Have you ever had one of those days where you want to break out of your set mold? A day where you want to unleash your inner indulgence after months of being good? Or a day where you want to stifle the urge to eat cookie dough ice cream by the gallon full? Energy is excited to bring you some of our favorite recipes that tap into your inner rebel or rule-following renegade. With each series of taste-testing, and kitchen experiments Energy will introduce recipes that set you on your path to naughty or nice. We must admit a little secret though. The naughty, while tempting will always continue to include the ultimate use of the freshest, most natural and always organic ingredients. As for the nice, well, what else would you expect? We will make sure to include brand names that we find are most successful for our recipes where necessary. No we are not paid promoters. We are simply a food loving group dedicated to sharing what we know is our absolute best. Do you have naughty recipes that you would like to become nice? We would be delighted to assist you with your recipe transformations. Would you like to know which particular ingredients are good for you and why? Let’s start a healthy, flavorful conversation together.
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Sometimes life just calls for a decadent dessert. I am a chocolate cake loving addict, and there are times when nothing else will do. I get myself in trouble for watching too much Food Network television, and before I know it my downstairs is turned into a test kitchen. If you want the best, and I mean BEST most fabulous chocolate cupcake, look no further than the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten.
Ina's Chocolate Cupcakes and Peanut Butter Icing
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons brewed coffee
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup good cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Kathleen's Peanut Butter Icing
Chopped salted peanuts, to decorate, optional
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it's completely blended.
Divide the batter among the cupcake pans (1 rounded standard ice cream scoop per cup is the right amount). Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Frost each cupcake with Peanut Butter Icing and sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired.
Kathleen's Peanut Butter Icing:
Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.
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