Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

1/3 cup water
1/3 cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
1 oz fine quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 teaspoon icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 180`C.

Bring water and dates just to a boil in a heavy saucepan, then transfer mixture to a food processor and add cocoa powder and chocolate, pulsing once to combine. Let cool 2 minutes, then add brown sugar, egg, vanilla, baking soda, and a pinch of salt, then purée until smooth. Add flour and pulse just until incorporated.

Spray muffin cups with cooking spray. (If pan is not nonstick, line sprayed bottoms with rounds of baking paper, then spray paper.) Spoon batter into cups, dividing it evenly, and bake in middle of oven until a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack and cool completely, right side up. Just before serving, sprinkle tops lightly with icing sugar.

Note: Cupcakes can be made and cooled (but not dusted with sugar) 1 day ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

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