Peanut Butter-chocolate Fudge Cupcakes

 

These dark, rich cupcakes topped with creamy, peanut buttery frosting will wow kids and grown-ups alike. The Italian meringue-based buttercream is soft and fluffy but holds up like a dream. You’ll need a candy thermometer to gauge the temperature of the sugar syrup used for the meringue.

What you will need

5-1/2 oz. (1-1/4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. table salt

1-1/2 oz. (1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup boiling water

1 Tbs. mild unsulfured molasses

2/3 cup sour cream

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1-1/4 cups granulated sugar

5 oz. (10 Tbs.) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 large eggs, at room temperature

3-1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)

2 large egg whites, at room temperature

3/4 cup superfine sugar

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 tsp. mild unsulfured molasses

1/2 tsp. table salt

8 oz. (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup finely chopped, salted peanuts (optional)

3/4 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (about 3 Tbs; optional)

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