Sunday, March 9, 2008

Chocolate-Mayonnaise Cupcakes with Butterscotch Buttercream Frosting

Tonight I had a sweet tooth so I decided to make these amazing Chocolate-Mayonnaise Cupcakes with Butterscotch Buttercream Frosting. I found the recipe in Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey and it is the first thing I have made from this book.

These are real cupcakes made from scratch. Consequently, they are not quick to make. The "mayonnaise" in these cupcakes might put some people off because it might seem unappealing. But it makes the cupcakes creamier in a way so don't be afraid to try it. It took even longer to make the frosting than the actual cupcakes themselves! But they are incredibly tasty. The frosting is both light and rich at the same time which is interesting. I made the frosting recipe as written but I only used about 1/3rd of it so I suggest halving it - why waste all the butter!

The photo in the cookbook that accompanies the recipe shows the frosting pipped on top of the cupcakes so that they look fancier. I just spread the frosting on and it still tastes as good to me!

Chocolate-Mayonnaise Cupcakes with Butterscotch Buttercream Frosting
Makes 24 standard cupcakes

2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup natural cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mayonnaise (not low-fat)
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups boiling water

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line two standard 12-cup muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine the sugar and eggs and beat with an electric mixer set at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the mayonnaise and vanilla just until combined. Reduce the speed to medium and beat in half of the flour mixture just until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add half of the boiling water and beat at very low speed just until the batter is smooth, 5 to 10 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat just until combined, 5 to 10 seconds longer. Beat in the remaining water. The batter will be somewhat thin.

Divide the batter among the prepared cupcake cups, filling them about two-thirds full. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely. When the cupcakes are completely cool, frost them with the Butterscotch Buttercream Frosting and serve.

Butterscotch Buttercream Frosting

6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 pounds (6 sticks) cold unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. bourbon

Combine the eggs and brown sugar in a the metal bowl of a standing mixer. (Alternatively, use a metal mixing bowl and a handheld electric mixer, but be prepared for a workout.)

Fill a large saute pan or frying pan with water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Place the mixing bowl in the simmering water and whisk the eggs and sugar constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is thick and fluffy and very hot, 3 to 4 minutes. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature; it should be anywhere between 120 and 140 degrees.

Remove the bowl from the simmering water and, using the whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium-high speed until they are tripled in volume and form soft peaks and the bottom of the bowl is completely cool to the touch, about 10 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and salt.

While the eggs are mixing, unwrap the individual sticks of butter and rewrap them loosely in plastic wrap. pound the butter 5 or 6 times with a rolling pin, or until the butter is soft and malleable but still cool.

With the mixer speed still on medium-high, add the butter, approximately 2 tablespoons at a time, to the egg mixture, beating in each addition until it is incorporated. When all the butter has been incorporated, slowly dribble in the bourbon. Don't start to panic if the buttercream seems to liquidly or looks curdled as you beat in the butter. It will magically emulsify into a smooth, creamy frosting by the time the last little bit of butter is mixed in. Have faith; it's worth it. Frosting is ready with the buttercream is smooth and glossy.


Erin said...

My boyfriend and I just got into an argument about mayonnaise being used in baked goods after he saw your post over my shoulder. He thinks it's gross and I know that it's an amazing addition and makes the cakes tangy and very moist. Now I'm totally going to make these and not tell him until after he eats half the batch. Lovely cupcakes Rachel!

rachel said...

Erin, you are HYSTERICAL!

michelle @ TNS said...

buttercream frosting freezes very well - so make a full batch, freeze the extra, and you'll always have frosting around. not a bad thing!

even though i know intellectually that mayo is a good thing in chocolate cake, it still squicks me out a little.

Lore said...

Sounds intriguing...hope to be able to make them soon because I'm very curious about their taste.

Matthew S. Urdan said...

This is an awesome site! Since you're really into great food and great recipes, I think you'd also be interested in FohBoh, ( the online networking site for the International Restauarnt Industry. It's got great information and interaction with restaurant professionals, executive chefs, videos of culinary techniques and recipe preparation, a vibrant wine community with internationally renowned somelliers and people like you and me just interested in food and drink. The site is worth checking out, and I think you'd find a great deal of value there for both yourself and your blog.

Have an awesome day! Cheers!

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