S’mores Cupcakes40

Posted by chockylit in Chocolate, Experimental Recipe, Step-by-Step Photos (Sunday April 22, 2007 at 8:18 pm)

s'mores cupcakes

For some reason being pregnant has made it nearly impossible for me to come up with cupcake ideas. I find this very troubling and hope it will pass. (Probably just in time for me to have no time to make cupcakes, haha.) So, now I have resorted to quizzing my husband and friends for ideas, most of which I shut down. “Nah, that doesn’t sound good,” is my typical response. However, at dinner last night my friend Margaret suggested s’mores cupcakes. Immediate appeal. And someone (Margaret? Chris? Me?) came up with the idea of topping the cupcakes with homemade marshmallows that I would then toast with the culinary torch. Toasted marshmallows! Yum!

The end result was delicious, as I hoped. The cake had some issues (see note below), but tasted nice and graham crackery, especially with the graham cracker bottom. The cake wasn’t too sweet, which is good considering the very sweet marshmallow filling. All on all, I found it a successful representation of s’mores in cupcake form.

I just did a quick search for S’mores Cupcakes and found this take, posted just a few days ago. They look pretty darn tasty.

Note: I just posted a new page, linked to on the right, that includes a list of basic equipment one might need to make cupcakes.

Graham Cracker Cupcakes
15 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1 cup graham cracker crumbs, from 6 whole graham crackers
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs, from 2-1/2 whole graham crackers
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Combine 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs and melted butter.
2. Scoop a heaping teaspoon into each cupcake paper, pressing down to cover the bottom.
3. Beat butter on high speed until soft, about 30 seconds.
4. Add brown sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
5. Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds after each.
6. Whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
7. Measure out milk and vanilla together.
8. Add about a fourth of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.
9. Add about one third the milk/vanilla mixture and beat until combined.
10. Repeat above, alternating flour and milk and ending with the flour mixture.
11. Scoop into cupcake papers three-quarters full.
12. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Note: This recipe takes great, but needs a bit of work. The cupcakes didn’t rise much (which is fine) but also shrunk quite a bit on cooling… my only real complaint. I suspect that there is too much butter and next time I try the recipe, I will cut the butter to 1/2 cup.

graham cracker crumbs
scooping crumbs

making the graham cracker bottoms
pressing crumbs

baked cupcake
baked cupcake

Chocolate Ganache

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate like Valrhona 61% cocao
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Chop chocolate and transfer into a heat proof bowl.
2. Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, pour cream over the chocolate.
3. Let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.
4. Add vanilla and stir until combined.
5. Let cool to room temperature.

Marshmallows from MarthaStewart.com

Vegetable oil, for brushing
2 packets unflavored gelatin
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1. Line a 9-by-9-inch baking dish with foil. Brush foil with oil. Set aside.
2. Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 238 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 7 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, put 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer. Sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften for at least 5 minutes.
4. Attach bowl with gelatin to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. With mixer on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin mixture. Gradually raise speed to high. Beat until mixture is very stiff, about 7-9 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with oiled fingers.
5. Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours.
6. Sift 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar onto a work surface. Unmold marshmallow onto confectioners’ sugar; remove parchment. Lightly brush a sharp knife with oil, then cut marshmallow into 1/2-inch squares. Roll each marshmallow in the sugar to coat.
7. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days. And they are great in hot chocolate.

homemade marshmallow
transferring marshmallow

cutting up marshmallows
cutting squares

Assemble

marshmallow fluff

1. Using a small pairing knife, cut off the top of the cupcake in the shape of a cone. Flip the top over and cut off the cone.
2. Fill the cavity with fluff.
3. Replace the top of the cone.
4. Scoop a tablespoon of ganache on top of each cupcake. Smooth with a small offset spatula. (I dip the spatula in hot water, wipe off, then smooth.)
5. Top with a marshmallow and toast with a culinary torch.

marshmallow filling
filling cupcakes

toasting marshmallows
toasting marshmallows

Red Hot Cupcakes31

Posted by chockylit in Experimental Recipe, Spices, Step-by-Step Photos (Sunday April 1, 2007 at 7:18 pm)

red hot cupcakes

I was batting around a lot of cupcake ideas this week and asking for input. All I knew was that I was wanted to do a meringue frosting. The Red Hots idea came from a coworker – Red Hots and a flaming top of whipped frosting were definitely a match. I was sold.

Red Hots themselves offer no nutritional value, basically corn syrup and artificial flavors, but then those flavors are so simple – cinnamon and chili. It seemed easy enough to mimic the flavor in a very natural and tasty cupcake.

My first try was somewhat successful. There is a “foodiness” to the cupcake that distracts from the flavors somewhat, but topping the cake with a red hot infused frosting was just the trick in making the statement I intended.

The cake has a light, airy texture, is not too sweet, and has an interesting crunch from the chili powder. The frosting is sticky and sweet with a definite red hot flavor. Together they make a nice combination with the end result being sweet but not over powering.

Red Hot Cupcakes
15 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1/2 cup cake flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
5 teaspoons ancho chili powder
1/4 cup grape seed oil (or vegetable oil)
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup water
5 egg whites
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter

1. Sift flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and chili powder into the bowl of a standing mixer.
2. In a medium bowl, combine oil, egg yolks, and water. Stir to combine.
3. On a low setting, start to beat the dry mixture and slowly add the wet. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat until the mixture is incorporated.
4. Transfer mixture to another bowl. Wash and dry mixer bowl.
5. Whip egg whites with whip attachment on medium-high speed until foamy. With the mixer on medium speed, add cream of tarter and slowly add sugar. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.
6. Scoop a cupful of the stiff egg whites into the batter and stir to combine. This should lighten up the batter.
7. Transfer the batter to the egg whites and gently fold until there are no more streaks of egg white.
8. Scoop into cupcake cups about 2/3s full and bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Note: I prefer the taste of ancho chili powder, but by all means, feel free to swap out with your favorite chili powder or powders.

sifting dry ingredients
sifting dry ingredients

mixing wet ingredients
mixing wet ingredients

Red Hot Meringue Frosting

5 egg whites
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup red hots, ground in a food processor until fine

1. Combine egg whites and sugar into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer and set over a bain marie (water bath)
2. Whisk by hand for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved or preferably until the mixture reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit
3. Transfer bowl to electric mixer, beat on medium speed for 10 minutes
4. Add ground up red hots.
5. Beat on high speed until stiff glossy peaks form, about 5 to 10 minutes more.

Note: I ground up the red hots in a small food processor for about 30 seconds. It was partially a fine powder and partially small chunks. I liked the variety. It turned the frosting pink and added a nice crunch.

red hots
red hots

Assemble
1. Scoop a good sized mound of frosting with an ice cream scooper onto each cupcake.
2. Using a clean finger, smooth frosting down and over the edges of the cupcake and into a round shape.
3. Using a clean finger, poke out some spikes onto each cupcake.
4. Lightly brown with a culinary torch for an added touch.
5. Top each cupcake with a red hot candy.

scooping frosting
scooping frosting

smoothing on frosting
smoothing frosting