dark cocoa powder

2

Dark Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

These are the same cupcakes I made for my friend Jessica except they are now for my friend Allison’s birthday. The salted caramel frosting is nearly the same as before, but instead, a more thick caramel was made and the frosting is now much thicker, less pillowy, still delicious. 

Ingredients for Brownies

1 1/3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour

¾- cup Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder

½ tbsp ground coffee or espresso powder

1 ½ cup granulated sugar

1 ½ cup light brown sugar

¾ cup butter (1 ½ sticks), softened at room temperature

4 large eggs, at room temperature (it is crucial that you DO NOT use cold eggs)

3 tbsp sour cream

½ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for Frosting

½ cup + 2 tbsp heavy cream

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

8 tbsp (1 stick) salted sweet cream butter

3 cups powdered sugar

Fleur de sel (French sea salt) or regular sea salt for garnishing

Directions for Brownies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a muffin tin with liners and set aside

Sift your dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, and salt) into a bowl and set aside

In a large bowl or standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream your butter until it is smooth.

Once your butter is creamed, add in your sour cream and vanilla extract. Add in both types of sugar and mix thoroughly, and slowly begin adding in your eggs one at a time. Be sure to scrape the sides of your bowl and incorporate ingredients with a flat spatula as you go along

Finally, add in your dry ingredients and mix until your batter comes together.

Your batter WILL be dark so don’t worry

Evenly divide your brownie batter into the muffin tin and bake for about 20-24 minutes. You want the inside of the brownies to still be slightly wet but not UNDERCOOKED. Using a toothpick or a dry piece of spaghetti, check your batter, it should come out with CRUMBS and a small amount of batter on it, not a fully wet batter

Remove the brownies from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes while you make the ganache.

*The brownies will puff up when they bake but once they cool, they will slightly deflate and create a little dip/pocket which is a perfect place to put your frosting

Directions for Frosting

In a sauce pan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat. 

Once gently simmering, add in the brown sugar and butter, melting them together until most of the sugar crystals dissolve. 

Bring to a gentle boil and allow to do so for about 30 seconds-1 minute.

Remove from heat, add in 1 tsp of sea salt, and let cool completely before making frosting. 

In a standing mixer or large mixing bowl, add in the vanilla extract and slowly begin, ½ cup at a time, adding the powdered sugar.

(If you want to color your frosting, begin adding in your food coloring until your reach your desired color).

Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl with a flat spatula to continue incorporating the ingredients.

If you want a very thick frosting, add in a small amount (maybe 2 tbsp) of cornstarch or arrowroot starch and be sure to incorporate fully. 

Once the frosting has thickened, give it a final stir and pipe onto your cooled cupcakes.

Garnish with sea salt.

Enjoy!

2010 Château La Vieille Cure

Finding religion with this wine on Good Friday! Bouquet of red and purple fruit, plums, cocoa powder, dark potpourri, black tea, and caramel with whiffs of burnt embers, church pews, and incense on the nose. Not quite as complex on the palate but still some great notes of raspberry, blackberry, and plum with church pews. Nice soft mouthfeel. Really solid Old World Merlot - perhaps one of the best value Merlots out there? Try this wine if you want to figure out whether you like Old World Merlot or not. Dig into some lamb stew with it for good measure!

5/5 bones

$$

Merlot (some Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon)

14.5% abv

Fronsac (Bordeaux), FRANCE

2003 Torbreck “The Steading”

Torbreck wines are pretty special in my book. This is no exception. Violets, brown sugar, cherries, blackberries, and dark cocoa powder on the nose. Fruit - red and black cherries, blackberries, prunes - carries on the palate, accompanied by violets and bramble. Long, long finish on this guy with a great peppery kick. Delish. 

5/5 bones

$$$

Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah

14.5% abv

Barossa Valley, AUSTRALIA

Happy Mother’s Day (frosting recipe included)

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there

This is a chocolate chip/fudge cake, the cake is frosted with seriously the best frosting ever, here is the recipe for the frosting. There are many ideas you can use this delicious frosting with, sugar cookies sandwiched with frosting, cupcakes, parfait (add frosting in between your parfait dessert) or even use the frosting (add one tablespoon of heavy cream to thin out frosting) as drizzle for your mother’s day pancakes

:bulletred: The best buttercream chocolate frosting - Sweet, rich, and delicious!
¾ cup dark cocoa powder
3 ¼ cups powdered sugar
2-3 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup butter
1 tablespoon milk