I’ve written about cupcakes before, but I’ve never posted one of my own cupcake recipes.
These are chocolate cupcakes, stuffed with scratch made peanut butter pudding, dipped in bittersweet chocolate gnache and finally topped with peanut butter frosting. If you’re going to make cupcakes, you might as well get fancy.
Recipes – Makes approximately 24 cupcakes
7 oz (1 1/4 cups plus 2 TBS) all purpose flour
2 oz (1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder*
1 1/2 tsp backing powder
1 cup half and half
1 1/2 TBS vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
14 oz (1 3/4 cup) sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
This recipe doesn’t use the potato starch, so ignore it in the picture.
Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Set racks in upper-middle and lower-middle positions.
On a kitchen scale, sift flour into a medium mixing bowl. Add cocoa powder and baking soda. Whisk to combine.
Mix half and half and vanilla.
Crack eggs into bowl.
Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment or hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar on low speed. Cream for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally, until butter/sugar mixture is smooth and coats bowl.
Add eggs on quarter at a time. Allow each egg to be fully incorporated before next addition.
Working quickly, add dry and wet ingredients 1/4 at a time, alternating dry and wet. Start and end with dry. Do not wait till each addition is fully incorporated.
Scrap bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium high and mix for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Until batter is smooth.
Put paper liners in cupcake pans. Coat very lightly with cooking spray.
Fill each cup slightly more than 1/2 full. Shake pans to smooth batter.
Bake for 22 to 24 minutes with one pan on top rack and the other pan on the lower rack. Switch pans half way through baking.
Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Remove cupcakes from oven. Set aside and allow to cool completely.
Peanut Butter Pudding
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 TBS cornstarch
1 TBS all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups milk
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 TBS butter
Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt.
Add milk and cook over medium low heat, whisking constantly until smooth and thick.
Remove from heat. Add 1/4 cups of hot mixture to eggs yolks and stir.
Pour eggs into hot mixture. Return to heat and bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute stirring vigorously.
Remove from heat. Add peanut butter and butter.
BTW, this is my mother’s recipe. Like every farm wife’s recipe, the amounts are approximate. Mom’s recipe just says “4 large scoops peanut butter”. I started with a full jar of Jif and kept adding peanut butter until the pudding looked right. Then I weighed the jar to figure out how much I had used.
Stir until smooth.
Transfer to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing plastic wrap onto surface of pudding, eliminating any bubbles. This will prevent skin from forming.
Cool in refrigerator.
8 oz bittersweet chocolate
8 oz heavy cream
Heat cream in microwave for 4 to 5 minutes, until starting to steam.
Add chocolate to cream. Let stand for a couple minutes to allow chocolate to start melting.
Whisk until smooth.
Set aside to cool.
Peanut Butter Frosting
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, slightly softened, cut into 1 TBS pieces
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
Combine sugar, egg whites and salt in mixer bowl. Place bowl over pan of simmering water and whisk constantly until mixture is thick and foamy. 2 to 3 minutes. Temperature should reach 150° F to ensure egg whites are cooked.
Using whisk attachment, beat mixture at medium speed until consistency of shaving cream. About 2 to 3 minutes.
Add butter, one piece at a time, and whisk until smooth.
Scrape bowl. Add vanilla and peanut butter. Whisk until smooth.
Scrape bowl. Increase mixer speed to high and beat another 30 seconds.
Pipe 1 to 2 TBS of pudding into each cupcake. Use a pastry bag with a small star tip.
Insert tip into center of cupcake, about 1 inch. Squeeze until top of cupcake begins to bulge. Stop squeezing and remove.
Remove any stray pudding from tops of cupcakes and flatten tops.
Dip each cupcake in gnache, swirling to coat completely.
Remove cupcake from gnache and allow excess to drip off.
Using a pastry bag with wide star tip, pipe peanut butter frosting onto each cupcake.
Hold bag over center of cupcake, slightly above surface. Squeeze bag while slowly raising it to form star. Stop squeezing. Lift bag and move to next cupcake.
Store covered and refrigerated. Serve at room temperature.
* – I use Bensdorp Dutch Processed Cocoa with 22% cocoa fat. It really packs the flavor. It’s available from King Author Flour.