The current count is two.
Two what, you ask?
That would be two marriage proposals since I publicly debuted these utterly delightful devil’s food cupcakes this weekend.
Two marriage proposals in two days from two separate individuals. That’s gotta be some sort of record, right?
I mean, never mind the fact that the proposals came from two female friends… Not important in the slightest!
Though I do wish I’d taken audio recordings of the sorts of sounds which were made as each group of friends tasted these cupcakes for the first time. All I can say is that they would’ve put Meg Ryan’s fake orgasm from When Harry Met Sally to complete and utter shame!
I had someone ask me over the weekend what the difference was between devil’s food cake and regular chocolate cake. Quite simply, a regular chocolate cake should be somewhat heavy/dense whilst still remaining tender, whereas a devil’s food cake is much much lighter and fluffier, almost like a sponge if you will.
And let me tell you, these babies are as light as air – my brother actually marveled at how incredibly soft and almost weightless they felt in the hand before they had been iced! It’s the kind of chocolate cake that is a little less guilt-inducing because you can almost fool yourself into thinking that a cake this light surely CAN’T have as many calories as a rich, double chocolate mud cake.
Though you then have to ignore the sound of your thighs shrieking as the calories race straight to them!
However, the trade-off when it comes to devil’s food cake vs chocolate mud cake is that with the lack of textural body and weight in the former, it also comes with a much more subdued chocolate flavour. In fact, I’ve had devil’s food cake in the past where the chocolate flavour almost seemed like a suggestion rather than an actual present entity.
That, folks, is not my idea of chocolate.
No, if something is chocolate flavoured, then I want to be able to dive into it and have some form of a choc-gasm in my mouth, not just a sprinkling of cocoa powder. And a good devil’s food cake should always have freshly whipped vanilla cream in it to act as a foil to the sweetness and chocolatey-ness – creating a beautiful symphony on the tongue.
(I originally wrote “oral symphony” in that last sentence, but then realized when reading it back that it just sounded all sorts of wrong so I rewrote it. Which there really isn’t much point to now since I’ve just TOLD you about it… but it’s 1:30am and I’m tired and sleep-deprived so I can’t actually tell what is or isn’t a good idea right now!)
Look, I could waffle on and on about how these are the most awesome devil’s food cupcakes that I’ve ever made, and that your life and the lives of those who are graced with your baked goodness will be richer for you making them…
But it’s 1:30am in the morning (well, now 1:32am), I have to wake up in 4 hours for work for what will undoubtedly be a long and tiring day due to the fact that I’ve had less than 4 hours sleep, so let me just leave it on this note – TWO marriage proposals.
Sure, they were from platonic girlfriends of mine, but hey, a proposal’s a proposal, right? That should be enough of a vote of confidence for you right there!
So what are you waiting for?
Delightful Devil’s Food Cupcakes
140g good quality dark chocolate, melted
2 cups cake flour (though it works perfectly well with plain / all-purpose flour as well)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 1/2 tsp baking soda / bicarb soda
4 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
120g unsalted butter, diced and at room temperature
360g caster sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup water
Cream filling ingredients
1 cup double cream (45% fat)
1/2 vanilla pod or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp caster sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, then put the chocolate, vanilla, cocoa powder and buttermilk in a heatproof jug and mix together over a bain-marie till the chocolate is completely melted and incorporated.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs one at a time, making sure you beat well after each addition. Set aside and sift together the flour and baking soda.
3. Once the mixture is fluffy and pale golden, beat in the buttermilk mixture and the flour till everything has been evenly mixed in and the mixture as the texture of barely whipped cream (the mixture should be light, thick and liquid without being completely watery)
4. Fill your cupcake cases 1/3 full (the mixture will approximately double in size after baking), and bake for 15 minutes or till a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out with moist (but not wet) crumbs).
OPTIONAL: To keep the cupcakes wonderfully moist and extend their life by a few days, boil the 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar together till the sugar has completely dissolved, then boil for another 2-3 minutes. Brush it over the top of the cupcakes as soon as they are out of the oven so the liquid is completely absorbed by the cupcakes.
This is also a great way of rescuing overbaked cupcakes – though if they’re overbaked, I’d recommend brushing them with sugar syrup twice to ensure the cupcakes take in the moisture they need.
5. The cupcakes can be kept in an airtight container for 3-4 days unfilled, and should only be filled the day they will be served.
To make the filling, beat the cream with the vanilla and sugar till you have soft peaks, then fill a piping bag with a filling tip (such as Wilton #230), push the tip right to the bottom of the cupcake and slowly fill the cupcake while pulling the tip up.
6. You’ll feel the pressure push against the piping tip as you go and make sure you don’t attempt to overfill in case the top of the cupcake explodes with cream! Once the cupcakes are filled, you can either top them with chocolate ganache or this lovely chocolate buttercream!
To make the chocolate buttercream:
Chocolate buttercream ingredients
250g unsalted butter, diced and at room temperature
60g dark chocolate, melted
3 tbsp cocoa powder
6 tbsp milk
6-8 cups icing sugar / icing mixture (depends on how stiff you like your icing)
Melt the chocolate till smooth, then mix it together with the cocoa powder and milk till it forms a smooth paste.
Beat the butter till light and fluffy, then add the chocolate paste and 2 cups of icing sugar and beat at high speed till it is well mixed in and fluffy again.
Add the icing sugar, 1 cup at a time, and make sure that you beat the icing at high speed for 5 minutes after each addition. I found that 6 cups of icing sugar was enough for me, but you can add another 2 cups if you want your icing a bit thicker and stiffer.