Is it wrong to make something look one way, but taste another way? I came across this recipe while searching online for figgy pudding. I don’t know exactly what figgy pudding is supposed to look like, but doesn’t this look like it could be a steamed pudding with figs in it? I thought so. I didn’t want the white sauce, so I used something that is like a caramel sauce, but not a true caramel.
Nonfiggy Pudding-like Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 2 dozen
1 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
Stir the cocoa and espresso powders into the boiling water and set aside to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, stir in the sour cream and vanilla; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a hemisphere or cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray, or line with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Scrape the bowl as needed. Sprinkle in 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Add 1/3 off the chocolate mixture, mixing again until just combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and chocolate, adding each in 2 more additions. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Fill each cup of the prepared pans 3/4 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. Can be served warm, or room temperature.
I used the following recipe for topping:
3/4 cups heavy cream
3 oz unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
3/4 cups dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons maple syrup
In a large heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the cream, butter, brown sugar and maple syrup. Bring to a boil over high heat, whisking frequently. Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat. Blend the mixture with a whisk or handheld mixer until thickened and emulsified. Alternatively, you can use a standard blender to blend it in batches, but be careful because the mixture is hot! This makes 2 cups sauce.
Level tops of cupcakes, if domed. Turn upside down and place in saucer and spoon cooled topping in the middle of each cupcake. Add optional marzipan holly.