December 2, 2007

German Chocolate Cupcakes

My 23rd birthday was this past Friday. Birthdays feel kind of silly now...ever since turning 21 there's nothing to look forward to anymore except getting older. Jesse took me to DOC Wine Bar, a charming romantic place in Williamsburg where the waiters always have thick Italian accents. I wish we went there more often, but they serve light Italian fare, which Jesse isn't as into as me, and the wine is expensive, so we only end up going for special occasions. I looove their pistokku, a Sardinian flatbread topped with beef carpaccio, arugala, and goat cheese.

Last year I wanted to make cupcakes for my birthday party, but Jesse insisted I not do work on my birthday and that he would take care of it. So he surprised me with a cake at the bar, but of course, it was very difficult to serve and eat because he had to run out and get paper plates and forks etc. Silly boy, convient cupcakes that you can hold in your hand are much better for bars.

So this year, I insisted that I would bake my own cupcakes, and I decided on a German chocolate version, which I've been wanting to make ever since I was first initatied into its delicious combination of chocolate and coconut last spring. They were my best cupcakes ever, probably because I sucked it up and added so many wet ingredients to make them moist. I've seen German chocolate recipes that call for toasted pecans in the icing, but that shit is expensive yo, so I left it out.

The cupcakes were all gone at the end of the night, and so was my sobriety. My friends joined me at Bushwick Country Club, which is not in Bushwick nor is it a country club - it's just a casual bar in Williamsburg. They have a policy of letting the birthday girl drink free all night so long as you bring 15 people. And they invited me to be a member, with a card and everything, which allows me to take advantage of drink specials whenever I go back. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

I had one of those nights where I talked my head off to everyone and anyone but can now hardly remember what I said. I was supposed to go to Neue Galerie the next day to continue my birthday fun, but I had one too many whiskey gingers and was sick all morning, so I will have to see the Klimt exhibit another weekend.

German Chocolate Cake
1/3 cup boiling water
4 oz sweet German chocolate or Baker's chocolate
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk

Bring 1/2 cup water to boil. Pour 1/3 cup into a bowl and add 4oz chocolate, broken into pieces. Stir until chocolate is dissolved. Let cool.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350. Grease two 12-muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray.

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl.

In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add melted chocolate and vanilla. Beat in flour alternately with milk until just incorporated.

Pour mixture into muffin tins and bake for 15-20 minutes (check at 15 to see if done, if not, let bake another few minutes).

While the cupcakes are baking, also toast the coconut for the icing:
Spread 1 cup coconut flakes on a baking sheet and bake for 3-5 minutes (check on them to make sure they don't get too browned or burned!) Cupcakes are done when a knife stuck into them comes out clean.

While cupcakes cool, prepare icing:
3 tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp milk
3 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup toasted coconut flakes
Beat above ingredients together, vigorously, as in the photo above, and add additional sugar or milk to reach desired consistency. Once cupcakes are cool, spread icing over the tops with a knife. Makes 24 cupcakes. Enjoy, and try not to think about the millions of bowls and utensils you now need to clean!

PS. Sunday was the first snow of the season in Brooklyn! I'm glad the weather waited until after my birthday for winter to start in earnest.

PPS. Thanks to Gina for using her new baby, aka camera, to take the supremely delicious looking cupcake at the top and the one of me stirring vigorously.

1 comment:

Julia said...

julia that's a HOT photo of you stirring in that bowl. i LOVE your cupcakes. especially the apple ones from your Fall Harvest party. Love the food blog. Must add more dill next time, black beans, and bread, much more bread!