Tackling an award winning cupcake recipe isn’t as easy as it sounds. Especially for a novice self taught chef like myself. However, I was determined to conquer this recipe . . . or at least die trying. The Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake recipe was a gift from Chocolate Pink when the Atlanta Food Bloggers' Alliance voted this flavor "Best Overall Cupcake" in the 1st Annual Cupcake Contest last week.
A little known fact that I recently learned is a pastry chef typically measures solid ingredients by weight (on a scale) versus volume (cups or half cups). On Baking says that “cooks who assume that 8 ounces of flour is the same as 1 cup of flour commonly make errors in the bakeshop. In fact, 1 cup of flour may weigh from 3 to 5 ounces depending on the flour and how it was scooped into the measuring cup.”  Being the homecook that I am, I’ve always used Cups and Tablespoons - the concept of weighing ingredients is foreign to me (right now at least). Chef Christian converted the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake recipe for the home-cook, but there was a slight risk that it wouldn’t turn out quite as amazing as Chocolate Pink’s because I wasn’t weighing the ingredients on a scale.
Overall I really enjoyed making these cupcakes. I experienced new techniques like constructing a buttercream out of egg whites and preparing a ganache with semi-sweet chocolate and whipping cream. Seriously, the buttercream and ganache were my favorite aspects of this recipe - - I swear the flavor combination of the two are some of the most delightful I’ve ever tasted. And the buttercream was light and fluffy, like eating a peanut butter cloud.
The cake turned out slightly dense (not outrageously dense), but we can assume it's due to the fact that I didn’t weigh the ingredients, espeically the flour. The peanut butter cake from Chef Christian at Chocolate Pink was light and fluffy. Chocolate Pink’s rendition of this recipe also had a greater frosting-to-cake ratio. Next time I will double dip the chocolate ganache all the way to the edge of the cupcake paper liner and pile on the peanut butter buttercream frosting as high as possible (wow, did I mention this frosting is probably the best frosting I’ve ever eaten - peanut butter fluffy goodness mmmm).
From experimenting with Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes I quickly realized that I still have a lot to learn to become a self taught chef. Especially when it comes to baking it's fair to say I haven't mastered the basics yet. But not for long. On an extremely positive note, my curiousity about baking has increased 10 fold. Baking seems to be more math and science, which I definitely gravitate towards in real life anyway.
For you brave souls that would like to attempt to make the Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcakes, here is the Chocolate Pink Recipe converted for the home-cook. Or you can be easy on yourself and use the coupon below for a free cupcake without spending 3 hours in the kitchen. The choice is yours.
 On Baking, A Textbook of Baking & Pastry Fundamentals, Second Edition
by Sarah Labensky, Priscilla Martel, and Eddy Van Damme
Copyright 2009 by Pearson Education Inc