Cupcake Confessional.

I have a confession to make.

Are you ready?

Like really ready?

Ok, here goes.

I'm 41.

Ok no, not really. You should see your face. I couldn't keep a straight face on that one either.

Let me clarify. According to my Wii I'm 41. My Wii thinks I'm 41. Should this offend me? Because it does. I have been insulted by a tiny white box.

I took the Wii Sports fitness test last night and let's just say the results were less than desirable. Really though, what does the ability to volley a virtual tennis ball into a target have to do with my level of fitness? Or the talent of dodging virtual training balls being lobbed at me randomly? Or being able to curve a virtual bowling ball? I'm quite good at that one by the way. One of those life skills that will certainly come in handy in the future. There will be a bowling ball curving emergency somewhere someday I'm sure of it.

Basically the Wii is an elaborate game system designed entirely to make you look stupid. Yes, the truth is out folks. Let's be honest here, it's not like you were really worried about looking cool while cow racing, swerving around goombas or collecting star bits.

I dare you to try to not wave your arms around like a spazz while boxing and whip someone in the face with the nunchuk cord. Yeah that didn't happen. I dare you not to get the overwhelming urge to whip the remote at the TV when you miss the tennis ball for the umpteenth time. That may or may not have happened. Tell me you never threw a temper tantrum and blamed the game before. Tell me you were never in a bad mood for half the day because you didn't round that corner just right to avoid the Shy Guy. You never slung insults at the screen after falling through the same star shaped hole in the Rocky Road?

No? Just me then? Oh.

Maybe I'm bitter because my Wii called me 41. Maybe I've been eating too many of these Devil's Food Cupcakes. Maybe it's worth it.

Yes. Yes, it definitely is. Devil's Food Cupcakes Makes about 17 cupcakes.

Source: Adapted from The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum's Triple Layer Devil's Food Cake.

1/2 cup cocoa powder 3/4 cup boiling water 2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 3/4 cup cake flour (or substitute) 1 1/8 cup granulated sugar 1/2 tsp baking soda 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature Printer-Friendly Version

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Line a muffin tin with cups and set it aside.

In a small bowl whisk together the cocoa powder and boiling water until it's smooth. Set it aside and allow it to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl lightly combine the eggs, vanilla and about 1/4 of the chocolate mixture.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer stir together the flour, sugar and baking soda. Add the butter and remaining 3/4 of the chocolate mixture. Mix it on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened then increase it to medium speed and beat it for an additional 1 1/2 minutes. This is done to aerate the batter and develop the cake structure.

Add the egg mixture a 1/3 at a time mixing for 20 seconds and scraping down the bowl after each addition.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin filling each cup about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way. Bake them for 15 – 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

Almond Buttercream

Source: Adapted from Wilton's Buttercream Icing.

1/2 cup shortening 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 1 tsp almond extract 3 – 4 cup powdered sugar 2 tbsp milk In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the shortening and butter until it's smooth. Add the almond extract and beat it well. Add the powdered sugar gradually, scraping down the sides of the bowl when needed. When the icing is ready it will appear dry so mix in the milk and beat it until it's light a fluffy.

If you'd like to fill your cupcakes with raspberry jam like I did fit your pastry bag with a long filling tip and pipe the jam into the center of each cupcake until the tops bulge ever so slightly.

Colour your icing as desired and pipe it onto your cupcakes as creatively as you'd like. I used a large star tip for white, a small leaf tip for green and a small multi-opening tip for pink. Enjoy!

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