Cupcakes, we have to admit, are not always our favorite. That was until we started seeing Hi-Hats crop up all over Instagram (Shout out to Erin McDowell!) Inspired and intrigued by the nostalgia of this throwback recipe, we decided it was time to put our own (easy) spin on it.
While developing this recipe, we wanted to simplify the process without sacrificing the flavor. To start things off, we knew the cupcake had to be perfect, but also quick to make.The first few batches we tested were lacking the chocolate oomph we were looking for so by tweaking the sugar to flour (we used Bob’s Organic All Purpose Flour) ratio a few times we were left with a perfectly moist and rich chocolate cupcake bursting with cocoa goodness.
Next up was the frosting. Our mission here was to take the mystery out of making meringue. Sure, it can go south quickly (hello, scrambled eggs) but as long as the water in your double boiler is not too hot (it should barely be simmering with a few bubbles popping to the surface) it really doesn't take much more than whisking egg whites and sugar for a few minutes.
The first few times we tested this portion of the recipe, we used a candy thermometer to make sure the egg white and sugar mixture hit 160˚F (to ensure the egg whites were cooked enough to safely eat) but if you don't have a candy thermometer, this process consistently took us EXACTLY four minutes each time we tested.
Last but not least, two ingredient chocolate glaze! It's super simple, just chopped semisweet chocolate and coconut oil. It's similar to a 'magic shell', so save any leftovers to drizzle on ice cream. Now on to the recipe!
Ingredients 1 ½ cups Bob’s Red Mill Organic All Purpose Flour 1 ½ cups sugar ½ tsp salt ¾ cup cocoa powder 1 tbsp baking powder 2 eggs ½ cup buttermilk ¼ cup sour cream ½ cup vegetable oil 2 tsp pure vanilla extract ½ cup strong coffee, very hot
Directions Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and grease or line a 12 cup muffin tin. Add the flour, sugar and salt to a large mixing bowl. Sift in the cocoa powder and the baking soda. Whisk until well combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, sour cream, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.
Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until combined. Add the hot coffee and whisk until smooth and blended.
Fill the prepared muffin tin with batter; filling each cup about halfway. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until set or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, then flip pan over to remove cupcakes. Once the cupcakes are out of the pan, let cool completely.
Step 2: Make Vanilla Meringue Frosting
4 egg whites 1 cup sugar Pinch of cream of tartar 1 tsp vanilla extract
Set up a double boiler. When the water is simmering, add egg whites and sugar and whisk until the sugar has dissolved, about 4 minutes, and the mixture registers about 160˚ on a candy thermometer, or the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture looks frothy. Transfer the egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment and add the cream of tartar. Whip on high for 3 minutes, then add in vanilla extract. Continue to whip (about 3 minutes more) for a total of 5-7 minutes, or until the mix starts to become stiff and glossy. You’ll know the mixture is ready when it will hold a stiff peak without deflating.
Transfer the frosting to a piping bag (or sturdy plastic bag) and start frosting the cupcake from the outer edge inward. You want to build a sturdy coil, overlapping in a concentric circle as you make your way up.
Let frosted cupcakes chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes while you make your chocolate coating. The frosting should not be sticky when you dip them; it should feel dry and firm to the touch.
Step 3: Make Chocolate Coating
6 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
To make the coating, add chopped chocolate and coconut oil to a clean double boiler and gently melt together until smooth. Whisk to combine, then let cool for about 10-15 minutes before proceeding.
When the cupcakes are chilled, dip in the chocolate coating and set in the fridge to harden for 5-10 minutes before serving.