Recipe from Mastering Fermentation by Mary Karlin (Ten Speed Press, 2013)
Photo by Ed Anderson Â© 2013
- 3/8 cup whole milk
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1⁄8 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 3⁄4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1⁄2 cups raw unrefined cane sugar
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1 1⁄2 cups sourdough starter (see recipe)
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon unrefined fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 3⁄4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 8 ounces Farmhouse Cream Cheese (see recipe) or other natural cream cheese
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
- 1⁄2 cup pecan pieces, toasted
To make the cupcakes: Line 24 standard cupcake molds with paper liners and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Adjust the oven racks so that the cupcakes will bake in the middle of the oven.
In a small saucepan, heat the milk over medium-
low heat. Add the chocolate pieces and let heat for
5 minutes to begin to melt. Stir to melt completely and then add the vanilla and vinegar. Remove from the heat and let cool.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. On low speed, beat in the egg yolks, two at a time. Beat in the sourdough starter to combine, then beat the cooled chocolate mixture into the sugar-starter mixture and set aside.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.
In a clean, dry stand-mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on high speed to a firm peak.
Fold one-third of the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture. Gently fold in half of the egg whites. Continue with another one-third of the dry mixture, the remaining egg whites, and then the final one-third of the dry ingredients.
Spoon or pipe the batter into the cupcake papers, filling them three-fourths full. Place the pan(s) on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 16 to 18 minutes.
Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a rack to cool for 30 minutes before frosting. They will deflate slightly in cooling, but that gives more space for frosting!
To make the frosting: Combine half of the butter and the brown sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and the sugar begins to bubble. Continue to cook until the mixture is smooth and thoroughly combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Place the cream cheese in a medium bowl and pour the hot sugar mixture over it. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or with beaters, blend the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth (you may still see little bits of brown sugar in the frosting; these are fine). Add the remaining half of the butter and continue to beat until the butter is completely incorporated into the warm frosting.
Fold the coconut and pecans into the frosting, cover, and allow to sit for 30 minutes before using. Frosting may be made ahead and refrigerated. It will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 week.
To frost the cupcakes: Bring the frosting to room temperature, if chilled, then spread on the cooled cupcakes. Store frosted cupcakes in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Reprinted with permission from Mastering Fermentation by Mary Karlin, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.