In today’s food section, we rounded up more than half a dozen recipes to help you throw a more sophisticated Halloween party. (Or maybe I’m the only one tired of cookies with strawberry jam that look like bloody fingers…)
One of the recipes we featured just so happens to fit with National Chocolate Day, which apparently some people use as an excuse to eat chocolate. (Or, as I also hear from People Who Know Stuff, attract page views on a website.)
Regardless, bookmark this recipe for the next time you want to play around with nice chocolate and cocoa powder.
Brooklyn Blackout Cupcakes
The Brooklyn Blackout Cake is one of Tish Boyle’s most popular cake recipes, and in this version, the editor of Dessert Professional magazine baked them as chocolate pudding-filled chocolate coffee cupcakes that will knock your socks off, she says.
For the chocolate pudding filling:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (about 60 percent cacao), finely chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened non-alkalized (natural) cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1 cup buttermilk
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup hot brewed coffee
For the frosting:
4.5 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4.5 oz. bittersweet (about 61 percent cacao) chocolate, chopped
24 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
To make the filling, in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir together sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually whisk in the milk, making sure there are no lumps in the mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof silicone spatula, until the mixture thickens and just begins to bubble around the edges. Remove the pan from the heat and pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Add the chocolate and stir until it is completely melted. Add the butter and stir until melted. Stir in the vanilla. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup standard muffin pans with cupcake liners. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add sugar and, using the paddle attachment, mix at low speed until blended.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolk, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla. While mixing the dry ingredients at low speed, add the egg mixture in a steady steam. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then beat at medium speed for 1 minute, until well blended. With the mixer on low speed, add the coffee, mixing just until blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and stir the batter from the bottom of the bowl a few times to thoroughly blend the batter (it will be thin). Pour the batter into the prepared cups, dividing it evenly (each cup should be about two-thirds full).
Bake the cupcakes for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool in the pans on a wire rack.
To make the frosting: Put both chocolates in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. Heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and set the chocolate aside to cool until tepid.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat at high speed for 2 minutes, until light and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, add the cooled chocolate, mixing until blended and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Raise the speed to high and beat for 1 minute, until slightly aerated. Use the frosting immediately, or cover well and keep at room temperature for up to 3 hours before using.
Using a paring knife, cut a 1-inch-diameter cone from the center of the top of each cupcake, reaching almost to the bottom, and remove it. Set the cake scraps aside. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8-inch plain tip with the chilled filling. Pipe the filling into the cavity in each cupcake, filling it to the top.
Process the cake scraps in a food processor to form fine crumbs. Spread the top of each cupcake with a generous amount of the frosting (or pipe it on with a medium star tip, if you prefer). Sprinkle a generous amount of the crumbs onto the frosting on each cupcake. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled. The cupcakes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Makes 24 cupcakes.
— From “Flavorful: 150 Irresistible Desserts in All-Time Favorite Flavors” by Tish Boyle (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35)