If you are approaching a dessert table, your attention will always be drawn to anything chocolate; it's just the way things are. It is what it is: chocolate reigns supreme over the dessert selections. So go with it! You can make cupcakes that are so good that if you care to, you can watch the diners empty your serving plate in seconds.
One of the joys in this is what I am able to say to my friends when they rave about how delicious something that I made is, like these chocolate cupcakes. I tell them that they are organic and reduced in sugar. This always provokes astonishment, because they taste so good. We are conditioned to think of diet or health issues as sentences to eat food that isn't as good as what we used to eat.
But if you visit the Organic Bakery on north Oracle Road outside of Tucson, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that organic baked goods actually taste better than those with excessive sugar masking the flavor of chemicals. Want chocolate cupcakes--use chocolate in them! The simple concept of organic food--or food that has not been altered by the addition or substitution in preparation--is unusual in today's food industry. It seems that they just have so many ingredients that they feel obligated to sprinkle them into everything. But just try some organic ingredients and make these cupcakes.
CHOCOLATE MOCHA CUPCAKES
For the cupcakes:
1 cup Splenda Bake or stevia baking sweetener
1/2 cup organic vegetable oil such as canola or safflower
2 large organic eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup brewed organic coffee, cold
1 Tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups organic all-purpose or Spelt flour
1/3 cup organic baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoons salt
For the frosting:
2 ounces high-quality organic milk baking chocolate
1 ounce high-quality organic semi-sweet baking chocolate
3 Tablespoons organic butter, at room temperature
1-2 Tablespoons organic brewed coffee, cold
1/2 cup chocolate sprinkles
Preheat you oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin with paper liners or coat it with nonstick cooking spray.
Start beating the sugar with the oil. While it is mixing, whisk together all the dry ingredients for the cupcakes in another mixing bowl.
When the sugar and oil are light, beat in the eggs thoroughly. When that mixture is combined, add the coffee, vinegar and vanilla.
Lower the mixer speed to Low or Fold and mix in the dry ingredients until you cannot see any streaks. Transfer the better to the cupcake pan and bake them for 20 minutes or until they test done.
Remove the finished cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before you place them on a wire rack to finish cooling.
Combine the two melted chocolates, the butter and the coffee. Bea in the confectioners' sugar until the frosting is firm enough to spread, using the brewed coffee to achieve the correct consistency.
Spread or pipe the frosting over the cupcakes and top them with the sprinkles. Press the sprinkles down gently to keep them in place for serving.
One baking cocoa that produces excellent results is Best Yet Baking Cocoa, which I buy at Sprouts in Tucson. It doesn't say that it is organic, but the package states that it is 100% ground cocoa beans. There are other organic baking chocolates, as well as cooking chocolate, at Tucson's health-food stores.