Doesn’t that sound like an interesting combination?
I feel like I’m writing this in a big cloud of smoke. Our area has been pretty dry recently and there is this huge wildfire in the next town over The wind has been mercilessly blowing the smoke into our town, our backyard, and because it’s hot and we have all the windows open, even right into our house. I’ll most likely be sounding like a tired chain smoker by the end of the week.
Okay, so it’s not as bad as I’m making it sound but it is too smoky to see the lake or the volcanos that are usually visible from our yard and I’ve been seeing a lot of debris floating down in the air. Hopefully we’ll get some rain soon to fix the whole mess. I’m thinking it must be a big bummer for all of the people who came down here on vacation from Santiago to get away from the smog because it looks like bad air-pollution. It’s the last major week of vacations here and the town we live in is a big tourist area so I know there are a lot of people feeling jipped of their escape.
Anyway, let’s talk about these cupcakes. I’d say that I just decided to make these because I thought it sounded delicious but the truth is that this idea was born from my need to use a bunch of slightly-too-soft blueberries and a strong desire to make something chocolate. Voila, these cupcakes were the answer.
My mom said they remind her of some huckleberry chocolate bars that we used to get in Idaho and that my dad would hate them. This is the type of thing he would call old-lady dessert. He isn’t into the fruit and chocolate thing but luckily my mom and the rest of the gang are.
Some may think this an odd mix but is it that different then the famous chocolate/strawberry marriage I ask you? I think not.
I also think that these are a refreshing change to the classic chocolate on chocolate cupcake. You can’t exactly identify the blueberry in the cake but it gives a pleasant fruitiness that helps break up the sweet.
And furthermore, I think this is definitly something to add to your bake list.
I should probably stop doing all the thinking here. Right, sorry, it’s all that smoke. It’s not what I think that matters, it’s what you think. Although, I think that you should think that you want to make these. Confused? Me too. Just make them.
- 1 cup blueberry reduction (recipe follows)
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup oil (such as sunflower)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1/4 + 2 tablespoons blueberry reduction (recipe follows)
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup dutch process cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 cup water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and whisk sugar and oil together in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in eggs and milk until combined. Add baking soda, salt, vanilla, cocoa and blueberry reduction. Last, mix in flour until batter is smooth.
- Divide batter into paper lined cupcake pans and fill each cup most of the way full. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Remove and cool completely before frosting.
- In bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, cream butter with 1 cup powdered sugar. Add blueberry, vanilla, cocoa, and salt and mix until smooth. Add remaining powdered sugar a little at a time until fully incorporated. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute until light and fluffy.
- Combine blueberries and water in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened, about 30 minutes. You want it to be thick but still syrupy, somewhere between juice and jelly. Cool for at least 15 minutes before using in cupcake batter and completely before in frosting. Extra reduction can be used to drizzle on cupcakes or poured over things such as pancakes and waffles.