30 October 2011

Happy Hallowe'en: Chocochocochip pumpkin cupcakes with orange cream cheese icing

Happy Hallowe'en to all ghosties and ghoulies, big and little alike.

Regardless of what you think of the day and how it's evolved into from its long-past roots, I think it's a day where we can have a little fun, let our alter egos become our real egos and...of course...eat chocolates and cakes and cookies.

As if I need an excuse to eat chocolate and cakes and cookies.

As if I need an excuse to wear my tiara...or my red sequinned devil horns...or my bumblebee wings.

I thought of doing something on the spooky side like these witch finger cookies but I really couldn't think of anything truly gross or spine tingling to make.

Since it's autumn, and I can't let an unopened can of pumpkin puree remain unopened...and it seems my chocolate tooth has come back in full force. I was highly unimaginative and resorted to a cupcake default. Double chocolate pumpkin cupcakes, to be precise.

My screen flickered with several recipes for chocolate sour cream cakes and chocolate pumpkin cakes, and from those I came up with this one.

I think it's a rather deceptive little cupcake. On the surface it looks like a chocolate cupcake. Then you bite into it and the pumpkin with its spices add warm and earthy notes to their chocolate partner. Then you get an extra burst of chocolate from the studs of chocolate chips that lie within.

I don't think these cupcakes need icing, but I whipped up some orange cream cheese icing and swooshed a little on top of the cooled cakes.

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes
Yield: 24
Inspired by recipes by Anna Olson, allrecipes.com, Country Living, Adventures in Cooking, and Life's Ambrosia

100ml (0.33c + 1Tbsp) sour cream
90g (100ml/0.33c + 1Tbsp) pureed pumpkin
55g (155ml/0.5c+2Tbsp) cocoa
125ml (0.5c) boiling water
0.25tsp (1.25ml) ground allspice
0.25tsp (1.25ml) ground cloves
0.25tsp (1.25ml) ground cardamom
0.25tsp (1.25ml) salt
260g (500ml/2c) cake flour
1tsp (5ml) bicarbonate of soda
0.25tsp (1.25ml) baking powder
60ml (0.25c) flavourless oil
55g (60ml/0.25c/4Tbsp) softened butter
100g (125ml/0.5c) brown sugar
200g (250ml/1c) white sugar
2 eggs
180g (250ml/1c) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line two 12-bowled muffin trays with papers.

Mix together the sour cream, pumpkin, cocoa, boiling water, spices and salt. Set aside to cool slightly.

Sift together the flour, bicarb and baking powder. Set aside.

Combine the oil and butter and mix well. Tip in both sugars and beat for a few minutes, until light and fluffy. Incorporate eggs, one at a time, mixing well between additions. Scrape down the bowl

Add the dry and wet ingredients in the usual alternating way (dry-wet-dry-wet-dry), again scraping the bowl down between each addition. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Divide equally between the papered bowls. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out relatively cleanly, with a few crumbs clinging to the wood.

Allow to cool completely before icing.


- Don't use pumpkin pie filling
- If you want, you can play with the spicing--take away some or add cinnamon or nutmeg

Orange Cream Cheese Icing
Adapted from The Sweet Melissa baking Book (Carrot Cake with Fresh Orange Cream Cheese Frosting).

125g (approx 4oz/0.5 regular container) softened cream cheese
75g (85ml/0.33c/5Tbps +0.5tsp) softened butter
85g (170ml/0.66c) icing sugar, sifted
minced zest of one orange
0.5tsp (2.5ml) vanilla extract

Beat together the cream cheese, butter and zest. If your icing sugar isn't of the mindset to explode into a cloud when introduced to your mixer's beaters, incorporate the sugar in three additions, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla.


I'm a quill for hire!


La Cuisine d'Helene said...

Happy Halloween! Pumpkin and chocolate must be such a delicious combo. We love trying new cupcakes recipes.

Mikaela Cowles said...

Imagination be damned if this is what you're going to be baking up! I have to admit, I'm not very fond of Halloween - the last few years it felt like an excuse for girls to wear nothing - but the last year I found it was the perfect reason to wear the tiara you were just mentioning! It's so fun to act like a princess for a day! I just love it.

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