Thursday, April 22, 2010

French Cupcakes or Bouchees Chocolat au Yaourt

So I kinda have this thing with Paris. I can honestly tell you that I've been in love with Paris for more than half my life. Ever since 6th grade when Ms. BlahBlah gave us our annual country project. I don't remember exactly how it was done. I think we drew for position and then got to pick our country. All I know is that I got France and it was then my love affair with all thing French began.

In high school my friends convinced me to take Latin and I eagerly agreed as a) I wanted to hang out with my friends and b) thought I was going to be a lawyer and Latin seem like a good idea. In college when I had to pick a language I naturally went with Francais. Je voulais français! A couple years later and I could only parle un peu
français. Then I came across a book, a wonderful book, a gift from the gods. I began reading The Sweet Life In Paris by David Lebovitz and I fell in love again.

The Sweet Life In Paris is a great book. Even if you are only a casual reader I would recommend it 100%. David weaves recipes and stories together in a magical way. And the recipes, oh wow, the recipes. If nothing else, oh the recipes- they are très excellent!

Bouchees Chocolat au Yagourt (Chocolate Cupcakes)
by David Lebovitz, The Sweet Life in Paris

7 oz Semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chopped)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (or plain whole-milk if you prefer)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan. In a double broiler melt the chocolate with 1/4 c of the oil until smooth. In another bowl, mix the remaining 1/4 cup oil with the yogurt, sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extract. In a larger bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, whisking to combine.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the yogurt mixture. Stir a couple of times and add the chocolate, stirring just until combines. Pour batter into the muffin pan and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool (though I can never wait until they are cool, I dare you to try).

Note: No matter how healthy you want to be, do not substitute apple sauce for the oil. The first time I made these with Kenz we did just that and these cupcakes are about 1000x better with oil. Trust me.

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