I came across this recipe after reading an article decrying the use of cup measurements in American recipes, due to the vagueness of them. Someone else pointed out that they were perfect for a nation that essentially settled in wagons and couldn't carry scales with them, which I thought was a very good point and very well made.
Anyway, the cake. I picked this recipe because it looked sinfully good and I wanted some very chocolatey cupcakes to take for Y11 revision last weekend. These are definitely it. I knew when I saw the amount of cocoa needed that they would be.
For the custard:
175g granulated sugar
4½ tbsp cornflour
450ml single cream
270ml full-fat milk
150g dark chocolate (I used 90% cocoa)
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the cakes:
200g cocoa powder
500g granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1½ tsp vanilla extract
350g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking-powder
Prepare the custard: it needs time to set. Combine the sugar, cornflour, ½ tsp salt, cream and milk in a large pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once thickened, remove from the heat, add the chocolate and vanilla. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Later on you'll probably be whisking it so put it in one you can use with a whisk. Press greaseproof paper or clingfilm on to the custard surface. Chill.
Place the cocoa powder in a heatproof bowl. Add 425ml boiled water. Whisk together, and leave to cool. It will look like the most delicious chocolate sauce you have ever seen in your life, but don't try it. Le hub made this mistake and ended up spitting into the sink - and this is a man who has previously tried Brasso.
Preheat the oven to 175°C. Sort out the cupcake tins - this makes at least 24 so if you've only got one tin, you'll need to do it in batches.
Cream together the butter and sugar then beat in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla. Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking-powder and ½ tsp salt. Add to the mixture in three batches, alternating with the cooled cocoa mixture and finishing with the flour.
Scoop the mixture into the cupcake cases. Bake for about half an hour, until springy. Once cool, smear with a generous layer of the chocolate custard.
I think next time I might go the whole hog and add chocolate chips.