Have your cake and eat it too!
Contrary to popular opinion, I am not the food police. I am not looking around me in shock at what people choose to eat. I really am an oblivious person. I'm usually too absorbed in thought to notice others and make judgments. I am just trying to take my babysteps and I recognize that everyone is at a different place with their babysteps.
I do enjoy my occasional desserts. I try to stick to homemade desserts and forgo the store-bought or restaurant fare. But sugar is sugar, right? Well, most (if not all) store-bought (and restaurant) desserts are very high in trans fat. You name it--cookies, cakes, pies, etc. You will be much better off if you just make something at home to enjoy. Use white flour and sugar, but PLEASE, please, please, use butter. Your heart will thank you. For more information on that, click here.
This recipe is from a Pam Anderson cookbook. I LOVE all her recipes! (I have not attempted to cut back the sugar in this recipe. Cake recipes are pretty delicate, they are not easily altered, like muffins or yeast breads are.)
I divided it in half to make 12 cupcakes.
Measure in a bowl:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour (it probably wouldn't hurt to use all-purpose flour)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/8 teaspoon salt (just a little over 1/4 teaspoon)
Whisk those ingredients together and set aside.
Melt 7 tablespoons butter and set aside to cool.
Boil 3/8 cup (6 tablespoons or 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) water and mix with 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (I use Hershey's). Stir until smooth. Let cool a bit and then add 1/4 cup sour cream and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
In a separate bowl beat 2 egg whites to soft peaks.
With a hand mixer, mix melted butter into flour/sugar mixture. Add cocoa mixture and beat until batter is smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. With a spatula, fold egg whites into batter until just incorporated. Spoon into paper muffin cups.
Bake in a 350F oven 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Then let cool.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Now this is where you can really cut back on the sugar. The original recipe had 3 times as much sugar as this, yet this version tastes so good! The extra sugar is not necessary.
Beat together 2 1/2 tablespoons softened butter with 4 ounces soft cream cheese, until smooth. Add 2 drops red food coloring, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, and 1/3 cup powdered sugar. Beat until thoroughly incorporated and fluffy.
Spread frosting on cupcakes.
Chocolate Heart Decorations
I melted about 1 tablespoon chocolate chips and transferred to a ziploc bag. I snipped off the tip of the bag and then piped hearts onto parchment. I let them cool to harden and then placed 2 hearts on each cupcake.