They are good.
Cupcakes are super the big thing right now; there are cupcake bakeries all over town, breeding Irvine-bunny-style. I've even transcribed a couple interviews with the owners of cupcake bakeries.
Unfortunately, cupcakes are also almost universally boring. Dry little cakes in a muffin tin, with too much frosting. Woo.
But I thought I could probably do better. I used this recipe a couple years ago, and remember liking it, so I tried it again tonight!
I topped them with chocolate buttercream frosting, in which I quadrupled the standard amount of vanilla, leaving the frosting vaguely alcoholic and enormously delicious.*
So they are still pretty much cake, and the frosting is still the best part, but they are a little more moist and a little richer and a little chocolatier than any cupcakes I've ever bought, making them, at least in my opinion, worth eating - more than I can say about any other cupcake I've tried! Next time I make them I'd like them to be even richer and chocolatier; Tom suggests adding an extra egg yolk and two more tablespoons of butter, and cooking them at a higher temperature for a little less time. I love having a chef in the house!
*I had to run to Foodtown while the cupcakes were in the oven, because I was so low on powdered sugar. It is effing cold out, btw! Anyway, Foodtown only had the $4.49/lb organic kind (really, Foodtown? really?), but I was committed enough to the buttercream plan that I bought it anyway. Oh well. Now I can pride myself on saving the environment for a day.