Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes & NEWS!

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We’ve not spoken since December, and I sincerely apologize for that. Emails flooded my inbox daily for the past couple months, asking if I was well, and if another post would be seen on this site. My answer the entire time was always, “Yes, I promise! Soon.”

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The time has come that I pull up the venetian blinds, and let life, no matter how grey and rainy at times (figuratively and literally), back in. For the past couple months, I’ve been working behind the scenes, but I’ll get to that in a minute. And the work, I assure you has not been grey. It’s made life a little clearer for me. It’s made me learn more about who I am, where I want life to take me, and it’s taught me that at times, something’s got to give.


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I’ve learned that in order for me to get anything done, I need a large legal pad filled with thin yellow pages and thick lines, which are suitable for only fitting ten or so tasks to list under “To-Do!” I guess I’m old-fashioned in the sense that I need to have my tasks at hand,literally in front of me. On paper. If it’s on the computer, things don’t end up working out very smoothly. Now, I know, this is coming from a 19-year-old– one who you’d suspect is constantly texting, watching television, and socializing on the telephone until two o’ clock in the morning. I am the worst when it comes to texting, as a matter of fact, my mother can send a text message faster than I. If you’ve ever gotten a text message from me, you’ll know that I am not educated when it comes to texting lingo. “FTW?! What is that supposed to mean?” I’ll admit, I still feel uncomfortable writing “FTW”, as I’m sure, knowing my luck, I’d type it into my phone incorrectly. As for watching television and socializing on the telephone until two-in-the-morning? Well, I’d much rather get in a couple hours more sleep, to be completely honest.

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I’ve also learned that the longer I put something off, the tougher it is to begin. Like this post, for instance. After over two months of not posting, and realizing that enough was enough, the other night, I felt like I had to make up for that lost time. And I’m not sure if I will with a single post (if I have managed to do so, I thank you for thinking so). With each post on the site, I found that I was slowly pulling myself back, and it’s scary to say such a thing, but that was the case until I sat down to write this post. I pulled myself back, for the fear that I’ll have nothing left to write about, or that my photos or my prose will be nothing as great as my last one. But a friend reminded me that I started this blog for myself, and that I must continue to write for myself- whenever I have time to write. It seems sort of selfish to think that way, but I think putting myself in that mindset is the only way that I’ll be able to share more with you. She also reminded me that “Good writing comes from living.” So, I will do just that– live.

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A regular schedule of posting would be nice for all of us, and I assure, you, with all my might and will-power, I will try to do just that. So, without biting-off more than I can chew, let’s start off with once a week, shall we? And if I have more time and more to share, there might be a couple posts a week. I feel that putting it in writing makes it more solid, and sharing it with friends almost forces me to stick with it (“Force” isn’t quite the word… I’m leaning more toward “encourage”, but I’m sure you get my drift).

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I’m sure you’ve been wondering about the work I’ve been doing behind the scenes. So, as you may have noticed, the site did go “under the knife”. There weren’t many physical changes, other than- larger photos, a larger sidebar, and a new color theme. There were some additions which include: a Visual Recipe Index (of which, I’m still creating more pages of, so do click around in the meantime), Ask Kamran! Which will be a regular feature as of next week. It’ll be a feature where I, Kamran, address any of your cooking, baking, and food-related questions that are sent from this page. Now, because it’s be nearly impossible for me to post the answer to every question on the site, I’ll be featuring one or two at a time, but things might change. I’ve yet to figure out how I want Ask Kamran! to operate, but between now and next week, things will be working whether or not I have a decent operating plan. In addition to on-site things, I’ve created a Flickr Group dedicated to housing your photos of the recipes you’ve tried from the site, so please be sure to join the group and upload your photos– I’d absolutely love to see your beautiful photos and wonderful takes on the recipes from my little home on the web! :)

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In addition to coding and re-working the site layout, I’ve been baking more than ever. Now, the site clearly doesn’t show that, but I assure you, I have. If you remember the news in this post, I have more exciting news to share with you. I hate dancing around the topic at hand, and I’ve a very bad tendency to do so, as being the center of attention just isn’t my thing. I’d much rather be giving others attention, than receiving all of it.

The publishing company I was developing a proposal with a while back? It was Chronicle Books in California. You might have quite a few of their books on your bookshelves or in your kitchen, in fact (Among a few: Plenty, Tartine, Tartine BreadRuhlman’s Twenty, Sky High, and Flour).

We’re calling the book Hand Made. As time draws closer to publication, of course there will be so much more information about the book to share with you, but for now, I know this much: there will be chocolate, and with each post, there’ll definitely be talk of Hand Made.

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Speaking of chocolate, as you’ve probably noticed, I made us chocolate cupcakes in honor of all of this news, and because I wanted to make it up to you, my dear readers.

The recipe is as difficult as putting a boxed cake mix together. It all starts off with a scant cupful of all-purpose flour, a cup of sugar, a kiss of cocoa, a touch of baking soda and baking powder, and some sea salt in a large mixing bowl. The dry mixture is whisked together, just until the cocoa turns the pale ingredients into a milk chocolate tan. After that, vanilla extract, an egg, some sour cream, vegetable oil, and a bit of boiling water are stirred in until just combined. The watery chocolate mixture is spooned into a paper-lined muffin tin, and is then baked for about 17 minutes. In that time, the liquid chocolate concoction transforms into tender, moist-crumbed mini cakes.

Once baked, the mini cakes are left to sit in the tin, until the tin is cool to the touch, then they’re transferred to cooling racks while the frosting is made.

The frosting is as scarcely difficult as the cake- it requires a mound of cocoa and a small puddle of melted butter to be combined in a bowl with a couple heaping cupfuls of powdered sugar, some milk, and a scant teaspoon of vanilla extract. The mixture is mixed until smooth and spreadable.

Once the cupcakes have been completely cooled, the dulcet dark earth-colored frosting is generously spread onto each cupcake. Once finished, each cupcake is adorned with fairy dust, in the form of dark chocolate shavings.

And there you have it! Hand Made by Kamran Siddiqi. Chocolate Cupcakes. Yes.

Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe
Makes About 16
Adapted from this recipe

These cupcakes are as difficult as putting a boxed cake mix together. Because I find every excuse possible to not dirty another bowl or spoon when baking, I’m happy to say that this recipe doesn’t require much to be dirtied. It’s a one-bowl recipe that can be made, simply, with a bowl and a spoon / silicone spatula. It can also be made using a stand mixer (which in this case, I find to be a bit more work), or a food processor.

If you do plan to make this recipe at the last minute, and you don’t have time to bring an egg and the sour cream to room temperature simply do this for the egg. As for the sour cream, running it in the microwave for 15 seconds or so should do the trick.

The recipe calls for sunflower oil, but you can easily use any neutral tasting oil (Such as: Safflower, Corn, Canola, Vegetable…)

When filling the cupcake liners, be sure to fill them up with no more than 3 level tablespoons of batter, as this batter is quite runny, and doesn’t dome over when it rises like a muffin would, instead it spreads out, and if there’s too much batter in one of the cups, the batter will spill-over the liner and onto the pan. I have gotten away with making 12 cupcakes instead of 16 cupcakes with this recipe, but a few cupcakes did manage to spill-over, and I couldn’t have that happen to you! I prefer to use a 1.5 ounce ice cream scoop for this task, as I know that each cup will be filled with the same amount of batter, and that all of the cakes will cook at the same time.

Do note that the frosting recipe provided can easily frost all 16 cupcakes, however, if you’d prefer to have tall “hats” of chocolate frosting on each of your cupcakes, as pictured in this post, 1 ½-ing the recipe will be necessary.

Ingredients:

For the cake:
1 cup / 200 grams granulated white sugar
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons / 105 grams all-purpose flour
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons / 30 grams unsweetened cocoa powder (natural, non-dutched), sifted
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

1 egg, room temperature (read this)
½ cup (4.25 oz) /120 grams sour cream, room temperature
¼ cup / 45 grams sunflower oil (refer to headnotes for alternatives)
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract

½ cup/ 120mL boiling water.

For the frosting:
6 tablespoons / 85 grams unsalted butter, melted
½ cup / 40 grams unsweetened cocoa powder (natural, non-dutched)
¼ cup / 60mL milk
2 ¼ cups / 225 grams powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
¾ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon golden syrup / light corn syrup

Preparation:

Make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350ºF/ 180ºC / Gas Mark 4. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.

Now, in a large heatproof mixing bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Crack in the egg, spoon in the sour cream, and pour in the oil and the vanilla. Mix with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula (which I prefer) just until smooth and combined. Pour in the boiling water, and slowly mix starting from the center working your way out (this makes it easier to mix without the splattering.). The batter will be liquidy, but fear not, this is normal.

Divide the batter evenly among the lined cups, using a spatula to help you scrape the bowl, filling each lined cup with 3 tablespoons of batter, about halfway full. (Kamran Note: I use a 1 ½ ounce ice cream scoop for this, which makes things a little easier when it comes to filling).

Bake for 15-19 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until a cake tester or a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of each cupcake comes out clean.

Transfer cupcakes in pans to wire racks for about 10-minutes until the tins are cool to the touch. Once the tins are cool, remove the cupcakes from the pans, and transfer to the wire racks. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting and frost the cupcakes:
In a large bowl (or in a stand mixer), combine the melted butter and cocoa powder powder until smooth. Now, alternately mix in the milk and powdered sugar, beating (on medium speed) to spreading consistency. Add another tablespoon or so of milk, if necessary. Mix in vanilla and golden syrup / light corn syrup.

Frost the cupcakes using a small offset spatula or non-serrated butter knife, making sure to frost to the very edges (doing this is not only an excuse to have more frosting on your cupcakes–yum!, but it also helps keep the cupcakes moist), and adorn with chocolate shavings or other edible decorations of your liking.

Note on frosting the cupcakes: To frost the cupcakes, I used a small off-set spatula (can use a butter knife without a serrated edge, as pictured above) at an angle to spread the frosting smoothly around the cake. Then, I used a cake spatula to create the indent in the center. Turn 360º one way, and turn 180º in the opposite direction; lift the spatula, and that’s it. Shave some dark chocolate on top using a vegetable peeler (or you can use a microplane or one of those manual cheese graters that they use at Italian restaurants to grate parmesan), and you’re done.

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139 COMMENTS

  • sreebindu
    March 2nd, 2012
    1

    yumm..yumm..yummy…all is well =) hand made sound cool :)

  • Emma @ Poires au Chocolat
    March 2nd, 2012
    2

    It’s lovely to see you posting again! It’s easy to get bowed by the pressure of success or good news- like writing an awesome book! – and feeling like you have to one-up yourself again, and make something even better.

    I’m not usually a cupcake person at all but these look delicious. I particularly like the photo of the cocoa mix in the bowl of the edge of the table – the light and the curves are beautiful.

  • Sarah
    March 2nd, 2012
    3

    Wonderful news! Great to see you back at blogging as well. I have always enjoyed your honest writing and delicious recipes. Good luck with your new venture.

  • lauren@spicedplate
    March 2nd, 2012
    4

    Glad you’re back, and congrats on hand made!

  • thelittleloaf
    March 2nd, 2012
    5

    Congratulations on Hand Made – I can imagine it’s going to be wonderful. Like Emma, I’m not normally a cupcake person either, but you manage to make them look so beautiful here – simple, not too over-styled or sickly sweet and stunningly photographed. Good luck with the book! :-)

  • Jackie Gordon Singing Chef
    March 2nd, 2012
    6

    CONGRATS KAM!!!!

    I love reading your blog and I am too thrilled about “Hand Made” although I think it should be “Kam Made”. Keep being an fantastic inspiration for everyone, especially people your age!!! YOU ROCK!!!

    Kamran replied:

    Jackie, I adore you for that! Maybe we’ll just have to re-title the book to “Kam Made”! ;) And thank you for your sweet words! :)

  • tami
    March 2nd, 2012
    7

    glad to see you around again, kamran…and congrats on the big news. :)

    – tami

    Kamran replied:

    Thanks, Tami! :)

  • Rivki Locker
    March 2nd, 2012
    8

    Welcome back and congrats on the book. We made chocolate cupcakes last night but they didn’t come out NEARLY as pretty as these. Bookmarking this recipe to try next time.

  • merry jennifer
    March 2nd, 2012
    9

    Welcome back, Kamran. Congratulations for all that you have going on in your life. You’ll learn and grow from it and it will be GREAT. Don’t feel bad about not posting. You post when you can, when it suits you, and we’ll all still be here. *hugs*

    Kamran replied:

    MJ- you always know the best things to say. Thank you! *Big Hug*

  • Tara
    March 2nd, 2012
    10

    Kamran, I love your site I am so inspired by your voice and your recipes and beautiful food and photography. I understand about learning how to balance and sometimes think people get caught up in posting and blogging and the pressure of it all. Take your time to figure out your balance and we are all cheering you on! Wonderful, just wonderful news about the cookbook, applause well deserved and I look forward to seeing it!

  • Holly
    March 2nd, 2012
    11

    Thanks once again for yet another wonderful blog. You should definitely keep writing for YOU and no one else. But it’s awfully nice of you to share it with us =). Enjoy the publishing journey! Best wishes!

  • Erica Lea | Cooking for Seven
    March 2nd, 2012
    12

    So glad you’re back! And I love your writing. You make everything seem so clear and beautiful. So true about things getting harder the longer you let them sit. Thank you for the encouragement!

    Stunning photos and scrumptious-looking recipe, by the way. :D

    Kamran replied:

    Erica- you are the sweetest, really! Thank YOU for your kind words, for the encouragement and for reading! :)

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food
    March 2nd, 2012
    13

    So much to be excited for. Your world is changing, in such wonderful ways. Congrats my friend!

  • Lori @ RecipeGirl
    March 2nd, 2012
    14

    Yay!! Such happy news, and such delicious-looking chocolate cupcakes indeed!

  • Caneel @ Mama Me Gluten Free
    March 2nd, 2012
    15

    Wonderful news – congratulations!! These cupcakes also look amazing – and I love the styling. This was a great post to get back into the writing! :)

  • Aaisha @BakingPartTime
    March 2nd, 2012
    16

    A book involving chocolate and Kamran… sounds perfectly matched. As do these cupcakes! I love that there’s a rustic-ness to the shots, but the cupcakes and frosting themselves are quite dark and elegant. Congrats again hun. Couldn’t be happier. As for the writing.. of course we all missed your posts but be sure to take care of yourself first and foremost. The blog should be a release to outside pressure.. not a cause for it. Ok? Hug.

  • Prerna@IndianSimmer
    March 2nd, 2012
    17

    Finally the word is out!! So happy for you my friend. Cannot wait to lay my hands on Hand Made. Its gonna be gorgeous and I know that because I know you :-)
    Good Luck!

  • Pragati @ Get Fresh with Food
    March 2nd, 2012
    18

    Love the style of pics. You don’t over crowd your pics with props that are not related. Luv that! Congrats on the book deal, you truely deserve it!!

    Kamran replied:

    Pragati- thanks so much! :)

  • Lana @ Never Enough Thyme
    March 2nd, 2012
    19

    So glad to see you back online, Kamran! And what wonderful news. Congratulations to you!!

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com
    March 2nd, 2012
    20

    Congrats Kamran!! So happy and excited for you & Hand Made :) Don’t worry about posting, we all are here to support you!

  • olga
    March 2nd, 2012
    21

    very excited for you… but you knew that. love these pictures btw!! :)

    Kamran replied:

    Olga- thanks, friend! And that means a lot coming from you! :)

  • Torie
    March 2nd, 2012
    22

    I am not even a sugar junky but they look divine, handsome cakes. WOW. Stunning shots as well.

  • Shaina
    March 2nd, 2012
    23

    So very excited for you, Kamran, and happy you’re peeking your head out to say hello.

  • Laura {gourmettenyc}
    March 2nd, 2012
    24

    Congratulations on Hand Made! How very exciting. And, I’m definitely looking forward to more frequent posts!

  • kickpleat
    March 2nd, 2012
    25

    Glad to see you posting and hooray for all the news!! So happy for you!!!

    Kamran replied:

    Jeannette- thanks so much! I am so glad to be back. :)

  • Cookin' Canuck
    March 2nd, 2012
    26

    Congratulations, Kamran! I’m looking forward to seeing Hand Made and even happier to see you blogging again.

  • Living The Sweet Life
    March 2nd, 2012
    27

    Congratulations!! Congratulations, on the book – on your post and on these fantastic looking cupcakes :)

  • El
    March 2nd, 2012
    28

    Awesome Kamran. Can’t wait. The cupcakes look divine too.

  • Broderick
    March 2nd, 2012
    29

    That’s wonderful news – Congrats!

  • Heidi Leon
    March 2nd, 2012
    30

    I am so happy for you Kamran!. what a wonderful news, I will be looking forward to `Hand Made´ and in the meanwhile I think I will prepare a batch of this delicious chocolate cupcakes, they look fantastic.

    Photography is just beautiful, evocative and so poetic.

    Kamran replied:

    Heidi- Thanks so much, Señora! You kind words, along with the kind words of every other comment in this post have left a huge smile on my face. Thank you! :)

  • Helene
    March 2nd, 2012
    31

    It’s so nice to finally read a new blog post. Congratulations! Love the visual recipe index. Can’t wait for the book. And I think the Flickr group is a wonderful idea.

  • Y
    March 2nd, 2012
    32

    Amazing news about the book! These cupcakes look incredible. If not for the two chocolate cakes I already have in my kitchen, I’d be really tempted to dive back in there and bake them immediately.

    Kamran replied:

    Two chocolate cakes? I think that would be one of the best situations to be in. Yum! :)

  • Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having
    March 2nd, 2012
    33

    Congratulations on the book!
    I’m the same way with lists, putting it on paper makes the task more real somehow.

  • Kelsey/TheNaptimeChef
    March 3rd, 2012
    34

    Congratulations, Kamran! Well deserved news and a beautiful site, of course. Woot!

  • Kulsum@journeykitchen
    March 4th, 2012
    35

    Wonderful news Kamran. Not that I’m surprised! You so deserve it. And what a fabulous name – handmade! I’ll take a signed copy, thank you please :-)

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    March 4th, 2012
    36

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  • Sabrina Modelle
    March 5th, 2012
    37

    Hi Love,
    Welcome back! Congratulations on the book! I can’t wait to see it. So much love to you. Oh, and the site and the cupcakes both look gorgeous.

    Kamran replied:

    Sabrina, thank you! Lots of love back at ya! :)

  • Glamorous Glutton
    March 5th, 2012
    38

    I have only just discovered your blog thanks to Fork Magazine. I’m delighted that you’ve decided to blog again as I’m sure I’ll enjoy both your prose and pictures.

    Kamran replied:

    Glamorous Glutton- I’ve yet to receive my copy of the issue, however, welcome! :)

  • angela@spinachtiger
    March 5th, 2012
    39

    I’ve wondered where you’ve been. I like the scoop out of the frosting in these cupcakes. Takes the chocolate cake to a new individual touch level, while keeping it sophisticated and approachable. The best thing I’m reading about you is that you are finding you. Never let trends define you. I’ve talked to other bloggers about the mass marketing approach out there, teaching people to make cookies from cake boxes and they want to copy it because it sells. But, it sells people short too and to me not worth any success at all. Homemade is the ONLY way to go. And, I for one, would never encourage women to continue buying and eating junk just to get better blog traffic. You at your young age seem to get this. Bravo for that.

    Kamran replied:

    Angela, your comments are always so thoughtful! Thank you for your kind words and honesty!

    I, like you, firmly believe that handmade is the way to go. I would never- not even for more traffic, money, fame, etc. would insist that people eat junk laden with unpronounceable ingredients.

    To me, I don’t care how cute or pretty something is, I’d much rather have it be made from scratch with REAL ingredients, rather than boxed and canned junk. I’d gladly pay $5 for a handmade cupcake than $1 for two or three box and canned-made cupcakes. At the end of the day, I prefer to be healthy than wealthy. Box/can-made things are, to me, a tacky and unhealthful trend. I know some will disagree with that; everyone’s entitled to their opinion, however, this is what I believe. I don’t want to be the cause of people getting sick because they made one of my recipes and it called for ingredients that could ruin one’s health. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I did such a thing.

  • Garrett
    March 5th, 2012
    40

    Congrats, K. I look forward to seeing what you put together. =)

  • Chloe
    March 5th, 2012
    41

    You are such an inspiration, Kamran. And congratulations!

  • Rikki
    March 5th, 2012
    42

    Those look like the best chocolate cupcakes ever. And that frosting…oh my goodness it looks divine!

  • Jazmine
    March 5th, 2012
    43

    I’m not even sure how I found this blog, but all of a sudden the cupcake pictures were on my screen. I made these today..and I’m eating them now..and I’m glad no one can see me because I have frosting on my face and I’m getting crumbs all over my desk. These are so easy to make and delicious!!!

  • Mika
    March 6th, 2012
    44

    Congratulations!!! This is a great news and I’m super happy for you! Your blog is magic, you have such a polite and dreamy voice! Happy happy…Can’t wait to read it!

  • Rebecca
    March 7th, 2012
    45

    Hi there!
    Amazing photos and amazing recipe. I tried these cupcakes yesterday and they’re delicious <3
    The only problem I had was that after I baked them, they got flat again, even though the rose during baking. What could be the problem?

  • Cathie
    March 7th, 2012
    46

    Gosh you’re only 19! Tell me where and how you learned the “chemistry” of baking. I would like to learn how to change a recipe but I don’t know the chemistry involved. Cookbook? On-line? Trial and error? Once I know basics, I won’t be opposed to some trial and error but right now I just don’t get it.

  • Nancie McDermott
    March 7th, 2012
    47

    Delighted to have found my way here, and to see such wonderful words and photos and recipe, and to think, “I want More!” and to read that you are working on a book. Hooray for you, congratulations, saving space on my shelf. Love how you describe the process, so inviting.

  • --kyleen--
    March 7th, 2012
    48

    Glad you’re back! I still can’t believe the news about your book deal; that’s amazing. These cupcakes look delicious, totally worthy of celebrating “Hand Made”.

  • Kimberley
    March 8th, 2012
    49

    Congrats on the exciting news! Can’t wait to hear all about your experience – I’m about to embark on the same, it looks like. :)

  • Stephanie
    March 8th, 2012
    50

    ummm yum! I’m making these this weekend. Congratulations!

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    March 9th, 2012
    51

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  • Jen Laceda
    March 11th, 2012
    52

    i always buy bloggers’ cookbook! i hope everything works out well and we’ll see your book on the shelf across countries! good luck! waiting eagerly…

  • Cindy
    March 12th, 2012
    53

    Congratulations on your book with Chronicle Books. I’m sure it will be a success. And so glad to see you posting.

    Kamran replied:

    Thanks so much, Cindy! :)

  • supernovachick
    March 12th, 2012
    54

    Yay for new photos and post! Looks delicious as ever <3

  • Meki
    March 13th, 2012
    55

    Congratulations on your book! I’ve been doing notes/to-do list on paper mode too! In fact, I just started being lazy printing recipes I want to try so I started writing them instead! haha! (handwritten, yes!)

  • Farro Salad with Blood Oranges and Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette — The Tomato Tart
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    56

    [...] pressure became overwhelming.  He finally posted late last week with some delectable (and simple) cupcakes and some very big news. Congratulations on the fantastic post Kamran, and on the book! I’m so glad you’re [...]

  • Julie
    March 14th, 2012
    57

    Wow, Chronicle!! Congrats Kamran!! And these chocolate cupcakes? FAB!! They remind me of closed sea anemones out in Tofino.

  • I love lists, Friday! › shutterbean
    March 16th, 2012
    58

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  • Maryanne
    March 16th, 2012
    59

    Hello Kam! I have just found your site today and I’ve looked through every single page (I cannot believe your 19). WOW! Your work is beautiful! Your writing makes me want to read your posts all day and I wish I could take all of your photos and frame them throughout my house.

    Congradulations on the book deal! HandMade will have a place in my kitchen when it comes out. It will be BEAUTIFUL like all of your stuff!

    One more thing: I’m very curious about how you frosted your cupcakes. Can you tell us how you did it?

    Kamran replied:

    Hi Maryanne- Welcome! And thank you for your kind words and your Congratulations! :)

    To frost the cupcakes, I used a small off-set spatula (can use a butter knife without a serrated edge, as pictured above) at an angle to spread the frosting smoothly around the cake. Then, I used a cake spatula to create the indent in the center. Turn 360º one way, and turn 180º in the opposite direction; lift the spatula, and that’s it. Shave some dark chocolate on top using a vegetable peeler (or you can use a microplane or one of those manual cheese graters that they use at Italian Restaurants to grate parmesan), and you’re done.

    I’ll also make note of how to frost the cupcakes in the recipe. :)

  • CulinarilyCourtney
    March 16th, 2012
    60

    I just found your site through shutterbean.com and I must say, I am impressed! As a young-ish food blogger myself I love finding other young bloggers with a love for all things baking and cooking. Your site is so sophisticated, and when I clicked on your about page and saw that you are 19 my mouth practically dropped open (that also could have been from the fact that I was drooling over your delicious looking hand made chocolate cupcakes haha). Anyway, I look forward to reading more of your posts, no matter how frequent or infrequent :)

  • Rebecka
    March 18th, 2012
    61

    Oh my. Wow. I am so very happy I’ve found your blog, it is indeed a treasure. Even though I am a first-time reader I want to congratulate you and thank you for being so awesome. I will most certainly come back for more and try your recipes as soon as possible.
    Reading this just makes me think of where I was in my life when I was 19 – honestly, I was just all over the place, wanting to catch myself and learn it all. I’m 25 now and I’m beginning to think that this whole process of “knowing thyself” is an everlasting one.
    Your work is honest and original, you seem to be “keepin’ it real” and for an outsider like myself it seems you have a really good sense of what you like and what you want. Just keep going!

  • Stacie @OneHungryMama
    March 19th, 2012
    62

    Yay! Nice to “have you back” and I cannot wait to have Hand Made in my hands. Congrats, K! xo

  • Dara
    March 20th, 2012
    63

    I absolutely adore how you frosted these!

  • Sneh | Cook Republic
    March 21st, 2012
    64

    I have followed your blog silently for a while now and want to wish you the very best with your book! It will be awesome and I can’t wait for it :-)

  • Maggie @MaggieCooks
    March 22nd, 2012
    65

    Welcome Back Kamran! :) Love this chocolate frosting recipe! It looks yummy!
    I’m glad you are great! And a book? Wow that’s so cool, I wish you the best of luck! :D

  • Kirstie Elizabeth
    March 27th, 2012
    66

    Kamran, while you do not know me, nor I you, it is a pleasure to “meet” you. I discovered tsg this afternoon while in search for a birthday cake I’d like to make myself for this weekend. The chocolate strawberry won me over.
    This site is lovely, as are your creations and how you display them.
    Please keep baking! (of course at your leisure. I’m a college student myself, I know how it can be)

    -Kirstie

  • chefroommate
    April 3rd, 2012
    67

    This cupcakes were delicious! They were so easy to make, and the frosting really reminded me of Magnolia Bakery’s frosting in New York – something I have been looking for a in a homemade recipe! Thanks so much!

  • Dishka
    April 6th, 2012
    68

    Glad to see you back in the saddle. I am excited for your book. I am definitely going to make these the next time a chocolate cupcake pang hits. Your wisdom and perspective far surpass your youth. Looking forward to more from you!

  • pookie
    April 7th, 2012
    69

    Hi Kam, thanks for the recipe and the lovely photos!
    I made the recipe last night as mini loaves, they turned out very moist :-) I will definitely look for your book. In the same time, please keep posting – love to see more of the insights!

  • Lisa @ Snappy Gourmet
    April 10th, 2012
    70

    wow, chocolate overload…My kind of cupcake!!! :)

  • Sunny
    May 1st, 2012
    71

    Kam, I made these and they were wonderful. I’ve tried many different chocolate recipes but I like that these have a moist, delicate consistency without being overly sticky. The frosting, however, was much too sweet. I kept tasting as I went and 1 cup of sugar in I thought everything was perfect, but saw that you had used double the amount plus corn syrup and decided to finish your recipe. The resulting frosting was delicious but, as I had expected, much too sugary. Not being more than an amateur baker, however, I don’t really understand the need of corn syrup in the recipe – can you explain why you use corn syrup in your frosting? Much thanks x Sunny

    Kamran replied:

    Hi Sunny, I’m so glad you liked the cupcakes! I might be wrong, as I’ve not made this frosting in a while, I suspect you might be putting too much confectioner’s sugar into your measuring cup. I find that spooning the powdered sugar into the measuring cup just until it’s overflowing, and then sweeping a flat utensil over the top (such as a butter knife), is ideal. It doesn’t pack in the powdered sugar… Now, if you’ve a scale, I suggest weighing the powdered sugar out. It saves the hassle and mess of scooping and sweeping!

    Now, if you’ve been measuring the powdered sugar correctly, our tastes could simply be at fault. Some people like things sweeter than others, so if you do feel that the frosting is a bit too cloying for your tastes, simply adjust the amounts used in the recipe to fit your tastes, just make sure the frosting is able to spread– you don’t want a pool of un-spreadable chocolate frosting, after all (well, now that I think about it, that might not be a bad idea, but for this instance– spreadable!)

    The golden syrup / corn syrup in the recipe allows the frosting to be nice and smooth, and easy to spread onto the cupcakes. It gives the frosting a better mouth feel, as well. It’s not entirely necessary in the recipe, but I do recommend using it.

    I hope that helps!

  • Apple City
    May 4th, 2012
    72

    [...] What follows is the (somewhat accidental) adaptation of chocolate cupcakes from The Sophisticated Gourmet. [...]

  • the it list | rachel gadiel | chevrons & stripes
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    73

    [...] cathryn nicholson, 7| cut copy – zonoscope, 8|spicy edamame & chocolate cupcakes, 9| the happiness project This entry was posted in the it list and tagged guest post. [...]

  • Elisa B
    May 10th, 2012
    74

    These look amazing! Also, where did you get your mixing bowl (the one with the spout and the handle)? It looks super handy. :)

    Kamran replied:

    Hi Elisa! It’s a 2 quart batter bowl made by Anchor Hocking. If I remember correctly, I picked it up at the K-Mart in Penn Station a while back for something like $8.

  • Elisa B
    May 10th, 2012
    75

    I guess I should also ask what size the bowl is? Online searches show a lot of 2 qt batter bowls but that seems small compared to what you are using. But I’m a poor judge of that sort of thing, so what do I know. :)

  • Chloé
    May 15th, 2012
    76

    The cupcakes are amazing and so good!! Thanks for the recipe!!

  • Over {Something} | 80% Homemade
    May 15th, 2012
    77

    [...] {2} Sophisticated Gourmet, and her Chocolate cupcake recipe [...]

  • Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet }
    May 24th, 2012
    78

    Congrats on your exciting news! You have a lovely blog and I am sure your book will be just as brilliant. This recipe is making my mouth water! Have a great upcoming holiday weekend!

  • Alison
    June 14th, 2012
    79

    These were delicious — moist, rich and so full of chocolate flavor.

  • Tarin
    June 17th, 2012
    80

    Kam, love your blog. I’ve made two things from it TODAY right after I found it. Made these cupcakes with dark chocolate cocoa instead of regular. AMAZING results. I did have a hard time making my frosting stiff enough, but that might be because of the humidity where I am. Still turned out great, just more of a ganache instead of a frosting. Anyway, I am going to go back to destroying my health with cupcakes….

  • Teresa
    June 27th, 2012
    81

    love your comment about lined paper. I have the same problem. Can’t wait to try the cupcakes.

  • maria
    July 6th, 2012
    82

    Thank you, thank you, thank you !!!! This is THE recepie that I was looking for !!! I`ll keep following you from now on !!

  • Julie
    July 21st, 2012
    83

    These look wonderful! If I may ask, what brand of cocoa powder do you use?

    Kamran replied:

    Hi Julie– I believe I used Dagoba for this post because that’s what I had on hand, but Hershey’s works just as well! Happy baking. :)

  • Siti
    July 27th, 2012
    84

    I wanted to say these are the best ever! I am so glad I tried this recipe. The photos definitely do the recipe justice. Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe.

  • Jackie
    September 4th, 2012
    85

    These are wonderful! The cupcake and the frosting are just delicious–I sprinkled a little sea salt on some of them and that was heavenly. So glad I found this recipe!

  • Tiffany
    September 25th, 2012
    86

    I baked these last Friday morning, and everyonw went crazy! I loved this recipe!

  • Tian
    October 21st, 2012
    87

    Hello! I just made these today for my 18th birthday and absolutely loved it!
    I have tried a myriad chocolate cupcake recipes and this one takes the cake! Will deffinately be my go-to recipe from now on. It is so moist and fluffy, the first cupcake that was just the right amount of dense but airy and the perfect amount of sweetness! Love love love!

    Thank you for sharing this, I will deffinately be using this recipe for years to come!

  • Jade
    November 1st, 2012
    88

    “Good writing comes from living” I love that :)

  • Lisa Darling
    November 13th, 2012
    89

    This recipe was so amazing that I had to make it twice this week. Super moist, unbelievably easy to make. Thank you so much!!!

  • Goksan
    November 19th, 2012
    90

    Hi!
    Beautiful photos, I wonder which camera and lens you are using?
    Thanks..

  • Shy
    December 1st, 2012
    91

    Hello! I just found you through Pinterest, and wanted to say that these cupcakes were amazing! I just finished baking a batch for a party tomorrow, and am over the moon with the outcome. And your photos are beautiful!

  • Tian
    December 2nd, 2012
    92

    Hello! This is such an amazing recipe and I’ve used it about 5 times in the last month! One problem I keep encountering is that the cupcakes will not fully peel off the liners; little its will still stick to the cupcake liners. Any suggestions as to what may have gone wrong? A toothpick inserted came out clean, and I am using the Wilton brand liners. Nonetheless, this is a very delicious recipe!

  • Vapor
    December 2nd, 2012
    93

    Just made these 2 hours ago and LOVED them! Thx.

  • MhaiS21
    January 3rd, 2013
    94

    Hi Kam!

    I’m sure your book will be superior! I have the Tartine Cookbook and the pictures and recipes are amazing! I know your book will be too! Looking forward to it! I live in Asia, but I need to get my hands on that book of yours if its already released! More power!

  • Fatima
    January 20th, 2013
    95

    These cupcakes turned out to be very soft, moist and slightly chewy which I loved. Its also very chocolaty which is another think I loved about this yet it wasn’t too sweet or too bitter. Icing is very nice and adds that touch to the cupcake. I found the icing to be a bit runny, I guess I over beat it but it did spread well. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Andrea
    January 29th, 2013
    96

    I just made these. So delicious! I added too much milk and consequently needed more powdered sugar, so now I have a lot of leftover frosting. It tastes so good alone that I don’t mind :) I also didn’t have any sour cream and substituted Greek yogurt, which worked really well (if anyone else was wondering).

  • C.D. Beatrice Clay
    February 18th, 2013
    97

    Made these yesterday and they are DELICIOUS!! I love to baking but some recipes are so “involved!” This was easy peasy and a hit with my family. Thanks for sharing. http://www.inspiredbybeatriceclay.com.

  • weekend provisions - inspired by Beatrice Clay
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    98

    [...] and call for all sorts of random fixin’s and inordinate amounts of time. This chocolate cupcake recipe was so low-stress and DELICIOUS does not even begin to describe [...]

  • Marvetta
    March 11th, 2013
    99

    These cupcakes were amazing! I made these into mini cupcakes for a party and everyone loved them! I was wondering if this recipe can be made into a cake. I hope so because this is my go to recipe from here on out! Thanks for posting it!!

  • Jordan
    March 30th, 2013
    100

    Just thought I’d stop by to say that these cupcakes are my go to chocolate cupcake recipe! (Icing as well) Very easy to make and soooo tasty. The liquid batter makes for the most moist cupcake youll ever have and the icing is a one bowl process that ends up a perfect chocolately buttercream that requires no chopped chocolate (I hate that part!) Softest cupcakes I’ve ever made and I’m in love! These would go so well with any combination of icings. MUST TRY!

  • My Best Chocolate Cupcake | Oh Sweet Day!
    March 31st, 2013
    101

    [...] tried another quick chocolate cupcake before, which is already superb. But then I found this recipe. And it takes these cupcakes to another level of superb. The major different between these two [...]

  • DMatin
    April 1st, 2013
    102

    I just made these cupcakes–they are beyond delicious!!! Thank you!

  • Asma
    April 3rd, 2013
    103

    Hi..loving these cupcakes…
    Can I use olive oil in place of sunflower oil?

  • Recipe: Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter cup center and peanut butter frosting | The Em Dash
    April 11th, 2013
    104

    [...] I found this great recipe from Sophisticated Gourmet for the cake. I modified it by using sweet and unsweetened cocoa and adding chocolate chips along [...]

  • Julia
    April 15th, 2013
    105

    I just made them today – easy recipe, takes no time, but the best thing is that they are absolutely delicious!!! thanks!

  • Lisa
    April 19th, 2013
    106

    I have six daughters, some love chocolate, some don’t. I LOVE to bake. We made these cupcakes and they were the perfect mix of chocolate & sweet. The texture of the cake was light but perfectly balanced with the Chocolate. The girls loved them so much we are making them for Grandpa’s 88th birthday with a dollop of German Chocolate Frosting in the middle. Your writing is beautiful. My Oldest daughter is 22, my youngest 8. Life can throw lemons but getting up each day and making lemon aid, truly makes you feel better. I have seen a lot of high’s and lows over the years, friendship & Love keep us going. Have a wonderful day. Thank you for sharing your talent!

  • Dawn
    April 28th, 2013
    107

    Best chocolate cupcakes and frosting I’ve ever made or tasted. Only thing I added was a bit of salt to the frosting. Outstanding!! Thanks!

  • Asma
    May 5th, 2013
    108

    Made these few days ago…. N there is only one word to say simply wowwww
    Soooo easy to make n delishhhhhh…. Frosting was also soooo tasty…
    Just love these…
    Thnku so much for the recipe

  • Natasha
    June 20th, 2013
    109

    I’m eating one of these as we speak. I used Dark Chocolate Cocoa instead of regular and plain old canola for the oil and they’re just fabulous. Incredibly rich and moist. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • ICE CREAM SUNDAE CUPCAKES | Best Friends For Frosting
    July 8th, 2013
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    [...] Adapted from Sophisticated Gourmet [...]

  • LeeAnn
    August 3rd, 2013
    111

    I just stumbled upon the digital food awards article in F&W and found your blog. I love your honest writing and beautiful pics. I look forward to your new book Hand Made. Well Done!

  • Sparky
    August 13th, 2013
    112

    Hi, I’ve made this a lot and always turned out really well, even if I used yogurt instead of sour cream. Do you think I can use the same recipe to make a red velvet cupcake by decreasing the amount of cocoa and adding red food color? I’m planning to make this and red velvet cupcakes for my nephew’s birthday next month.

  • April
    January 25th, 2014
    113

    Hello. I’m making these for my sons birthday party. I just got them out if the oven. They came out perfect. Easy to make!! My only regret is that all I had for cupcake liners were Christmas themed… hmmm…

  • Easy Chocolate Cupakes
    January 26th, 2014
    114

    […] (Frosting from Sophisticated Gourmet) […]

  • Gabi
    January 28th, 2014
    115

    Yum! I made these tonight for some friends and they were so good and EASY! One bowl? Yes please!

  • Valentine Baking | Feeding the Horde
    February 19th, 2014
    116

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  • Cass
    March 16th, 2014
    117

    I made these cupcakes for my sisters wedding this weekend and they were perfect! She really wanted regular buttercream frosting, so I did not actually make the frosting listed here…but the cupcake was excellent!

  • Erin
    March 27th, 2014
    118

    I came back to make these for the second time and realized I never left a review. I made these sometime around spring 2012 to go along with a senior project presentation I did in high school (a really huge, year-long project that involved me job-shadowing at a bakery) and ended up with a 99, so I’d say they were a hit with the judges :)

  • jeney
    March 30th, 2014
    119

    I can’t tell you how many different chocolate cupcakes I’ve made in my lifetime, but from now on these are the only ones I will ever make. They are the best chocolate cupcakes ever. Thanks so much for this recipe!

  • Shayne
    May 13th, 2014
    120

    These look great and so dark and rich! I can’t believe they look that rich without using any chocolate in them except for cocoa? Will be making a batch this afternoon when my kids get home. Thanks for the fab recipe :)

  • A craving for moist chocolate cupcakes | La Gallette
    May 31st, 2014
    121

    […] whole list dedicated to cupcakes is enough… it’s not! So when I laid eyes on these cupcakes I was… “bedazzled”, perhaps. I love a cupcake here and there, the […]

  • Chocolate Cupcakes for Lily | dawn spitfire's blog
    July 8th, 2014
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    […] http://www.sophisticatedgourmet.com/2012/03/chocolate-cupcakes/ […]

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