Chew This! Old-Fashioned Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! Please pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” today – or become an online subscriber – and let me know what you think of my newest column! I am beyond excited to share this recipe with everyone. Every time I eat, or make, Devil’s Food cake – especially cupcakes – I think of my Great Grandma Flora. These cupcakes are a family favorite and I think they will quickly become a personal favorite for you as well. Try them – and let me know what you think.

On a side note – send me an email and let me know YOUR “earliest” childhood memory and how old you were. I write in my column that in the photograph I was two years old – I may have actually been less than that. Maybe a year old!? True story – I remember.


Old-Fashioned Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting 

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, April 3rd 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

This old-fashioned cupcake is updated with flavor and frosting…
Blaise Doubman

Not many people know this about me, but my memory is pretty good. Well, let me rephrase that, my long term memory is pretty good. I remember when I was little, hearing that my memory was “like an elephant’s”. Do elephants have a good memory? Must have…I’ll have to make a mental note to Google it later and find out for sure. Regardless, I remember hearing that and being pretty proud of the fact – true or not. One of my earliest memories is having my picture taken with my Dad, Jamie, his Mom and Dad, Barbra and Junior, his brothers (my uncles) Brett and Troy, and my Grandpa Junior’s Mom and Dad, Flora and Jim. I very distinctly remember that hot summer day, having my picture taken, my Dad holding me, and me wanting to be anywhere but there – I was burning up! When I tell my family this, they just laugh at me. Why? Because I was only two years old at the time… Yes, I know – strange. But true.

One of my very earliest food memories in the kitchen would be in my Great Grandma Flora’s kitchen. My Grandma Barbra and I were visiting and I remember Great Grandma Flora in the kitchen making chocolate cupcakes. I remember seeing her sifting the dry ingredients, pouring in the liquid, adding coffee to the mixture and really working hard. The smells and sounds from that day in the kitchen, are still with me to this day. I even still associate Devil’s Food cupcakes with my Great Grandma Flora. I have taken an old-fashioned recipe and updated it with instant coffee granules, a little extra butter, and topped them with a frosting that is almost too good to be true – almost. But, I have kept the old-fashioned mixing process intact, which results in a moist and tender cupcake that you will want to make again and again.

Old-Fashioned Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting

As with almost every other recipe in baking, start with room temperature ingredients before attempting to make these cupcakes and frosting. It’s essential for the butter to be soft, the eggs to be room temperature and the milk to be the same temperature as the butter and eggs. If you only have salted butter, use it and leave out the pinch of salt. Other milks can be used as well, but if you use anything less than whole milk, the texture of the cupcakes will change slightly. Baking is a science, but that doesn’t mean you can’t substitute ingredients, experiment and have fun!

For the cupcakes…

1 cup white all-purpose white flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon instant coffee granules
Pinch of salt
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter
1 cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2/4 cup white whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the frosting…

2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
½ stick (2 oz.) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons white whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F and line a 12-cup regular size cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Lightly spray the tin and liners with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the white all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, instant coffee granules and salt. Using a wire whisk, whisk all ingredients together to ensure the ingredients are combined and lump free.

In a separate bowl, combine the unsalted butter and white granulated sugar and beat together until light and fluffy. Next, add in the two large eggs and combine thoroughly.

Add the pure vanilla extract to the white whole milk and stir together.

Add half of the dry ingredients to the beaten butter and sugar mixture, and stir to combine. Next, add in the milk and pure vanilla extract mixture and beat. Finally, add in the remaining dry ingredients and combine until mixed thoroughly.

Fill each cupcake liner three-fourths of the way full and place in preheated oven for exactly 19 minutes. After baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool before frosting.

To make the frosting, whisk together the powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder and salt to ensure the ingredients and combined and lump free.

In a separate bowl combine ½ cup of the powdered sugar mixture with the unsalted butter and tablespoon of whole milk. Beat together until smooth.

Next, add in the remaining powdered sugar mixture and tablespoon of whole milk. Beat together until smooth. Add in the pure vanilla extract and light corn syrup. Beat this mixture well to incorporate as much air as possible. The finished frosting will be smooth and thick, lump free and deep in color.

Frost cupcakes and serve.

PIN IT: http://pin.it/Hui1eIu

Here is a photograph that took place during one of MY earliest memories. I was less than two years old…


From left to right and down: Grandpa Junior, Brett Doubman, Jim Doubman, Troy Doubman, Flora Doubman, Barbra Doubman, Jamie Doubman and Blaise Doubman (me). 

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Grandma Barbra’s Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love trying new chocolate chip cookie recipes – but this one is not new. It is an old old favorite of my Grandma Barbra. She has had the recipe taped to the inside of her kitchen cabinet ever since I can remember. I wanted to keep with the traditional recipe and I wanted the “old fashioned” taste that I remember – so I followed the recipe exactly. Try these the next time you want a nostalgic bite from the past…

Grandma Barbra's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies Blaise the Baker

Grandma Barbra’s Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks (8 oz. total) margarine, melted
1 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups white all-purpose white flour
1 (12 oz.) bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, mixed with 1 tablespoon white all-purpose flour

Start by preheating the oven to 375-degrees F.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix the melted margarine, white granulated sugar and brown sugar together until thoroughly combined.

Next, add the beaten eggs and vanilla extract before stirring again.

Add the baking soda and salt, stir and then dump in all of the white all-purpose flour at once, and stir until just combined with the other ingredients.

Finally, fold in the flour covered semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Drop tablespoon size amounts on the parchment lined baking sheets, and bake each sheet (one at a time) in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes until lightly golden brown.

Remove and allow to cool on baking sheets.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690241196060/

Cookbook Corner – Extra Virgin

Time for a new “Cookbook Corner”! 

Extra Virgin Cookbook Blog

“Extra Virgin” By: Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar

You might recognize Gabriele and Debi from their hit cooking show “Extra Virgin” on “The Cooking Channel”. I have been a fan of their show since day one, and I credit it for helping me expand my vision of what true Italian food is and what true Italian food is all about.

A lot of people get wrapped up in “popular” cooking methods or the “must have ingredients” of the moment – but not this adorable Italian couple! Their cooking is rustic, straight forward, easy and delicious.

As soon as I received my copy of “Extra Virgin” the cover blew me away. I was not quite sure what the dish on the cover was…but I knew I wanted to try it! It looked delicious…and encouraged me to flip through the book until I found the recipe. (“Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Caprese” page 22).

The pictures throughout the book are absolutely gorgeous (and aside from the delicious recipes) the perfect excuse (if you need an excuse) to buy the book…

After marking down the cover picture recipe to try, I flipped to the back and looked under “desserts”, as I usually do with cookbooks. And…I was not disappointed!

“Almond Cookies” (page 234), “Carnival Fritters” (a personal favorite and page 236), “Coffee Granita” (page 247), “Tiramisu” (one of my all time favorite desserts and page 248), and “Lemon Sorbet” (page 256) were all marked with a couple executed to perfection!

The cookbook is beautifully put together with chapters divided up into perfect categories – each with wonderful and rustic recipes! Categories are: Appetizers, Pastas and Sauces, Risotto, Soups, Salads, Meat, Fish, Vegetables, Pizza, Panini, Desserts and Drinks.

The “Guacamole” recipe (page 28) is amazing alone, but even better with the “Baked Beet Chips” (page 29). Tip: Wear gloves when handling beets…and be careful because they stain EVERYTHING they touch…

Another wonderful (and simple, rustic) recipe can be found on page 59 – “Fake Sauce”. It’s delicious, chunky and very flavorful. The “fake” part comes from the lack of meat in the recipe…which is perfect for vegetarians. The sauce is very versatile and delicious when served with any form of pasta…but also just as delicious when served with your favorite crusty bread.

The chapter on “Risotto” has been flagged for me to try just about every single recipe. I love making risotto and find the whole process relaxing…but I have not had the chance to try any of these recipes yet…but look forward to when I can!

“Grilled Tuscan Chicken” (page 143), “Beef Stew with Polenta” (page 155), “Grilled Endive with Gorgonzola and Sage Oil” (page 186), and all of their rustic pizza recipes are perfect examples of the type of cooking that fills this book! They are simple, rustic, flavorful and couldn’t be easier!

I highly recommend this cookbook for those of you who want to know and experience more “true and rustic” Italian cooking. There’s no hype here – just truly simple and delicious Italian cooking…

To buy the book please click here…
http://www.randomhouse.com/book/226338/extra-virgin-by-gabriele-corcos-and-debi-mazar

To visit their website, blog and learn more about the cookbook (including recipes) as well as their TV show, please click here…
http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/shows/extra-virgin.html

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. I received this book from “Blogging for Books” for this review. More information can be found by emailing me your questions.

Blaise