chocolate mousse cupcake
August 23, 2009
The more I bake cupcakes, the more I discover that sour cream is the wonder ingredient that gives moistness and creaminess to these little desserts. I grew up on oil cakes—back home in Nigeria we didn’t eat much butter and certainly my mother would not have indulged us with real butter for baking. Bright yellow, slightly slimy Blue Band margarine was the standard baking fat in our household, and so the light, creaminess of butter cakes was wholly lost on me until I arrived in the States. Back home we instead made oil cakes—lovely pans of golden chiffon which we would cut into squares and serve with steaming hot yellow custard for company dinners. Does anyone remember Bird’s Custard? It came in the blue and red tin and you could whip it up in a matter of minutes on the stove. I had a craving for custard a few months ago and bought a tin of Bird’s at the West African Grocery store near Port Authority. I made myself a bowlful of custard but I must say, it wasn’t the glorious treat I’d remembered it to be, largely because I realized the primary ingredients in it are corn starch and Sunset Yellow C1 15985. I’ll make a butter cake to go with it next time.
What I have recently discovered with all this cupcake baking is that many recipes call for sour cream in their batter and it really is a wonderful addition, producing cakes that are rich but not overly heavy, better to receive luxurious quantities of delectable frosting.