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The other day I was going to visit friends and then to visit Rob and Joan at the nursing home. These little chocolate cupcakes were just the treat I needed to bring along.
Do you ever sit back and wonder about things? I’ll admit that since I began food blogging and it has consumed my life, I take less and less time to sit and wonder. I miss it. I wondered this morning as I was cuddled up in bed after thinking of all the things I should be doing.
Have you ever wondered why the first Beatles single, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” was so successful? I’m convinced that it’s because it’s what we truly want in a relationship. Yes, the sexy bits are important and none of us would want to be without that part but what’s truly wonderful is to have someone holding your hand. Through thick and thin, facing the world as one and knowing there’s someone who’s always got your back – because they want to.
I cuddled just a bit closer and made an audible sigh – and fell asleep! Not the romantic ending one would suspect but still a feel-good moment.
This chocolate cupcake recipe is really easy to make and I’ve never had a complaint. I often make them in mini size because a regular sized cupcake is often too much at a gathering and really, the opportunity to eat two cupcakes is better than eating only one. This is the recipe my mother used and I’m pretty sure it’s a Hersey’s recipe from the back of a cocoa tin.
- 385 grams (2 cups) sugar
- 220 grams (1¾) cups plain/all-purpose flour
- 85 grams (3/4 cup) cocoa
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- ½ cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups sifted icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- 2 tablespoons milk
- few drops food colouring
- Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F and line muffin pan with baking cups
- In a large mixer bowl whisk together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add the wet ingredients (minus the boiling water), eggs, milk, oil and vanilla into a large measuring cup or small bowl and lightly whisk to combine
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Add the boiling water and beat on low until combined. (the batter will be thin)
- Fill the baking cups to ¾ full and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 22-25 minutes for regular sized cupcakes. Mini cupcakes took 14 minutes for mine.
- Cool completely before frosting.
- In a mixer bowl beat the butter and shortening together until light and fluffy then add the vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low and add sugar one cup at a time, when the one cup is incorporated increase speed to medium. Scrape bowl and add another cup of sugar until it's all gone.
- Slowly add the milk and food colouring if desired and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
- If the icing is too stiff, you can add a tablespoon of light corn syrup, some water or some milk to thin it down a bit.
If you’re wondering how Rob is doing – this is how he looked when we took him to dinner the other night. He might be nearly 94 but he gets a lot of joy from being alive.