The Mixing Bowl: Chocolate Sour Cream (Mini) Cupcakes by Kari Herer

I love Kari Herer's photographs so much that when she graciously agreed to contribute a recipe to The Mixing Bowl, I couldn't wait to see what a dessert would look like through her creative lens. I am happy to report that I was not disappointed! In fact, Kari's pics are so gorgeous, that even though I just returned from New York, where I ate lots and LOTS of cupcakes, I still can't wait to try these!

Based in Portland, Maine, Kari's photos have appeared in magazines such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Town and Country, and InStyle, among others. Much of her work is inspired by her love of nature and her botanical pieces are definitely among my favorites. I'm a huge fan of peonies, and she captures their beauty so well, so I have a soft spot for those images, but, really, I love them all! That said, deciding which images to use with this post was not an easy decision for me! There were just sooo many to choose from!

Check out Kari's Etsy shop right here. You can also check out her Web site here and her blog by clicking here. There are so many other photos to enjoy! Thanks, Kari!

You can find the complete recipe for the cupcakes, and more photos, after the jump.

Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes
adapted from Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans

Makes enough batter for 18 regular cupcakes or 60 mini-cupcakes,
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sour cream
½ cup water

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler and place it over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water (or the bottom of the double boiler). Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the water and set aside to cool slightly.

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until smoothly blended and creamy, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On low speed, mix in the melted chocolate. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is blended into the batter. Add the vanilla and beat until the mixture looks creamy and the color has lightened slightly, about 1 minute. Mix in the sour cream until no white streaks remain. On low speed, add half of the flour mixture mixing just to incorporate it. Mix in the water. Mix in the remaining flour mixture until it is incorporated and the batter looks smooth. The batter is ready to bake, or for additions such as nuts, fruit, chocolate chips, or other flavorings.

Bake cupcakes at 350 for approximately 20 minutes.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (From Kari: The frosting is SO yummy and almost like marshmallow!), adapted from Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller

From Kari: The frosting is SO yummy and almost like marshmallow.

1 3/4 cups, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cups egg whites
3 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract

Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Combine the sugar and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer over the simmering water and whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot to the touch (150 to 160F).

Remove from heat, place on the mixer stand, and using the whisk attachment, whip on high until the whites are thick and hold stiff peaks.

Switch to paddle attachment. Beating on med speed, add the butter 2 or 3 pieces at a time. Once all the butter has been added, check the consistency. If the frosting is too thin, beat for a few more minutes. Turn the mixture speed to low and add the vanilla. Makes about 5 cups.


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

She takes such gorgeous photographs! *sigh* I wish I had that photographic talent!

Joanne said...

I love looking at cupcakes. Her photos are just gorgeous!

Where did you go for cupcakes in NY and what did you think? I've only ever been to Crumbs and I was less than impressed. But I would love to hear your thoughts!

Jenn said...

Love the photos! The recipe looks amazing too. I just ordered some vanilla beans and vanilla paste from Beanilla Trading (www.beanilla.com).... this will be a perfect recipe to try the vanilla with! Thanks for sharing

dessert girl said...

Hi Joanne! I was thinking about writing a post about it, but I didn't know if anyone would be interested! Maybe I should put together a quick bakery roundup! Anyhoo, this time around, I went to Baked, Momofuku, Sugar Sweet Sunshine, Babycakes, and Buttercup. Best cupcake by far: the pistachio cupcake at SSS. Loved, loved, LOVED it! Go right now! :-) ~Erin

Lorie said...

The pictures are beautiful!

shaz said...

Wow!! Those photos are so amazing. I love that bug and peonies photos. And the cupcakes sound delicious.

Levinson Axelrod said...

Nice shots. Thanks for sharing all of your creativity.

Y said...

Stunning photos! They look so romantic and dreamy.

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