Black Devil's Food Cupcakes
adapted from Lion House Desserts
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs, well beaten
2/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup hot water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup thick sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cupcake pan with liners. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar well. Add the eggs.
In a small bowl, beat the cocoa with the hot water until smooth. Add to the creamed mixture.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to the sugar mixture alternately with the sour cream. Add the vanilla and beat the mixture well.
Bake for about 13 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on wire racks.
from Baking: From My Home to Yours
1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 large)
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Put the egg whites in a clean, dry mixer bowl or in another large bowl. Have a candy thermometer at hand.
Put the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, cover the pan and boil for 3 minutes. Uncover and allow the syrup to boil until it reaches 242 degrees F on the candy thermometer. While the syrup is cooking, start beating the egg whites.
When the syrup is at about 235 degrees F, begin beating the egg whites on medium speed with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer. If the whites form firm, shiny peaks before the syrup reaches temperature, reduce the mixer speed to low and keep mixing the whites until the syrup catches up. With the mixer at medium speed, and standing back slightly, carefully pour in the hot syrup, pouring it between the beater(s) and the side of the bowl. Splatters are inevitable -- don't try to scrape them into the whites, just carry on. Add the vanilla extract and keep beating the whites at medium speed until they reach room temperature, about 5 minutes. You should have a smooth, shiny, marshmallowy frosting.