Back to My Roots

So let’s be honest, sometimes there are certain recipes I want to post, but I don’t because they aren’t healthy (<- I really hate that word). And if I were to mention an unhealthy (<- hate that word even more) food I feel like I have to make an excuse or justify eating said food. I know that it’s probably all in my head as you guys are like the nicest people ever, but I’m still sick of it.

I just want to make food that is good. Food that people enjoy. If I had to choose between something healthy or something delicious, I’d pick the delicious food every time.

You see, food and I go way back. When I was 6 or 7 I started a restaurant called “Train Depot.” The recipe was open around noon for lunch and again in the afternoon for snack hour. It even had menus. Keep in mind the only customers were my 3 older siblings (we were all homeschooled back then). I think the name came because the first time I “operated” the restaurant I served the food to “customers” dining in a train we made in our backyard out of the chairs from the kitchen table. My brother was certainly my most loyal customer. He would often order the “casadillas” or grilled cheese, two of our specialities. Side dishes included yogurt and apple sauce. For dessert my favorite thing to serve was Graham Cracker Suprise which involved graham crackers, peanut butter, and chocolate chips. Nevermind the fact that none of the menu offerings had more than 3 ingredients; it was something I enjoyed doing. I enjoyed serving my siblings and seeing how it made them happy when I made them lunch.

Flash forward a few years to when I was 9 or 10 on my parents anniversary. They decided to keep things simple and have a simple anniversary dinner at home. I begged to cook and serve them dinner. My mom and I compromised by picking up a Central Market Dinner for Two which I plated and served to them. But, I did get to make the dessert. I made Volcanoes (aka molten lava cakes) and topped them with raspberries and whipped cream before taking them out to my parents who were dining on the back patio. I was so proud of what I made and nothing made me happier than seeing my parents enjoying the dessert that I had made.

To me, that’s what food is all about. Sure it’s fuel and nutrition and all that good stuff, but ultimately it’s about bringing joy to others. I feel like in the past year or so I’ve gotten so caught up in making healthy food that I have strayed from what began my love for food. I’m still that little girl whose eyes light up when a new culinary creation turns out well and who enjoys nothing more than having someone else enjoy a dish she has made. I never wantthat to change.

So, in the future, I may post some not-so-healthy recipes. No shame. No excuses. It’s my blog and I can post about whatever I want. If you don’t like it, I’m sorry. But, there’s a lot of food that I enjoy that isn’t neccessarily healthy (depending on how you define the word) and I see that as no reason to stop me from eating it.

Sound good?

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Hot Fudge Filling and Peanut Butter Frosting

This is the kind of recipe that makes me want to forget about the whole college thing and open a cupcake shop. Immediately.

This is the kind of cupcake that I want to take pictures of and picture mail them to everyone I know because I’m so darn proud of them.

This is the kind of recipe that makes me realize that Katherine and Sophie(of DC cupcakes) having nothing on me and my sisters.

This is the kind of recipe that makes me want to do nothing but bake cupcakes all day.

This is the kind of recipe that makes me never want to eliminate gluten, dairy, or sugar from my diet.

This is the kind of recipe that must absolutely never be “healthified”. I guarantee you it won’t taste half as good. If you want to make something healthy just refrain from making insanely rich decadent cupcakes. No substitutions allowed.

My mom said she thinks they’re the best thing I’ve ever made. I’ve made some pretty good things.

Daddy says they taste as good as they look. They’re kind of beautiful, no?


I strayed from Jessica’s recipe slightly in that, rather than using some of the pb frosting as a filling, I just used it on top and filled the cupcakes with some of the extra hot fudge sauce. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I kinda like my way. The frosting is so sweet and rich having it on the inside too might over do it a bit. Rather, the fudge sauce on the inside adds unexpected gooey, chocolatey goodness and a nice moistness to the finished product.  I’ll be honest; it was actually my mom and sister’s idea. See, I’m really not tooting my own horn.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Hot Fudge Filling and Peanut Butter Frosting

based on this recipe from How Sweet It Is

Dark Chocolate Fudge Sauce

1 cup sugar

1 cup dark cocoa powder

2 tablespoons flour

pinch of salt

1 cup water or milk

1 tablespoon of butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Combine sugar, cocoa, salt, and flour in a medium size bowl. Bring water or milk to a boil. Once boiling, Gradually pour hot liquid into the sugar mixture. Stir constantly until mixture thickens.

Once it has reached the desired thickness, remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Set Aside.

Cupcake Batter

makes 12 cupcakes

1 egg

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 1/8 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup dark cocoa powder

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup homemade fudge sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, whisk egg and sugar until smooth and no lumps remain. Add milk, cream, butter and vanilla, and mix until combined, add sour cream. Stir in flour, coco powder, baking soda, and salt . Mix until batter is smooth, then swirl in fudge sauce. Line a muffin tin with liners and using a 1/4 cup measure, add batter to each cup. Bake for 15-18 (it took me more like 20-25 but my oven is a little wacky)minutes. Let cool before frosting.

Peanut Butter Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup peanut butter

3 cups of powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 of milk

pinch of salt

Cream butter and peanut butter together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add powdered sugar with mixer on low speed and gradually add milk and vanilla extract. Mix until frosting is smooth. If too thick, add more milk; if too thin, add more sugar.

Assembly

Once cupcake have cooled completely use a knife to cut two slits into the cupcakes, forming one X shaped slit. Inject hot fudge sauce into the cupcakes using either an icing bag with a very small tip or, preferably, put the fudge sauce into a squeeze top bottle (like the kind chefs use to decorate plates and for salad dressings). The sauce will soak into the cupcakes. Once this happens feel free to inject with a bit more fudge sauce. Top with peanut butter frosting and drizzle with more fudge sauce. Enjoy!

I plan to make these again very soon to take to some of my friends. Hopefully I will get  step by step photos up after that.

My cousins sure liked them :)

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@flourishingfood