From At Peace:
“Nice cupcakes, buddy,” I heard from behind me half an hour later, and I saw in front of me, Feb, who I was talking to, lift her gaze to some high point over my shoulder.
Joe obviously was there.
I like to think of myself as “not a cake person.” I like cookies. And pie. And pudding. And crumbles. And sundaes.
But whenever I’m confronted with a cupcake (or, let’s be honest, cake on the whole), I can’t keep up the pretence.
I don’t know who came up with the idea of cupcakes but I do want to know if they were knighted (or perhaps sainted). You can totally fool yourself into thinking that eating two is okay. They’re individual-sized. Like cookies. Two cookies are always okay. So two cupcakes are always okay too.
And these cupcakes, the ones Vi makes that suck Joe deeper into the vortex of the Winters girls, are totally a two-cupcake-a-go kind. And most apropos, this recipe comes from a friend of mine in The ’Burg. So they’re authentic ’Burg cupcakes.
Try ’em, like ’em, and maybe Joe will appear.
- 1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
- 4 Eggs
- ¾ Cup Vegetable Oil
- ½ Cup Water
- 8 oz. Good Dark Chocolate, chopped (I suggest using Lindt, they make to-die-for dark chocolate but Ghirardelli works too).
- 1 Cup Unsalted Butter, softened
- 2 ½ Cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
- ½ Vanilla Bean or ¼ teaspoon Vanilla Bean paste
- ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tablespoon Milk
How to do it…
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin cups with paper liners.
Now combine the cake mix, oil and water. Add eggs one at a time. Mix until all is incorporated, two to three minutes. Stir in the chopped chocolate. Now divvy up this batter into the lined muffin cups. Put them in the oven and back for 15-20 minutes but keep checking them, it’d be a shame for these bad boys to get burned.
Take them out, let them cool and get on with your frosting.
Beat the butter until it gets light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar in a few goes (not all at once). After you have the powdered sugar in, add the milk and beat for 2-3 minutes.
If you’re using a vanilla bean pod, split it in half lengthwise and scrape out the beans in the pod. Add these beans and extract to the bowl (and if you’re using the paste, just add the ¼ teaspoon of the paste to the bowl). Beat this on high until the vanilla gets incorporated and the frosting is fluffy.
If you put the beaters in the sink without licking them, I may have to hurt you.
Scrape every last smidgeon of that frosting out of the bowl and either eat it or frost a cupcake with it. I’d try to frost the cupcakes first.
As you bite in, take a minute to think of Joe.
And then send me your happy vibes.