Monday, March 4, 2013

Chocolate Festival Weekend at The Buttonwood

The Buttonwood Inn was full last weekend during the Chocolate Festival held annually on the last Sunday of February.  Ten of our guests toured various inns and businesses sampling chocolatey treats of all kinds. 

As a non-recovering chocoholic, I decided to bake chocolate treats all weekend for the afternoon tea service.  On Friday, I baked my all-time favorite cookies, Chocolate Chippers.  Not only are they easy to make, but I enjoy the buttery and vanilla flavor of the moist and tender cookies loaded with semisweet chocolate chips.

My second favorite treat is Chocolate Malted Cupcakes topped with Fluffy Vanilla Frosting that I served for the Saturday tea service.  Again, a simple recipe which yields a moist, tender, and chocolatey cupcake with a light and sweet vanilla flavored frosting.  Check out my recipe below.

For the Chocolate Festival tour on Sunday, I baked a Texas Sheet Cake which is a thin layer of chocolate cake iced with a chocolate ganache topped with chopped pecans.  It's similar to an iced brownie and very chocolatey. 

If you enjoy chocolate treats as much as I do, consider coming to The Buttonwood Inn next February for three days of chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!  Call us at 1-800-258-2625 to reserve your Chocolate Festival Tour or book on-line.

Yield: About 28 cupcakes


2-1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1-1/4 cups malted milk powder
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, cocoa, both sugars, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together milk and malted milk powder until dissolved.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat flour mixture, milk mixture, and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl. Add sour cream and vanilla, and beat until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each two-thirds. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the confectioners’ sugar, ½ cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of the bowl. After all the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla is added, continue beating for 5 minutes to aerate the frosting making it very pale and fluffy. Frost cooled cupcakes and top with sprinkles, if desired.

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