Monday, October 21, 2013

Hi Hat Chocolate Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes mainly to see if they would work. I was pretty sure when I dipped the frosting in the chocolate that I'd be left with big gloppy mess. But much to my surprise and delight, it all went according to Martha Stewart's plan. (How could I ever have doubted her?) I should note that even though they look inviting, I did make a mistake and leave the water out of the frosting, which caused the sugar not to dissolve completely and added a little unwanted crunch (which my daughter actually liked).

I was little embarrassed to send them to school for the Harvest Eve bake sale, but then I realized since my husband dropped them off and we keep a pretty low profile that they might not even realize they were from me. Also, anyone who bought one didn't find out my error until after they paid the school...and who's going to ask for their money back for a fundraiser cupcake? A wanker who deserves crunchy frosting, that's who (I've been watching a lot of BBC America).

Yield: 12

Chocolate Cupcakes:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
½ cup milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup boiling water
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Chocolate Coating:
2 cups chopped (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate
3 tablespoons coconut oil (or vegetable oil)

1.      Preheat oven to 325º F. Place 12 cupcake liners in a standard size 12-cup muffin tin.
2.      In a large bowl or kitchen aid bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder. Whisk (or use paddle attachment) until well combined.
3.      Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
4.      Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 full with batter.
5.      Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6.      Cool cupcakes completely before frosting.
7.      Prepare the frosting: In a large heatproof bowl, combine sugar, water, egg whites, and cream of tartar. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat on high speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Beat on high speed until frosting forms stiff peaks, about 12 minutes; frosting should register 160º F on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and almond extracts, and beat for 2 minutes more until frosting thickens.
8.      Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain pastry tip. Leaving a 1/8-inch border on each cupcake, pipe a spiral of frosting into a 2-inch-high cone shape, using about 1/2 cup of frosting per cupcake. Transfer cupcakes to a baking sheet, and refrigerate while preparing the chocolate coating.
9.      Prepare the chocolate coating: Combine chocolate and oil in a medium heat-proof bowl set over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water; stir until melted and smooth. Transfer to a small bowl, and let cool about 20 minutes.
10.  Holding each cupcake by its bottom, dip cupcake in the chocolate to coat frosting, allowing excess to drip off. Transfer to a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack. Spoon more coating around edge of cupcake and any exposed frosting; none of the frosting should show. Let cupcakes stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
11.  Carefully remove paper liners from cupcakes, and discard. Place cupcakes on a serving platter, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to let coating set. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours more. Serve cold. Cupcakes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

chocolate cupcakes from
concept, frosting and chocolate coating from Martha Stewart
dry ingredients mixed together
adding milk, oil, egg and vanilla
adding boiling water
batter in cupcake liners
sugar, egg whites and cream of tartar

My egg white mixture never got frothy (which should
have been my first clue that I had forgotten to add the
water). But I missed that clue and just kept on going.
beating over simmering water

Even though I had forgotten the water,
everything was going along swimmingly.
stiff peaks forming

The color only looks weird because of the
bad lighting by my stove. Also, if this looks
like a lot it's because I made 3x the recipe.
adding homemade vanilla extract & almond extract

Still looking good.
stiff peaks again

At this point I tasted the frosting and noticed a slight
crunch from the sugar that never quite dissolved completely.
That's when I realized that I had left out the water. I didn't
have time (or the eggs) to make another batch of frosting,
so crunchy frosting it was. Consider this a cautionary tale.
piping on the slightly crunchy (but still tasty) marshmallowy frosting

Yes, I was nervous all the frosting
would melt right off...but it didn't!
hi hat cupcakes drying


Karen said...

They look stunning! :)

Susan said...

Thanks Karen! If I was really industrious, I'd dip them in yellow/orange colored white chocolate, make little bees out of sugar and turn them into bee hives (but that's not going to happen).

Randi said...

Gorgeous and looks so good. Wish I could taste so bad.

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