German Chocolate Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Glaze15

Posted by chockylit in Chocolate,Coconut,Nuts (Sunday October 9, 2005 at 11:52 am)

I make my husband German Chocolate Cake every year for his birthday. It was his favorite growing up and his grandmother still bakes him a German Chocolate Cake whenever we go to visit. This year I made a cupcake version.

Researching for the recipe, I looked closely at the Better Homes & Garden version and the Magnolia version. The ingredients were almost identical and the proportions very similar (the BH&G recipe had slightly more chocolate and slightly less butter). The main difference between the recipes, however, was the number of steps involved. The BH&G recipe had 5 simple steps. The Magnolia recipe had 10 relatively simple steps, but it also had the unfortunate requirement of my having to wash out my one Kitchen Aid bowl in between two steps. I fully intended to do both versions, half recipes of each, and do a side by side comparison of the two. I wanted to know if twice the number of steps made a difference. I am sad to say that I didn’t manage this side-by-side comparison, we got home much too late from birthday present shopping. For the sake of time, I ended up whipping out the BH&G version and added milk chocolate glaze.

The result: The cupcakes were disappointing looking; they shrunk up, pulled away from the papers, and had an insipid, grey color. The texture was fine – I expected them to be too dense, but they were fluffy. The flavor? Boring, but salvaged by the milk chocolate glaze and coconut-pecan topping. Next year I am definitely trying the Magnolia version…

Cupcakes
(from Better Homes & Garden’s New Cook Book, Meredith edition, 1989)
makes 24 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

4 ounces German Sweet Chocolate (Baker’s brand, available at most grocery stores)
1/3 cup water
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs

    preheat oven to 350°F

  1. in a small saucepan, melt chocolate and water over low heat. remove from heat and let cool.
  2. add flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of the electric mixer, stir to combine
  3. add chocolate mixture, buttermilk, butter, and vanilla to the bowl, mix on low to combine, then beat on high speed for 2 minutes
  4. add eggs, beat on high speed for 2 more minutes
  5. scoop into cupcake tins, bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes

Milk Chocolate Glaze

4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. place chocolate in a bowl
  2. heat cream in a saucepan until bubbles form around the edge
  3. pour hot cream over chocolate and stir until smooth
  4. add vanilla and stir until combined
  5. refrigerate to cool

Coconut-Pecan Topping

1 egg
1 5 ounce can of evaporated milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1-1/3 cups shredded, sweet coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans

  1. crack the egg into a small saucepan and beat lightly to break up
  2. add milk, sugar, and butter. cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thick, bubbly, and golden, about 15 minutes
  3. remove from heat, add coconut and pecans, stir to combine
  4. refrigerate to cool

Assembly

  1. drizzle a teaspoon of glaze on each cooled cupcake
  2. top with a teaspoon of coconut-pecan topping

Churros and Chocolate Cupcake6

Posted by chockylit in Chocolate,Mexican-Inspired,Spices (Tuesday August 23, 2005 at 3:30 pm)

Summer in San Francisco means bringing hot chocolate, puffy coats, and knitting to watch my cousin’s evening soccer game at Golden Gate Park. My friend made some fantastic hot chocolate to which she added a touch of cinnamon. I had brought leftover, unfrosted lychee-coconut cupcakes for dipping, which were great, but I wished we had some churros to dip instead. From that came this week’s ambitious cupcake.

Ambitious it was and most everything was great, but my frosting experiment didn’t quite pan out. The flavor combination worked for me. The cinnamon cupcake was subtle, tender, and not too sweet. The chocolate filling provided a nice shot of deep chocolate flavor that again wasn’t too sweet. These would dip nicely in hot chocolate, for sure.

I was experimenting with a new kind of frosting which didn’t work out at all (so I will not even post the recipe, yikes). I think a simple chocolate ganache would work out just fine. The tiny churros were fun to make and tied in the inspiration of the cupcake.

Chocolate Filling

3/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. in a saucepan over medium heat, bring cream to a boil (around the edges of the pan)
2. place chopped chocolate in a stainless or glass bowl
3. pour heated cream over the chocolate and let sit for 30 or so seconds
4. stir, starting in the center, until the combined
5. add vanilla and stir until smooth
6. let sit at room temperature for one hour or refrigerate for a half of an hour, stirring occasionally, the ganache will get pretty firm

Cupcakes
24 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoon ground extra fancy Vietnamese cinnamon
pinch salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. cream butter in an electric mixer until smooth, about 1 minute
2. while beating, drizzle in sugar
3. continue to beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes
4. add one egg at a time, beating well after each, about 20 seconds
5. in a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt
6. combine milk and vanilla
7. add flour mixture and milk mixture to the electric mixer, alternating and starting and ending with flour, beat well after each addition
8. scoop into lined cupcake tins with an ice cream scooper (about 3/4 full)
9. measure out about a teaspoon of the firm ganache and form it into a ball with your fingers (this is a messy step)
10. poke the ganache ball into the center of the cupcake, repeat for all cupcakes
11. bake for ~20 minutes or until golden


chocolate center pre-baking


chocolate center post-baking

Tiny Churros adapted from this recipe
requires pastry bag with small star tip

2/3 cup water
2-2/3 ounces butter
1 pinch salt
2/3 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground extra fancy Vietnamese cinnamon
vegetable oil, for frying

1. heat 1 inch oil in a wide, deep pan to 360 degrees F
2. in a medium saucepan, heat water, butter and salt to rolling boil
3. stir in flour, stir vigorously over low heat until mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute
4. remove from heat
5. in a small bowl, beat eggs until smooth and then add to saucepan while stirring the hot mixture
6. transfer dough into a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip
7. pipe tiny churros directly into the hot oil, squeeze the bag allowing the mixture to come through, then chop it off with a butter knife when its about an inch long.
8. fry until golden brown, turning once, about 2 minutes on each side
9. transfer to paper towels to drain
10. mix sugar and cinnamon then dump onto the churros


tiny churros

Assembly

1. frost cooled cupcakes with a chocolate frosting of your choice
2. top with a tiny churro or two

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