My brother, via twitter, requested our first symbolic cupcakes. Being the eternal adolescent that he is, he wanted a cupcake to represent the caped crusader as depicted in the latest Batman flick. After putting our heads together, we decided we needed a contrast of two cakes: dense bitter chocolate to represent his nightly escapades as the dark knight, and a pure white cake to show his white-bread existence as Bruce Wayne (minus his tendencies to partake in women and wine…that’s just a facade, right?). I made a bitter chocolate butter cream frosting and then topped it all off with gold flakes!
Both recipes were adapted from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and I made slight changes here or there, especially in the first recipe. It started out as a basic chocolate cake recipe, and I altered the proportions slightly and decided on a different type of chocolate. I ended up using 3 ounces of Dagoba 87% cocoa Eclipse chocolate, and just one ounce of Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate. It made for a super dense, not so sweet contrast to the fluffy white cake.
So, without further ado, recipes and pictures!
Bitter Chocolate Cake
- 4 oz. dark bitter chocolate
- ½ c. butter
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 c. sugar
- ¾ c flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1. Shave or chop the chocolate into smaller, thin pieces. Over a double broiler (I use one sauce pan over another, with a bit of water in the bottom one) and over low heat, temper the chocolate and butter until smooth and shiny, stirring constantly. Do not let the chocolate start to turn a dull brown; remove from heat immediately if this happens.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugar. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and cocoa powder). Alternately mix into the dry ingredients and the chocolate into the egg and sugar mixture until well combined. The batter will be VERY thick, almost brownie-like.
- 2 egg whites
- 1 c. AP flour
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ c. shortening
- ¾ c. sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- ¾ c. milk
1. Cream together the shortening and sugar until well combined. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Add the flour mix and the milk to the shortening and sugar, alternating until just combined. Stir in the vanilla.
2. In a chilled glass or metal bowl, whip the egg whites until the are stiff and a peak forms when you lift your spoon or mixer from the bowl.
3. Fold the egg whites into the batter and mix gently. Try not to over mix, but combine the two enough so that the batter is smooth. Fold the mixture gently so that the whipped egg whites do not break.
Now, here comes the tricky part. In order to get vertical half-and-half cupcakes, I used two spoons to simultaneously fill the lined cupcake tins with batter and my helper of the moment used two other spoons to guide the batter into its rightful place. I then smoothed the batter out a bit and filled in any little gaps with the appropriate batter.
Bake the cupcakes for 20-22 minutes at 350 degrees. Each batter rose at a different rate, and when I first took them out of the oven, the white cake was a good 1/2 inch higher than the chocolate, but as they rested and cooled, they evened out!
Bitter Chocolate Butter Cream
- 2 oz. bitter chocolate, chopped
- ¼ c. butter
- ¼ c. shortening
- 2-3 c. powdered sugar
Again, in a double broiler, temper the chocolate, the butter, and the shortening. Once smooth and shiny, transfer to a mixing bowl. Slowly add the powdered sugar until you reach the taste and consistency that you like! Set aside or put in the fridge to cool.
I took a step away from my usual piping and just spread the frosting on. This lead me to the conclusion that I really like piping because it affords a uniform, smooth look. Maybe I’m a perfectionist?
Well, no matter how they look, they sure do taste good!