The other day, thanks to a 50% off coupon to Michael's, I finally broke down and bought a master set of Wilton pastry tips. It has something like 56 different tips and small tools inside, most of which I had no clue what to do with, so I decided to spend some time just playing around with them. And what better medium to do that on than cupcakes?
I tried out maybe five or six tips in different patterns and designs and these were my three favorites.
For these (the ones on the left), I used a Wilton #104 tip. With the wider end facing out, I made each petal, pulling the tip in toward the center of the cupcake. I started with the outer ring and worked my way in to the center.
These might be my favorite: the Rose cupcake. Using the same 2D tip as before, I started in the center of the cupcake and swirled around toward the outside, doing maybe 1 1/2 or two revolutions until I reached the outer edge of the cupcake.
As for the cupcakes themselves, I'm still in search of my go-to chocolate cake recipe, and this Hershey's recipe was one I hadn't tried yet. I sampled a plain cupcake after it had cooled, but I wasn't impressed. The texture was OK but it just tasted...off. I took a few bites, added some frosting (which improved it a little) and then threw it away. Yeah, I said it. I threw a cupcake away. It's not that it tasted like trash, it just wasn't quite good enough to be worth the calories to finish.
And yet strangely, after dinner, I found myself going to the fridge to get a cupcake for dessert. Sometimes I'm just committed to eating what I've made. And sometimes, I just need dessert. Kind of like I NEED Diet Coke at least once a day.
And surprisingly, this cupcake was better. I don't know if it was all the frosting on top or the extra hours it rested in the fridge, but whatever tasted "off" about it earlier had disappeared and what was left was a perfectly satisfying chocolate cupcake. Thankfully there are still a few left in the fridge, so I'll be able to do some more "research" and get back to you.
Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cupcakes
Yield: 24 cupcakes
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hersehy's cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 cup boiling water
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together sugar and oil.
4. Add first egg and mix to incorporate before adding the second egg and vanilla extract.
5. Add half the flour mixture and mix on low speed until almost incorporate. Add half the milk and continue to mix. With the mixer on low, add half the remaining flour, then the remaining milk, and end with the remaining flour. Finally, add the boiling water. Mix until just incorporated. The batter will be thin.
6. Fill muffin cups about 3/4ths full. Bake at 350 for about 22 minutes or until the cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean, rotating pans halfway through. Cool completely before frosting.
- I kept the ingredients exactly the same but altered the directions a little. If you want the classic recipe, just look on the back of your cocoa box
- Since the batter is very thin, I transferred it to a measuring cup to make it easier to pour into the muffin liners.
- For a layered cake, divide the batter into three 8'' or two 9'' greased and floured pans. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.