Friday, August 5, 2011

America's Test Kitchen Cupcake Test with Peanut Butter Frosting

I planned on making chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting using the same cupcake recipe I posted before, but I changed my mind after watching an episode of the American Test Kitchen on PBS while I was working out on the Arc Trainer at the gym.  I was inspired.  As soon as I got home, I looked up the recipe and got started.

From there website here is the recipe:

From the episode: Chewy Brownies and Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

Use a high quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate for this recipe,
such as one of the test kitchen's favorite baking chocolates,
Callebaut Intense Dark Chocolate L-60-40NV or Ghirardelli Bittersweet
Chocolate Baking Bar. Though we highly recommend the ganache filling,
you can omit it for a more traditional cupcake. The cupcakes can be
made up to 24 hours in advance and stored unfrosted in an airtight
Ganache Filling

   * 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate , chopped fine (see note)
   * 1/4 cup heavy cream
   * 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

Chocolate Cupcakes

   * 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate , chopped fine (see note)
   * 1/3 cup (1 ounce) Dutch-processed cocoa
   * 3/4 cup hot coffee
   * 3/4 cup (4 1/8 ounces) bread flour
   * 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
   * 1/2 teaspoon table salt
   * 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
   * 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
   * 2 large eggs
   * 2 teaspoons white vinegar
   * 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
   * 1 recipe Frosting



     1. FOR GANACHE FILLING: Place chocolate, cream, and
confectioners’ sugar in medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave
on high power until mixture is warm to touch, 20 to 30 seconds. Whisk
until smooth; transfer bowl to refrigerator and let stand until just
chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.

     2. FOR CUPCAKES: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat
oven to 350 degrees. Line standard-size muffin pan (cups have ½-cup
capacity) with baking-cup liners. Place chocolate and cocoa in medium
bowl. Pour hot coffee over mixture and whisk until smooth. Set in
refrigerator to cool completely, about 20 minutes. Whisk flour, sugar,
salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

     3. Whisk oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla into cooled
chocolate-cocoa mixture until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk
until smooth.

     4. Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Place one
slightly rounded teaspoon ganache filling on top of each cupcake. Bake
until cupcakes are set and just firm to touch, 17 to 19 minutes. Cool
cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about
10 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on
wire rack. Cool to room temperature before frosting, about 1 hour.

     5. TO FROST: Mound 2 to 3 tablespoons frosting on center of each
cupcake. Using small icing spatula or butter knife, spread frosting to
edge of cupcake, leaving slight mound in center.

America's Test Kitchen

America's Test Kitchen is a 2,500-square-foot kitchen located just
outside of Boston. It is the home of Cook's Country and Cook's
Illustrated magazines and is the workday destination for more than
three dozen test cooks, editors, and cookware specialists. Our mission
is to test recipes until we understand how and why they work and
arrive at the best version. We also test kitchen equipment and
supermarket ingredients in search of brands that offer the best value
and performance. You can watch us work by tuning in to America's Test
Kitchen ( on public television.

My adjustments were that I used all Trader Joe's chocolate and made my own peanut butter frosting.  Otherwise, I followed the directions.  I weighed the ingredients for the frosting.

  • 400g creamy peanut butter (I used JIF)
  • 1 stick of butter softened
  • 1 tbls vanilla extract
  • 690 g confectioners' sugar
  • 160 ml cream

In a large bowl beat butter and peanut butter together with a hand mixer until well blended.  Add vanilla.  At low speed, gradually add the confectioners' sugar.  Beat at low speed until creamy.  I used a star tip and a pastry bag to pipe the frosting on the cooled cupcakes.

My Review.
They were okay.  I like my other chocolate cupcake recipe better.  I mean with chocolate and peanut butter you really can't go wrong.  But after watching the episode, I had very high expectations and was slightly let down.  I made them to take to a fellowship welcome party for my wife's new job.  Most of them were eaten and I received no complaints.  I also made the Mexican wedding cookies that I have posted before.

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