Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
Martha Stewart's Cupcakes, pg. 22
3 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
5 large egg whites, room temperature
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together 3 1/4 cups cake flour, the baking powder, and salt. Stir the vanilla into the milk to combine.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter until smooth. Adding the sugar in a steady stream, beat until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk mixture, and beating until just combined after each.
3. In another bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed (I did medium-high), whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form (do not overmix). Fold one-third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten. Gently fold in the remaining whites until just combined. Toss chocolate chips with remaining tablespoon cake flour, and gently fold into batter.
4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean and the tops are springy to the touch, about 22 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
5. To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting. Refrigerate up to 3 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature and, if desired, decorate with sprinkles before serving.
Dark Chocolate Frosting
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds best-quality semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled (see page 323)
Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, confectioner's sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 5 days, or frozen up to 1 month, in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again.