After a startling reading on the weight scale towards the end of December, I swore off sugar. Just two years prior I worked so hard to lose my baby weight. Inspired by beach body coaches in my network, I vastly cut down sweets, decreased portion sizes, drank tons more water, swapped quinoa for rice in many of my meals, and began to regularly exercise using Fitnessblender, the only exercise I’ve been able to stick to thanks to the fact that I can choose from workouts of different durations and can do it from the convenience of my home. So I lost the 9 pounds of lingering weight, and 8 pounds on top of that.
And then I fell off the wagon. Slowly but surely I downward spiraled, picking back up my sweets habits and eating rice and curry without restraint. I kept up with the exercise more or less but it wasn’t enough with my slowing metabolism.
So I decided to stop eating foods with added sugar. It’s just one step, but surely it should help. But of course the universe has to align to make this impossible for me. Shortly after making my resolution, I attended a gingerbread house making playdate where I was SURROUNDED by candy and cake and all kinds of good stuff. Soon after that my daughter’s birthday rolled around and somebody’s gotta do QC and make sure things taste right. Amiright?
I did a good job holding off on tasting these, but then I needed a cross section for the blog, so guess where the other half went.
This is a really magical combination for the chocolate lover in your life. It’s reminiscent of the creme filled hostess cupcakes, but made even better with quality cocoa in the cupcake and chocolate in the ganache, homemade salted caramel sauce and delicious candy toppings. Remember we eat with our eyes first, and kids moreso than us. So if they see m&ms, they automatically think it’s a superb cupcake.
Enjoy the quick video tutorial below!
This is an adaptation of Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate cake. Because I used Dutch-process cocoa (which is alkalized, or less acidic than natural cocoa), I upped the amount of baking powder and decreased the amount of baking soda from the original recipe. I also used boiling water instead of hot coffee as many chocolate cake recipes call for, as it made for a way too tender a crumb. Perfect in layer cakes, but for cupcakes, you need something with structure.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup dutch process cocoa (I use Rodelle)
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin/cupcake pan with paper liners. You will need 15 in total. My cupcake pan only has room for 12, so I need to make these in 2 batches.
- In a large bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer add the sugar. Place a sifter over the top of the bowl and add flour, cocoa, baking powder and soda. Sift the ingredients into the sugar. Add salt. Stir to combine using the paddle attachment.
- In a 4 cup measuring cup or in a medium bowl, measure out the milk and vegetable oil. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well using a fork. With the mixer running on low, slowly drizzle in the wet ingredients into the dry. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Turn the mixer back onto low and slowly drizzle in boiling water. Stop the mixer and scrape down with a spatula to ensure the batter is homogenous.
- Using an ice scream scoop, scoop batter into the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way to the top. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- After they cool, hollow out the middle using a small circular cookie cutter. I used the smallest one from this set. I filled it with marshmallow creme using a piping bag and wide tip. I drizzled some salted caramel sauce over them. Then frosted them with chocolate ganache and garnished with chocolate candies.