Well, Martha Stewart's book still gets taken of the shelf a lot. The recipe for today is marble cupcakes. I really think the pictures are what do the trick, those look so good in the book, now I can tell you they taste as good as they look( well maybe not in my pictures although I try my best).
The combination of vanilla and chocolate does it every time, plus they are really fun to make, I love the swirls( I get to be artistic).
1 3/4 cups cake flour not self rising ( I used all-purpose and it worked just as well)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cups milk room temperature
1/3 cups heavy cream room temperature ( I used whipping cream)
1/2 cup butter room temperature ( 1 stick unsalted)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder( the recipe calls for Dutch cocoa powder but any brand will work)
1/4 cup boiling water
Confectioners sugar for dusting ( icing sugar) optional
preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper or silicon liners. I had to use 3 ramekins as well, I had some batter left over, so I just butter and floured the ramekins before pouring the batter in (you can do that with the muffin tin as well if you don't have paper liners).
In a medium mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt baking powder.
In a small bowl combine the milk and cream.
In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy (3 or 4 minutes)
Add eggs one at the time beating well after each addition and scrapping the bowl if necessary.
Break each egg in a small bowl not directly in the mixing bowl, like this you ensure that no egg shell gets in or if one of the eggs is not good you won't have to throw away the whole mixture.
Beat in vanilla.
Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two addition of the milk mixture. Basically you start and end with the dry ingredients ( flour, milk,flour, milk, flour).
To make the chocolate batter, measure out one cup of the batter, and transfer to another bowl.
Combine the cocoa and the boiling water in a bowl, mix with a spoon until smooth and stir into the reserved 1 cup of batter.
Fill prepared cups with alternative spoons of vanilla and chocolate batter.
I started with vanilla then chocolate then vanilla again.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the tester comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Transfer tin to the cooling rack and let the cupcakes cool completely before removing.
To finish dust with icing sugar if desired.