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Chocolate cupcakes with crispy magic frosting

(Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff)
October 20, 2010

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Makes 12

BATTER

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) 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-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

2. In a heatproof bowl, combine chocolate and cocoa powder.

3. In a saucepan 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 the milk, egg, extra yolk, and vanilla into the chocolate mixture until combined.

5. In a bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until blended. 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. Set the oven at 350 degrees.

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 leave to cool completely.

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. Tip the mixture into an electric mixer fitted with a whip. Beat at medium-high speed for 6 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick and white like a meringue 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. Alternatively, spread the frosting with an offset spatula. Adapted from “Flour: Spectacular Recipes From Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe’’