Kitchenette goodies: dense chocolate cupcakes + raspberry mascarpone macarons

Friday was Final Friday in Cincinnati, and at Park+Vine Megan and I were busy selling Whirly Girl Coffee and peddling Kitchenette goodies.  In preparation I had spent most of the evening before hand and the entire day on Friday baking, baking, baking!  My kitchen, needless to say, is still only a semblance of the functioning, tidy place that it normally is (however, I’m sure it feels a little more loved after the whirlwind).  The pièce de résistance was a large plateful of pale pink raspberry mascarpone macarons that, to my happy surprise, were eaten in a decently short amount of time with much relish from and by the general public (which included many wonderful friends, thanks all!). For those of you who missed us, we will be out and about peddling our wares again soon!

Thursday night was, in true macaron form, a fiasco.  Originally we were going to make chocolate macarons in addition to the raspberry mascarpone batch –  after three batches, at around 1:00 in the morning, I threw in the towel and admitted to myself that I wasnt going to conquer the chocolate macaron on my first try.  Who knew but those chocolate macarons are HARD to make.  The first batch had no insides and was way too crunchy all around, the second batch all had cracked tops, and the third batch had no pied to speak of.  On my next chocolate attempt Im tossing the recipe I was using the other night and will be trying/playing around with David Lebovitz’s French Chocolate Macaron recipe.  Unfortunately, neither the chocolate fiasco nor the raspberry mascarpone victory were documented in my usual style due to my needing to meet my Friday at 5:00 deadline.  However, next time (and next time will be pretty darn soon) I will make a point to bake more slowly and take many pictures.

To compensate for the lack of chocolate macarons I ended up making pretty basic (and originally vegan) chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate ganache frosting + a sliced strawberry on top.  They reminded me of my favorite cake ever, one that my dad still makes for me on my birthday almost every year, Thunder Cake.  Out of the twenty or so cupcakes that I made I kept six or so for myself and Jason (and for Britt and David as they were building garden beds in our backyard the next day!) and they were actually better the next day.  As I’ve said before, any baked good that gets better with a bit of age is a truly quality baked good!

DENSE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE FROSTING

    3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix all of your dry ingredients together
  3. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients
  4. Mix well until the batter is lump free
  5. If you are making cupcakes, pour into cupcake try +paper liners and bake approx. 30 minutes, or until a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean!

CHOCOLATE GANACHE

9 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup heavy whipping cream

  1. Place your chopped chocolate into a medium-sized bowl
  2. Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat.  Bring the cream to a boil (but only just!) and then remove from heat and pour over the chocolate.
  3. Whisk the chocolate and cream together until fully incorporated and smooth.
  4. Allow the chocolate ganache to cool until it is thick, and then give it a good whisking again to increase the thickness.  Enjoy!
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