If you are familiar with my old blog, you may recall that the last time the Steelers went to the Super Bowl, seemingly every grocery store in the city ran out of yellow food coloring (as it is the key to Steelerfying your average baked good). Luckily, I found some just in time to make a black & gold marble cake and black & gold rice krispie treats.
Keeping with my Steeler baking tradition, I used most of my yellow food coloring to make frosting for these chocolate cupcakes. While i’ve been tempted to recreate this fabulous Steelers cupcake display, I generally like all my garnishes to be edible (which, in my opinion, fondant is not). I have also been aesthetically impressed by some of Dozen Bakeshop’s tasteful creations, especially this giant rice krispie treat. Flickr also has a number of fabulous Steeler Cakes you can peruse for inspiration.
I’m not a huge cupcake fan, but I enjoyed this recipe from Joanne Chang’s new cookbook. The meringue-based buttercream is fabulous- light, creamy, and just salty enough for my taste. Conveniently, the frosting can keep for a few days at room temperature. I used the leftovers to frost a quick batch of mini vanilla cupcakes, using this recipe from Food & Wine. With all cupcakes, keep an eye on the baking time. Mine were done a good 10 minutes early.
Black & Gold Cupcakes
adapted from Joanne Chang’s “Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe”
(watch a video of Joanne making these cupcakes)
for the batter:
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut up
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 egg plus 1 extra yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Line a standard, 12-count muffin tin with paper liners. I prefer grease-proof ones.
2. In a medium heatproof bowl, combine the chocolate and cocoa.
3. In a saucepan set over medium heat, heat the granulated sugar, butter, and water, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Pour the butter mixture over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.
4. Whisk in the milk, egg, extra yolk, and vanilla into the chocolate mixture until combined.
5. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.
6. Let the batter sit at room temperature for 1 hour or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
7. Preheat the oven to 350F.
8. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake for 30 minutes or until the tops spring back when pressed lightly with a fingertip. Set on a wire rack and cool completely.
for the frosting:
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature, cut up
1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. In a heatproof bowl, whisk the sugar and egg whites. Fill a saucepan half full with simmering water. Set the bowl over (but not touching) the water. Whisk for 3 to 5 minutes or until the mixture is hot to the touch. It will thin as the sugar melts.
2. Remove the bowl from the heat. In an electric mixer fitted with a whip, beat at medium-high speed for 6 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick and fluffy and is cool to the touch.
3. Turn the mixer to medium and add the butter a few chunks at a time, beating for 3 to 4 minutes or until it is all incorporated. Add the confectioners’ sugar, salt, milk, and vanilla. Continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and satiny. (If not using immediately, transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature up to 3 days; beat in the mixer for a few minutes until smooth.)
4. Remove the cupcakes from the muffin tins and arrange on a platter. Fit a pastry bag with a star or round tip. Fill the bag halfway with frosting and pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.
to make the cupcakes Black & Gold:
After adding the confectioners’ sugar, salt, milk, and vanilla to the frosting, add yellow food coloring until it is sufficiently golden. Frost the cupcakes, then drizzle with melted chocolate, or garnish with chocolate sprinkles, cocoa nibs, or other appropriately colored items.