anyway since this recipe called for a lot of room temperature dairy, which y'all know I love.


First, I had to lug the stand-up mixer up from the basement. We're in the middle of fixing the basement, so I had to dig it out from behind a bunch of crap. (I really should've started on these cupcakes sooner.) After I washed everything, I was ready!


I'm just going to tell you what the recipe said and then what I did. Fun, right?


Recipe: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Me: Um, it was probably longer than 5 minutes because I was busy gathering all the other ingredients (boy, you'd think I was new at this).

Recipe: Scrape down the bowl. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well.

Me: You'd think this would be easy, but, well, it's me. The first egg went in just fine. Then I cracked the second egg... and half the shell fell into the bowel. So, I went to turn off the mixer and instead, turned it on higher. This is when I called Mary, who assured me I wouldn't kill anyone with sharp eggshells (which was great because I didn't have any more room-temperature ingredients left). [Mary: Here's a tip for the future - crack your eggs into a little bowl and then add them to your batter, dropping in one yolk at a time.] [Lea: And this is why she is who she is and I am me, folks.] Oh, and due to all the trauma, I had almost forgotten to add the vanilla, but then remembered last minute. Whew.

Recipe: In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee.

Me: Done - I used the leftover coffee from that morning. I'm sure it was fine.

Recipe: In a third bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

Me: I even used the sifter! Also? Man, I used a lot of bowls. [Mary: Seriously, this recipe uses all the bowls.]

Recipe: With the mixer on low, add the buttermilk and flour mixtures alternately in thirds, beginning with the buttermilk and ending with the flour. Don't overmix! Fold the batter a few times with a rubber spatula to be sure it's mixed.

Me: Not sure it was true thirds, but sure. Done.


I tell ya, what came out was gorgeous cake batter. Like, don't-bother-baking-just-dip-a-cookie-in-it (if it wasn't for the raw eggs) good.

Josh was in the basement, so I went downstairs and made him try it. Delish.


The rest of it seemed like something I could do... put the batter into the paper cups and bake. But, of course, it's me:

But, once that was all cleaned up, it was fine fine.


OK, then there's the frosting part. However, while making dinner, our cooktop broke. Like, a handle broke off and we couldn't get the burner to turn off. So, Josh had to unplug the whole thing and now we have no stove. Which meant I couldn't finish the frosting. So, instead, we had the cupcakes with whipped cream. [Mary: You're a mess. And you missed out on the best part of the cupcake!]


Mary's Take:

FFotD (Fun Fact of the Day): German chocolate cake isn't German at all. It was created, and submitted to the Dallas Morning News as a recipe of the day in 1957, by a woman who had created it using a baking chocolate developed by Samuel German for Baker chocolates. The chocolate was named Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate.


Remember this when you're on Jeopardy. [Lea: It's Jeopardy!]


German chocolate cake is John's favorite. Actually, he loves any dessert that includes coconut: coconut cream pie, coconut cake, GC cake, for example. I don't mind coconut flavor (I mean, Malibu Coconut Rum is part of one of my favorite beach cocktails), but I don't care to chew it for the rest of the day, you know?

The recipe for the cupcake includes cocoa powder and offers the recommendation of the Pernigotti brand, which is a dark Italian cocoa powder. I just used the Trader Joe's one I had in the pantry, but noticed that my batter was far lighter than the picture of Ina's in the cookbook...just like Lea's above. I may have to buy the Italian kind, because I love how super chocolatey Ina's look:

The frosting is what makes these cupcakes. It's an interesting process, too. Melt butter in a saucepan, add evaporated milk, brown sugar, and egg yolks and simmer for 15 minutes.

I was actually nervous that the egg would cook in the mixture and I'd end up with scrambled eggs in my frosting, but it turned out fine. I did whisk it a bit toward the end and ended up with a smooth base for the rest of the ingredients: vanilla and almond extracts, coconut, almonds pecans, and salt.

Isn't that pretty? I love that it has the salty-sweet combination I crave.


And it made plenty of frosting for my 18 cupcakes.


The Verdict


Lea: Well, German chocolate anything isn't my favorite. While it was really good as a batter, it was a little bitter after it baked. I did try one of Mary's with the frosting and while it was good, it was not my favorite cupcake.

Josh: It's a little overdone. (Because, of course, it was. I checked on them when the timer went off and they weren't quite done... and then I forgot about them.)

Mr. Good Eater: Tastes OK, a little burned. (Let the record show he had 2.)

Mr. Picky Pants: Can I have ice cream instead?


Mary: We brought these to book club and it seemed everyone liked them. I had one the following day and didn't even mind chewing on the coconut for hours...kind of like saving myself a treat for later [Lea: Ew?]. John liked them, but the remaining 4 we had sat on the platter for the rest of the week before I gave up and tossed them. I'll make this recipe again, though, because they're different and I don't have to worry about making the frosting pretty! I'll have to get some Italian cocoa powder first (go ahead and roll your eyes, Lea...I'm prepared) [Lea: Done.]!



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mariademasgoodin
01 mar 2021

I totally feel you Lea on the tipped over paper cup. I hate when that happens :(

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