This past weekend I attended (and spoke at) the Blogher food conference. I wish I had a great, in depth rundown for you, but I find myself still processing it. It was fantastic to finally meet my friends from the kitchen generation, overwhelmingly fantastic, actually. It was like we had known each other for years and years. We shared hotel rooms, went to dinner together, and laughed late into the night. I also met some other really fantastic people, folks who’s blogs I’ve read for ages. That was surreal.
I went to several of the sessions, but the one that has really stuck with me was the amazing photography & food styling session with Aran, Tami and Stephanie. It was the only session in which I took notes - pages of them. The way they talked about their evolution, passion & technique was inspiring.
As soon as I got home, all I wanted to do was take pictures. Monday & Tuesday were so busy though, today was the first time I’ve had the chance.
I tried implementing a few of points that they made, I’m not sure how successfully, but it was great to have that new knowledge to work from. Thanks for the inspiration, ladies!
While out running errands this morning, I picked up this pretty little mint plant. I knew immediately what I wanted to make, an idea that had been bouncing around in my head for a while. The cupcake it’s self is rich and moist, using the fantastic Scharffen Berger cocoa powder I received at the conference, and buttermilk. I’m in love with Scharffen Berger products. If you have a chance, pick up one of their mocha dark chocolate bars. They will blow your mind.
Since it’s been so warm lately, I decided I wanted to make this a little bit lighter than your usual cupcake, opting to use a whipped cream instead of buttercream. I infused the cream with the mint, and sweetened it lightly. I think this is my favorite cupcake topping, ever. Infusing it with real mint as opposed to using mint extract is what makes it so good.
Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Mint Infused Whipped Cream
Cupcakes adapted from Martha Stewart
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
7 tablespoons buttermilk
1 large egg
1 large egg white
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
With an electric mixer, combine cocoa and 5 tablespoons hot water until a thick paste forms (this process intensifies the chocolate flavor). Add butter, buttermilk, egg, and egg white; beat until combined. Whisk in flour mixture until smooth.
Scoop batter into prepared tin. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
Top with whipped cream, recipe below
Mint Infused Whipped Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3-4 sprigs, fresh mint (i used sweet mint, you could use spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, etc)
2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar (more if you like it sweeter)
Crush mint leaves a bit, then place in a medium sized bowl, pour heavy cream over. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 hours to overnight (i refrigerated for about 5 hours, and while the cream was minty, it wasn’t nearly minty enough. I’d recommend keeping it in the fridge overnight.)
Remove mint from heavy cream, add powdered sugar and by hand or using an electric mixer, whip until soft peaks form.