Thursday, July 24, 2008

Really Fudgy Mini-Cakes

Today is the FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the day we closed on our little townhouse!

I remember the stress... it was just a couple of weeks before our wedding, and it had been pushed back a bunch of times for various reasons. We both took the day off from work and became homeowners.

Here is a picture of our home-sweet-home:

Anyway. On to the food stuff.

I cannot believe that I never thought of this before, but Brooke told me I should get my house a birthday present! WHY did that not occur to me?! This afternoon I planned on running to Crate and Barrel for a gift, so I figured I'd pick something up there.

I was already planning on making a special little dessert, so I got these:

I think I've already talked about one of my favorite baking books before: Small-Batch Baking. I love that I can get the fun of baking without all of the calories. I knew this book would give me the perfect little treat to celebrate our house-iversary. This recipe is designed to yield four cupcakes, but I made two little heart-shape cakes instead.
I thought that the cake was a little dry, but good. I didn't really get a fudge vibe - it was chocolately for sure, but not fudgy. The icing on its own was a bit too orange-y for me, but coupled with the chocolate cake, it was perfect.

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the muffin cups
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more for flouring the muffin cups
  • 1/2 ounce bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Yolks of 2 medium eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Frosting (recipe follows)

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350. Grease and lightly flour 4 muffin-tin cups.

2. Place the chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat on high until glossy - about 60-90 seconds. Stir the chocolate until it is smooth, then let it stand until cool - about 10 minutes.

3. Combine the buttermilk and baking soda in a small bowl and stir to mix. Gently whisk in the egg yolks and vanilla.

4. Place the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl and whisk to blend. Add the butter and half of the buttermilk mixture. Beat with a hand-held mixer on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture is lightened and slightly increased in volume, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pour in the remaining buttermilk mixture and the melted chocolate, and beat on medium about 15 seconds. Scrape the sides.

5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, dividing evenly. Fill the empty cups with water. Bake about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 4 ounces cold cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon thawed frozen orange juice concentrate (I used fresh OJ instead.)
Place the cream cheese and butter in a medium-size mixing bowl and beat with a hand-held electric mixer on medium speed until blended, 20 seconds. Add the sugar, orange zest, and vanilla, and beat to mix. Then add the orange juice concentrate and beat until the frosting is fluffy, about 1 minute. Use right away, or cover and let stand for up to 1 hour before using.


  1. These look great and I love the heart shapes!

  2. Congrats on 5 years! Hopefully someday we'll be homeowners too :)

  3. Oooh, pretty! And you reminded me reminded me that I need to get baking from my Small Batch book again!


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