Wednesday, June 6, 2012

When Things Don't Go Your Way

In life, we often make a lot of plans but sometimes, they don't always turn out the way you expected or wanted them to. This was one of those times. Ironically, they say that our whole life is already planned out for us so why bother to make our own plans? Personally, I cannot imagine going through life without planning. It would feel like driving without any direction. 

I had first envisioned this cupcake to look like a Hi-Hat with a nice big swirl of peanut butter frosting on top, drizzled with melted chocolate and sprinkled with crushed peanuts. Unfortunately, after piping the frosting on the cupcake, I had the sinking feeling that something had gone wrong. It wasn't as smooth as I had thought it would be and almost looked just the tiniest bit curdled, which was kind of gross. I wasn't sure if that was exactly how the frosting was supposed to be but it certainly didn't look pretty piped with a round tip. I had to think and act quickly to save the day since this cupcake was actually an order from a friend who was paying for it. The only way I could think of was to cover the frosting completely with mini chocolate chips and chopped honey roasted peanuts. 

Maybe it was a fortunate accident. It turned out better than I had hoped for. The frosting, though not the prettiest was really good, fluffy but not too sweet and complimented the moist chocolate cupcakes well. But the best part was the combination of the mini chocolate chips and the sweet-salty honey roasted peanuts on top! I just couldn't get enough of it.

cupcake recipe adapted from Chef Chloe and frosting recipe adapted from The Food Network

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp instant coffee powder
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 12cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Whisk until combined. 

Stir the coffee into the milk. Whisk the milk, canola oil, vinegar and vanilla extract together in another bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture. Whisk until just combined. Do not overmix.

Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with a few crumbs sticking to it. Remove cupcakes from the pan immediately and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Kathleen's Peanut Butter Frosting
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

1 cup honey roasted peanuts, chopped
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Beat the butter and peanut butter in a bowl on medium low speed until well combined. Gradually mix in the sugar, salt and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and creamy. Add the cream. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is light, fluffy and smooth.Transfer frosting to a piping bag. Frost the cupcakes. Press some chopped honey roasted peanuts and mini chocolate chips to cover the frosting completely.
One last bite of heaven


  1. Don't you just love fortunate accidents? These cupcakes look awesome!

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    2. Thank you, Peggy G. ! (^-^)

  2. Oh my gracious these look too good to be true!

    1. and they taste even better! :) Thanks for dropping by, Ally!

  3. Wow, I saw this on foodgawker, and I had to stop by and gawk ;) These look perfect! I can't believe it's something you didn't intend! This will definitely be on my to-do list!

    1. Thanks, Cathleen! :D I hope you will also like it as much as I did.

  4. they rose and then fell in :( any advice?

    1. Hello Gloria,
      I'm sorry to hear about your cupcakes. I've used this recipe many times and I've never had a problem with it.
      It could be a number of reasons why the cupcakes sank in the middle.
      1. Oven temperature not accurate
      2. leavener - too much leavener OR uneven distribution of leavener OR old leavener
      3. Underbaking

      Whenever I bake, I always measure my dry and wet ingredients properly with measuring cups and spoons, then leveling it off with a spatula or the edge of a knife. Also whisk the dry ingredients until well combined so that the baking soda gets distributed in the flour mixture evenly. An old baking soda may also cause a cake to fall so if it's been sitting in the pantry for several months, it might be better to buy a new one.

      When I preheat my oven for 15 minutes before baking, I also use an oven thermometer to make sure that I get the accurate temperature. When you've put the cupcakes in the oven, try not to open the oven door. When you do that, the oven can lose heat and the change in temperature may cause a cake to fall.

      After 15-16 minutes, check the cupcakes by inserting a toothpick in the middle. If it is still too wet, leave them baking for another minute, then check again with the toothpick. You will know when they are done when the toothpick comes out clean or with very few crumbs.

      I hope this helps. If you do decide to make it again, I'd love to hear from you to know how it turns it the 2nd time around. Good luck! :)

  5. Your cupcakes look and sound gorgeous, a very happy accident!

    1. Thank you blueberry kitchen :) might as well have been a lucky accident!

  6. Where does the fudgy chocolate come from in the third picture? You don't have it on top of the frosting in the first two. Is it something you just added extra or is it part of the recipe missing in the first two shots?

    1. Hi sherilsl! I dipped the frosting in melted chocolate in the last picture, as originally planned had the frosting turned out the way I wanted it to but it didn't so I just did that one cupcake. The melted chocolate wasn't really part of the recipe.