Double-Chocolate Cupcakes & V-Day

Okay, so I started with the typical Michele sarcastic tone for this entry because it is Valentine's Day. Valentine's is Christmas' commercial rival and Hallmark's bastard child. All that comes out of it is yummy treats (like this Double Chocolate cupcake), flowers, whiny single folk too invested in the calender, boyfriends in the dog house, and jacked up haikus. La dee freakin daaaa!

Then cupid smacked me really hard upside the head because even though this is a really dumb 'holiday'- there is something to be said about feeling special. I'm feeling mighty special.

So this morning, a hella cute ninja I know asked what the address was for my office to calculate some commuter stuff. I didn't think anything of it. He had been up mad early dropping off family at the airport so he was just bumming it at home. Asked when I was taking lunch in casual conversation. Then I get a phone call asking to check if he left the spare set of keys in my car- something his sweet, goofy self would do. I run outside to check the car and lo, there's a familiar vehicle parked next to mine.

And there were flowers.

And candy.

And a really handsome fella cheesing like no other cuz he knows he hustled me good. I'll keep the smile for myself. Imma get you suckah. Thank you for making this lil rough and tumble bgirl feel like a special lady. And it was good on cloud 9.

Okay 2011, I'll give it to you: Happy Valentine's Day everybody. Make these Double Chocolate Cupcakes (or these Icecream Brownie Cupcakes) for the folks you love. Don't have to be your hunny bunny. Just give love to the people you love.

These cupcakes are super duper easy to make and pitch perfect chocolate. You don't need any frosting, which always says something to me when a cupcake can hold its own. This calls for dark chocolate chips, but use any kind you like. I love it when there's something in the mix, it adds a dimension to the cake and gooey pockets of chocolate are a pleasant surprise. This cake is very moist and rich.

Note: the recipe calls for egg substitute. I did not have this and used 1/2 a cup of real eggs. I don't know if that dramatically altered anything but I would not change a thing about this cupcake.

Double Chocolate Cupcakes
from Cooking Light Magazine

4.5 ounces all purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
1 1/4 ounces dark chocolate (finely chopped, 70% cocoa)
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 and line 12 cupcake tins.

Finally chop the cocoa. I find it helps to refrigerate it first so it doesn't melt as easily; I hold it down with some parchment paper so my hands don't get chocolatey.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir with a whisk.

Cream sugar and butter in mixer until light and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add egg substitute and vanilla until well combined. Add flour and buttermilk alternately into the butter-sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Fold in chocolate. Spoon into 12 cupcakes tins and bake for about 18 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving. It's so soft and adds lingering happy texture.