I will never forget when I received my first (and until recently my only) KitchenAid. Owning this iconic mixer was something I, as a fledgling cook (and even more apprehensive baker), fervently aspired to. Then one day, my best friend told me – when I get married she would get me one.
(Which is really something she would say…being one of the best best friends in the universe…and if you don’t believe me, read her book!)
Well, one fine day I did get married. And not only did I get the love of my life, but also a beautiful, pristine, white KitchenAid to call my own. It has served me well all these years, being a stalwart companion in my baking adventures. I’ve made cakes and cookies and bread and even meringue…something I don’t particularly enjoy nor ever wanted to make. I did it for a baking challenge and my KitchenAid valiantly saw me through.
When I got pregnant for the first time, and we decided to move to a bigger apartment, the KitchenAid (along with the coffee maker and the rice cooker) already had a reserved space when we designed the countertop for our kitchen. You can say that it has been a permanent, and much-loved fixture, in my gastronomic life.
So…when the good folk of Focus Global (who exclusively handle KitchenAid distribution in the Philippines) invited me to have a peek at their new model I jumped at the chance.
The latest member of the KitchenAid family is the Artisan Mini – a smaller version of the classic tilt head mixer (which is the one I have). It is 20% smaller and 25% (!!!) lighter than the standard version. Anyone who has lugged a KitchenAid through different house-moves will know that counts for a lot! It is perfect for apartment-dwellers like myself (I’m a city girl at heart!), for whom space is at such a high premium.
It is no less powerful however, despite its smaller size, as proven by these cupcakes you see in this post. And in this fabulous shade of guava, even the steeliest of hearts would be hard-pressed to resist its charms.
And certainly not mine.
One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
(recipe from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook)
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups Dutch process cocoa powder
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 2 large whole eggs + 1 yolk
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
– In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs and yolk, milk, oil, vanilla, and warm water. Beat with a paddle attachment, on low speed, until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes (scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl at intervals to make sure no clumps are getting stuck there).
– Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin cups (this recipe makes about 2 dozen), filling each one only about 2/3 full (trust me…I was a tad zealous in filling some of the cups and they overflowed a bit, and I was reprimanded by my daughter!).
– Bake in a pre-heated 350F oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick/cake tester/skewer inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean. Rotate the pans halfway through the baking time.
– Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool slightly, and then remove the cupcakes from the tin and onto the rack to cool completely.
– Once the cupcakes are completely cooled you can frost as you wish!
This recipe makes two dozen cupcakes and the KitchenAid Mini handled the batter like a pro! At first I thought that it would be too much for the smaller bowl but I was proven wrong. Between Martha’s one-bowl procedure (literally everything is dumped into one bowl!), and the Mini’s confident swagger, the batter came together in a snap.
Martha ices these cupcakes with a Swiss meringue buttercream but I’m afraid that is beyond my skill set at the moment. Also, little C insisted on using whipped cream from the can. You know those ones you spritz onto that Pie Face game? Or straight into you mouth when you’ve had a bad day? Yup, that very one. She had been asking for it for quite some time so I decided to concede…just this once! Rules are meant to be bent when weekends and chocolate cupcakes are involved after all. So it was whipped cream, sprinkles, and mini marshmallows for her. I drew the line at sprinkle and marshmallows though, and opted to top my whipped cream with chocolate shavings instead.
The cupcakes themselves are (as the name suggests) criminally easy to make. Especially at the able hands (paddle) of a KitchenAid. The crumb is soft and light, but sturdy enough to take whatever manner of icing/frosting you (or your little ones) decide to throw its way. They’ll hold up great in a much-battered lunchbox too. I think it is a fantastic basic recipe to have – the type you can trot out for kids parties and bake sales without much trouble. You can also bake this as a layer cake (two 8-inch round cake pans, bake about 45 minutes) or a sheet cake (13 x 9 inch sheet pan, bake about 45-50 minutes).
I am super excited to bake with little C (and little H too! Our boys need to learn this life-skill!) and our little pink KitchenAid. She is as smitten as I am. Stay tuned for the other treats we whip up!