Double Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

A cake is always so much work to assemble, but the cupcake is very conveniently portion sized, cute, and ready to decorate. I made these cupcakes for our VA hospital team picnic after finishing the last rotation fo the year! Yes, I’m officially a 3rd year internal medicine resident now!

The transition from 1st year intern to 2nd year resident is by far the hardest – you step up to actually leading the team (vs just following the plan and writing notes). From 2nd year resident to 3rd year resident, there isn’t as dramatic a change because your role is the same, and it’s easier since you have a another year of experience.

My last rotation of the year was a month at the VA hospital. Since the interns are so pro by the end of the year, the teams are like a well oiled machine. It was a fun month, and I let my interns practice the resident role – carrying the admission pager, running the team, making the medical decisions.

The period between the old and new academic year is always a little weird; the new chiefs transition over, and the schedules are shifted to accommodate for the new interns training and the third years graduating and leaving for jobs/fellowship.

My very last shift of 2nd year was a 28 hour call, then I switched into my clinic block.  In a beautiful”full circle” moment, my VA team intern finished being “the intern,” then literally came back to replace me as the “new resident” on the exact same team (which is great because she knew all the patients, and I didn’t have to type up a signout).

So the morning rounding at the end of my 28 hour shift briefly had 3 generations – me (resident), her (intern –> resident), and the brand new intern.

I’ve partnered with Taza Chocolate again for today’s Double Dark Chocolate Cupcake recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction. This is one of my favorite chocolate companies – their chocolate is so delicious, dark, and paired with creative flavors. The 100% dark chocolate bar squares are a perfect topping to the sweet chocolate frosting.

These cupcakes were a big hit at our picnic. All of our attendings from the VA month cooked a delicious potluck on the beach – which residents, interns, and medical students all devoured. A great ending to 2nd year (the hardest year for us), and I’m looking forward to being a 3rd year resident.

Double Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 ounces chocolate (Taza Chocolate)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk*
Dark chocolate frosting (homemade or store bought)
Chocolate curls and Taza Chocolate squares, to garnish

* you can make buttermilk using 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Grease two 12-cup muffin pans with cooking spray.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave in 30 second increments (don’t let it burn). Stir until smooth and set aside to cool.

In a bowl, combine the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Add the cooled butter/chocolate and whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk. Stir until just combined (do not overmix). The batter will be very thick.

Fill the cupcake tin 2/3 of the way. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Frost the cupake with a 1M piping tip. To garnish, use a peeler to make the chocolate curls. Add the chocolate square on top. Enjoy!

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