Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

6/9/12


I'm a "light" stalker. When all you have to work with is a point and shoot camera, you need the patience of an owl, and the speed of a cheetah. It's frustrating and exhilarating. (But I have it on good authority that Instagram's Lo-Fi filter is the new natural. Noted.)

Every time I run from room to room, stalking light, with an armful of foam boards, cutting boards, napkins, and cutlery, my napping cat regards me with one open eye...just another day in the life of a crazy food blogger. 

My kitchen is dark and cozy. It makes me feel like a hobbit. The wood table in my kitchen is gorgeous, but also dark, and extremely heavy (just ask the floor). Oh, how I long to take pictures on that table.

All my photos are taken in rooms that are as far away from the kitchen as possible. (Which is why I don't make soufflés very often.)

I confess, there are times when I want to do is just bake, eat, and share (sometimes, share), and not even bother with the photos.

But I do love food photography. And I'm experimenting a bit with my very-limited camera functions. So if they appear schizophrenic for the next few posts, I apologize. It's not you, it's me. I want to give my camera the confidence and swag of an SLR.

If that doesn't work, I'm Lo-Fi filtering everything. All the time. 


Most of these photos were taken in manual mode. Scarey stuff, but after three years, I think it's about time.

Am I boring you? (sorry)

What can I say about these cupcakes? The name speaks for itself. They're deep, rich, moist and super-chocolatey. And the frosting is a sweet, simple, unassuming strawberry buttercream. (Feel free to switch things up with raspberries, or cherries!) I capped mine off with Lindt chocolate truffles, just because I love the brown, pink, brown color scheme.

Lindt, or no Lindt, these cupcakes are really, really good. You should make a batch. ;)




Cupcake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

26 comments:

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

I'm fairly certain I'd take a spoon to the strawberry buttercream and it may never see the top of a cupcake! These look absolutely scrumptious!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Divine! Those are so pretty and really tempting. Wonderful.

Cheers,

Rosa

Beth said...

Valerie, you're always apologizing for the state of your photos, and I always think they look terrific! (Of course, I rely on my writing to compensate for my mediocre photos.)

Regardless of how you photograph them, these cupcakes couldn't be anything but wonderful.

Valerie said...

Thanks, Beth. :-)

Courtney @educatedderelicts said...

These are so cute! And Lindt balls make anything amazing :) Do you use the foam board as a reflector?

Valerie said...

Hi Courtney,
Yes, the foam board is used as a light reflector...as well as a backdrop. (White seems to be more gentle, my camera is sensitive.) :D

the wicked noodle said...

Your photos are lovely!! Food photography, for me, is one of the things I love the most and also loathe the most about blogging :-) Definitely a love/hate relationship for me, although it grows more into love every day.
And your cupcakes? GORGEOUS!!

Deb said...

What a fabulous pairing of flavors and colors. Brown and pink evoke the emergence of sping in these splendid cupcakes!

Courtney J said...

I would like to eat a big bowl of that strawberry buttercream! YUM! Looks delicious! I love dark chocolate paired with strawberries. Might have to make these for my birthday next week! :)

Mary said...

I just got some local strawberries today, so these are calling my name. I run around trying to find a place to photograph food too, not because my kitchen is dark, but because it is so tiny. I don't even have to enter it to reach everything, which means counter space is non-existent. I really need to get a foam board! I think your photos are consistently excellent.

Chocolate Chilli Mango said...

Haha, I can so relate! Every other post, I make reference to the craziness of having to take photos in natural light when often there is none to be had and that leaves the styling to the gods because you do have to be patient but fast!

Your photos are great (ref: take a look at mine by comparison!).

Love these cupcakes!!

Valerie said...

@ Chocolate Chilli Mango, I think your photos are stunning! (Serious camera envy going on.) :D

Jenn Kendall said...

your photos are always so beautiful! i just want to eat that strawberry buttercream with a spoon - it looks soooooooo good!

Jean said...

Spectacular cupcakes! Mmmm, strawberry buttercream and dark chocolate must have been a heavenly combo. You truly make some of the most beautiful food!

Nina said...

The most prettiest cupcakes I saw today....very very beautiful:)

Mollie said...

I made these last night for my roommate (who was NEEDING some chocolate) and they were fantastic! I did unsweetened chocolate instead of semi-sweet to make them extra-dark. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Valerie said...

That's great, Mollie! Thanks for letting me know. :D (I'll definitely have to try the unsweetened version!)

Marta @ What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today said...

Mi kitchen is dark as well unfortunately. I'd love a big sunny one one day. I think you're doing a great job with catching the light :) And I like how you managed to decorate the cupcakes.

Valerie said...

Thanks, Marta! :-)

Siobhan said...

How would you reccomend piping this frosting, with an open tip? If I were to use a star tip would it get clogged because of the puréed strawberry? I can't wait to make this :)

Valerie said...

Hi Siobhan!
Yes, it's better to use a wide, open tip. (I used an Ateco 806.) You might be able to get away with a star tip, as long as it's wide enough to allow for the chunks of strawberry. :)

Gaia said...

They look so pretty! I' m goingo to try the buttercream using my cherry jam instead of strawberries! Hope to make it right!

Really cool blog!
Gaia

Anonymous said...

My icing turned out really creamy and when i went to pipe it was just in big globs and it got really gross and slimy.

Valerie said...

@Anon, Yikes! I'm so sorry to hear about the frosting. Sometimes, especially if the weather is humid, it helps to refrigerate buttercream frosting for a few minutes (maybe 20) before using.

Anonymous said...

I followed the recipe, but the frosting was a little too sweet (and I like sweet!!!)! I definitely won't use as much sugar next time.

Valerie said...

@Anon, Thanks for letting me know. I never can tell how people are going to like frosting...I usually don't make mine sweet enough. :D

 

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