I don’t normally post on Thursdays nor do I have much to say on Thursdays. This is the day my mind wanders to all the possibilities the weekend may bring. This is the day I fret about kitchen projects that I ought to wrap up. This is the day I frantically pack my bags if I am spending the weekend out of town. Which is all to say I don’t write on Thursdays.
Today I’m making an exception because it’s National Chocolate Cupcake Day. Every day is a designated food holiday of some sort, 365 days a year. Why does chocolate cupcake inspire me to react? I blame it on insomnia. I would rather make something in the kitchen than tossing and turning in my bed. So today I celebrate. I celebrate with a recipe that I longed to make for months.
Of course I have a favourite chocolate cupcake recipe but it’s been a few years since I last baked any cupcakes. It doesn’t hurt to revisit a familiar subject with new perspectives. I am still a fan of round and tall dome in my cupcakes. I must have grown lazy though because I don’t want to bother with buttercream anymore. Dan Lepard’s recipe for Chocolate Custard Muffin and Treacle Fudge Frosting intrigued me. Both begin with cooking a cornstarch slurry in a pot until the mixture thickens. If you made classic pastry cream or vanilla pudding before, you know the drill. Chopped chocolate is incorporated and lots of stirring ensued. With the muffin, you have extra eggs and flour but otherwise the two recipes were strangely similar.
The muffin baked to visual perfection with a meltingly soft crumb that is so different from typical quick breads. Just for kicks, I added malted milk powder to both cake batter and frosting for an extra bit of depth. The frosting tasted like milk chocolate fudge, just like Lepard promised. I was a little weird out about the texture initially. It was so different than working with buttercream. I think expectation is key. This frosting is a spreadable version of milk chocolate pudding!
Happy National Chocolate Cupcake Day! It’s not too late to stop by the cafe to get your own. Better yet, roll up your sleeves and bake a few!