Friday, April 5, 2013

browned butter chocolate custard cupcakes...

My husband called it. He knew this would be the next thing I talked about on here.

Downton. Abbey.


Ok ok, I know we're a little behind- and please pardon me for that (see what I did there?? I'm using Downton language, bwahahahaha...) Here's the thing- we don't have cable. Not even basic. I know, we're "crazy". Anywho, we do have Netflix, THE INTERNET, and the ability to hook our computer up to our TV and stream Hulu (the free version, hehehe). So, we make due.

The only real downside- we become a little behind on certain things- like season 3 of Downton Abbey.

Can we just discuss this for a second?


Why did that season have to the worst season to watch??!!? I mean, it was SO good, and yet SO FLIPPING SAD! Boom- in the middle you're hit with a punch to the face. You cry and cry and then like any respectable person, pick yourself up and get over it. BUT THEN THEY HIT YOU AGAIN WITH ANOTHER PUNCH TO THE GROIN with their ridiculous season finale! WHAT THE HECK DOWNTON WRITERS?!?! WHAT THE HECK??

Can things not go right for that family? Or am I just totally unfamiliar with my 1920's/30's history...Is this how things went back then??? 

I mean, I'm used to terrible tragedies happening in things like...Oregon Trail- where your whole family ceases to exist half way through the game because of things like dysentery, the basic cough, scraping their knee, tripping over a pebble, etc. But that was set in...what? The 1800's?

I would think times have improved in Downton time! WHY DIDN'T IT?!?!?! Ugh.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about then just ignore everything I've said and focus on the recipe coming up.

And yes, we googled when season 4 comes out- Fall of 2013. Shoot. That means we will have at least a year till we see what becomes of that darned family and their lives. I hope by then those writers give that poor family a break and bring some serious happy times to them...AND ME!

As Liz Lemon would say, "Blarg".

You guys. You have to try these cupcakes! They're weird and awesome and yummy all at the same time! Am I selling them for ya? The batter looks ridiculous- like you did something wrong...BUT YOU DIDN'T! Then they bake up in this magical way and turn into something absolutely yummy. And I mean YUMMY! Two friends of mine couldn't resist eating 3 servings. Now those are friends!

These cupcakes bake up custardy on the bottom, with a gentle fluffy cakey layer on top! SO GOOD I TELL YOU! The browned butter gives them a little somethin' somethin' which pairs perfectly with the chocolate. Total bliss. Best part- you don't need frosting really- just dust with powdered sugar once cooled, and you're good to go! I mean...a little whipped cream never hurt feel free to use...but they really don't need it. 

I'm making these again, STAT.

Recipe adapted from White on Rice Couple 
Makes approximately 24 regular sized cupcakes
Follow recipe to a T! 

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 eggs, room temperature and separated
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons strong coffee, slightly warm
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar- for dusting

*Tip* It is best if you mise en place (measure out) everything before you begin. Since this recipe needs to be done pretty exactly as stated, it will help your baking go a lot more smoothly.

1. Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line 2- 12 cup cupcake tins with liners and set aside.
2. Next, let's brown the butter:

  • In a small saucepan, add your stick of butter. Over gentle heat- medium- melt the butter.
  • Once butter is all the way melted it will boil and froth- watch carefully, things will move quickly now.
  • Once the bubbles die down and leave only froth, you will start to smell a nutty scent! Almost there:)
  • Swirl pan around- you should see a light golden brown color and a very nutty smell. Once that happens cook another 5-10 seconds and remove pan from heat. Pour into a bowl to cool (and stop the cooking). See that gorgeous golden amber? Perfect!

I LOVE browned butter! Deep, rich, and oh so yummy!

3. In a small sauce pot, add your milk and vanilla extract. Gently warm over medium low heat until JUST warmed. You want the temperature to be a little warmer than your body temperature. So dip that finger in- if it's slightly warm to the touch, you're perfect! Turn off the heat and set aside.

4. In a bowl whisk together your flour, cocoa, and salt until totally combined. Set aside.

5. For this recipe we will need to make a small amount of fresh coffee, this is a great way to do so! Set aside 2 tablespoons.
6. In a clean and dry stand or hand held mixer bowl, beat your egg whites. You will want stiff peaks. See the picture above? That there is stiff peakage. Set aside.

7. In another clean bowl, beat your eggs yolks and powdered sugar on low speed. Once mixed in, scrape down bowl, turn up speed and beat until light and fluffy. Add your cooled, browned butter. Mix again thoroughly. 

8. Mix together your milk/vanilla mixture with your coffee. With mixer on low, alternate your flour/cocoa mix and milk/coffee mix into your yolks, 1/2 at a time. Stop and scrape bowl between add ins. Yes, your mixture should be VERY liquidy. chocolate consistency- super duper viscous. You're ok. Keep going.

9. Next, add your egg whites into your batter. Gently fold/whip/cut your whites into the batter until it is almost completely mixed in. Little egg white clumps are ok- just make sure to break up any large chunks. 
10. Carefully pour your batter into your cupcake liners. You can go ahead and fill almost all the way up- I did 3/4 of the way. These cakes will rise only slightly. My batter yielded 23 cupcakes, but if I had poured a tiny less in I would have gotten 24 :)

11. Bake for 15-20 minutes turning half way through your timing. You are wanting your cakes to be puffed and cracked SLIGHTLY, and still barely jiggling in the very center. Remove from oven and let cool completely!

If you're making a day ahead, just refrigerate overnight :)
Once cooled, plate up and dust with a generous portion of powdered sugar.

Isn't that just the coolest thing? These become cakey and light as clouds on the top and custardy (almost mochi-like) in the center! I just love it!
**Can be made a day or two ahead. Just refrigerate in an air tight container**
**Keep leftovers stored in a air tight container in the fridge**

For printable recipe, click here.

Make a lot if sharing with friends. Believe me.


Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24

Hey friends, I feel it's time for a little update :) Any comments which might be found inappropriate to myself or my readers, including but not limited to: Spam, Offensive or Rude Comments, Vulgar Language, and Self-Promotion Spam, will be deleted.