TasteSpotting is celebrating a birthday. Or anniversary. Or something. We couldn’t decide what to call January 22, the day on which, 4 years ago, we launched our happy, hungry little site. Remember our pale green painted header?!
Anyway. Back to birthdays and anniversaries…
See, everyone loves celebrating birthdays. That’s normal. Cake! Ice cream! Birthday presents!
But ever since we were a wee child, we have also had this strange fascination with weddings and anniversaries (though not necessarily with marriage, if that makes sense). We never really thought about why we got so excited each time we were invited as a guest to a friend’s wedding, each time we were commissioned to print placecards, arrange flowers or make favors, each of the eight — is it nine now? — times we were a bridesmaid. We just got excited.
Then a few years ago at a particularly raucous wedding, we realized that the reason we love weddings is that, like birthdays, they involve cake-y celebration, but over multiple days. Eat, drink and get married with hundreds of people over the course of a weekend, sometimes an entire week, and extending it into another week of sunny honeymoony fun (yes, I absolutely did take “honeymoons” after other people’s weddings). And the idea that a year later, you get to eat the top tier of your wedding cake is where the whole anniversary thing comes into play, along with more gifts. See, who couldn’t love weddings?
Let’s consider TasteSpotting’s launch 4 years ago a “wedding” and celebrate our anniversary every year!
But there’s no such thing as a wedding anniversary piñata, so we decided to make our annual celebration of TasteSpotting a birthday.
So Happy Birthday to us!
To celebrate, we’re doing the usual birthday things, but doing it wedding-style, over the course of an entire week (we would take the month, but we don’t have that kind of money). We baked ourselves some Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes (recipe from that Scharffen Berger chocolate cookbook we gave away a few weeks ago) and we’ve got a few gifts to give away, so stay tuned over the next few days…
No, we’re not giving you a ladle-shaped pinata.
Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes
based on a recipe from The Essence of Chocolate cookbook from Scharffen Berger
makes 12 cupcakes
for the cupcakes:
1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
¾ cup whole milk
for the frosting:
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
Make the Frosting:
In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium-low heat, until it just begins to simmer. Add the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate has melted completely and the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool for about two hours, or until it has thickened enough to frost the cupcakes.
Bake the Cupcakes:
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with liners.
Stir together the flour and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt and beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until pale, light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Add the flour mixture and milk alternately in two batches, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Continue mixing until the batter is uniform in color.
Fill muffin cups about two-thirds full. Bake for 15-20 minutes (our took 16 minutes) or until the cupcakes spring back slightly when pressed in the center.
Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a cooling rack, then remove and allow to cool completely on the rack.
Spread top of each cupcake with frosting.