One thing I’ve learned about being pregnant…
Everybody likes to give their opinion…
…about eating right…
…about gaining weight…
…about what I should and shouldn’t lift…
And I find it a little funny. For the most part, I don’t really mind. But the other day, one of my co-workers was having a conversation with Scott about the diet and cravings of a pregnant woman. And he adamantly told Scott that a pregnant woman should just eat what she craves, not worrying about “proper nutrition” since “the body knows best”. And to that I’d like to point out that one of my most common (unresolved) cravings is for a gin martini. Dirty. Extra olives… sooo, umm, what d’ya say to that- huh?!
In other news, it seems that I have a hankerin’ for cake and frosting. Now don’t worry. I realize that it likely appears that I’ve been eating nothing but sugary sweets and gin martinis. But fear no more. This facade of a blog through which you see me doesn’t paint the whole picture! My days have been filled with hummus, avocados, kiwis, salmon and whole grains. But you see, those things just don’t look very cute with piped-frosting hearts and squiggles. Alas…
I present to you my new standard in chocolate cuppy-cakes (as I like to call them). I still can’t get over just how tender the crumb is. And how moist. And really, I think you’ll find yourself filled with glee to eat them. Especially if you happen to be eating them while watching the scene in Mama Mia where all the women dance through the village singing Dancing Queen.…(just a suggestion).
Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing barely adapted from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
yields 12 cupcakes
Molly uses plain, whole milk yogurt instead of buttermilk, which I’ve used with great success in many cake recipes. I simply didn’t have any on hand! Also, Molly states that this recipe can be baked into an 8″ or 9″ cake pan, greased and lined with parchment. Bake for 50-60 minutes.
- 1 ounce semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup hot brewed coffee
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- rounded 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place an oven rack in the center-most position and preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a standard-sized muffin pan with muffin papers and set aside.
Pour the semisweet chocolate into the hot coffee and let it sit, stirring every once in a while until dissolved.
In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg until frothy. Add the canola oil, buttermilk and vanilla extract. With the mixer running, add the coffee/chocolate mixture. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix until just combined. Turn off the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom to be sure that there aren’t any unmixed parts left.
Pour the batter into the lined muffin pan, taking care to distribute the batter evenly. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 20 minutes to cool. Gently remove the cooled cupcakes from the pan (you may want to use a palette knife or butter knife to assist you), and place on the cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- tiny pinch of salt
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until completely smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the butter and salt. Beat again for about 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl again, and add the sugar. Again, beat until smooth, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Load into a pastry bag fitted with a fluted pastry tip and decorate!*
*Did you know that you can use a zip-top bag as a substitute pastry bag? Simply load up the bag with the frosting, then cut one of the corners of the bag off. A small cut will give you a small “pastry tip” and a larger cut will give you a larger “pastry tip”-ta da!