Brookies

Remember this commercial?  I actually don’t, but the saying is something I will never forget.  Each one is delicious on its own, but when you put them together – WOW!

When I started this blog, I was taking a leap.  I was doing something that was bottled up in my head for years, and I was finally getting it out.  As I have written before, most of my good friends enjoy their food, in fact I can even go as far as to say that many of them LOVE their food.  But there is a difference – I am consumed by food, and in a good way.  I have not let it affect my life in a negative way, but it brings me an immense amount of joy.  I love cooking and baking for my family – and with my family – and I love sharing what I make with others.

I remember when I started the blog, people started to find me.  I started to find people who were like me – they had regular jobs and families, but who loved food – they were obsessed like me.  I remember going to one of my first food photography classes at The Pantry, and finding out that there were a ton of people just like me.  It was great to be able to bond with them.  One of the people who found me was Keren Brown.  Her story is amazing – she was new to Seattle, and created a blog to connect with the Seattle food scene – and what a scene there is.  I had no idea.  I was so flattered that she invited me to one of her food events, it was like a dream come true.  Unfortunately I don’t get to participate as much as I would like to – my job is just slightly demanding (ha!), and when I am not working, I am spending time with my family – but occasionally I do something just for me – and it is pretty incredible.  She calls her events Foodportunity  – and they are just that – they are an opportunity to be surrounded by food.  Food to eat, food to discuss, and people to meet who are obsessed with food.  It is food attached to people who love it – getting them eating and talking about food, the perfect combination.

My mother sent me this recipe, and I was hitting myself for not thinking of this myself.  This recipe comes from the Brooklyn bakery Baked – and boy have they got a winner here.  Two great tastes that taste great together – is it a cookie or a brownie, no wait – it is both!!!  It was almost like someone dropped chocolate chip cookie dough onto a brownie, and it was genius – just like those Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were.  Personally, I prefer a Brookie.  In a way, it was like a Foodportunity.  An opportunity to be surrounded by two of the most classic american baked goods, and opportunity to taste two favorites as one, and boy will this get people talking about food…

Ingredients

chocolate chip cookie dough

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

brownie batter

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, plus more for muffin tin
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 5 oz. dark chocolate (top quality, 60 to 72 percent cacao), coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Using butter or nonstick spray, grease the bottom and sides of a 24 cup mini-muffin tin.  Set aside.

chocolate chip cookie dough

Add flour, fine grain sea salt and baking soda to a large bowl, whisking to combine. Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together butter, white sugar and dark brown sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix until just incorporated. Add half of the flour mixture to bowl. Mix for a few seconds on low then increase the speed to medium. Beat until just combined (15 – 20 seconds). Add the remaining flour mixture and repeat the process above. Do not overmix here. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.  Cover bowl, transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 3 hours before using.

brownies

Add flour, fine grain sea salt and cocoa powder to a medium bowl, whisking to combine. Set aside.

Bring a large pot filled with 2 inches of water to a simmer. Set a heatproof bowl on top of the pot, but make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the simmering water. Add butter and chocolate to the bowl, stirring until melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl on the pot. Whisk white sugar and light brown sugar into the chocolate mixture. Remove the bowl from the pot and let cool to room temperature.  Add eggs to the chocolate mixture, whisking until just combined. At this point, switch from a whisk to a spatula. You want to avoid adding extra air to the batter. Add vanilla and stir until just combined. Gently fold flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until just incorporated. Do not overmix here.

Fill each well of the muffin tin halfway with batter. Transfer muffin tin to the refrigerator and let chill for at least 1 hour. Both the cookie dough and brownie batter must be well chilled before baking to insure even cooking.

Preheat your oven to 375°F and place a rack in the center of the oven (please see notes above regarding cooking times and temperatures).

Once thoroughly chilled, take the muffin tin from the refrigerator. Using a small spoon, scoop out a small amount of chilled cookie dough. Using your hands, shape dough into ball then slightly flatten it into a disk. The disk should be a bit smaller than the top of the muffin tin wells. Gently press the disk into one of the wells of batter. Repeat this process with remaining 23 wells.*

Place the muffin tin in the oven and bake until the cookies are golden brown ( 11 – 13 minutes), rotating the muffin tin halfway through.

*You will have extra chocolate chip cookie dough leftover. Don’t throw this out. Make cookies. Roll remaining dough into balls. Slightly flatten the balls into disks and place on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Bake in a 375 oven until golden brown (9 – 11 minutes depending on the size of your disks). Let cool for a minute on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Or enjoy warm.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Brookies

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Dairy-Free Mini Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

As I have mentioned many times before, I am a sucker for minis.  I love just about anything that is served in a miniature version.  If practicality didn’t set in, I probably would own a Mini Cooper – I am that bad.  I don’t really consider cupcakes mini cakes though because they are just so mainstream.  I do prefer a cupcake to a slice of cake, but I don’t go nuts over them, like I do other miniatures.  The other month I came across a picture of mini cupcakes in little condiment holders.  I went nuts.  They were just about the cutest things I had ever seen.  There was only one problem, I only know of one place that has those condiment holders, and that is on the east coast.  I actually tried looking for them in Seattle, but had no luck – although I must admit, I didn’t try that hard.  I just kept my eyes opened at certain places, and nothing.

So, this summer when I was back east – we went to that place with these holders – Fred’s – just about the greatest hamburger/hotdog joint there is, and I grabbed a whole bunch of those little cups.  I couldn’t wait to bake some little morsels and test them out.  Then next challenge was to figure out which recipe to use on them.  For some reason, ever since I had made this, I couldn’t stop thinking about how the cake was dairy free, but the icing was not.  Isn’t that such a waste?  If you are dairy-free, that is almost cruel.  So – I decided to go entirely dairy-free this time.  I swear, you would never know it though – the cake is so moist and delicious, and with the marshmallow frosting – it was like eating a mini devil dog.  My grandmother loved these so much, I saw her go through 3 in a matter of minutes.  So – if you are a sucker for minis like me, give these a try – you just have to figure out where to get the cups, the rest is easy – I did all the work for you below.

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (3 1/2 ounces)

Marshmallow Frosting

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Chocolate Cake

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat bottom and sides of pan with nonstick spray; line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Whisk flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add oil, vanilla, and 1 1/4 cups water; whisk until smooth. Fold in chopped chocolate. Scrape into prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until a tester comes out clean when inserted into center, 35–40 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Marshmallow Frosting

Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan.  Combine the egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, water, and cream of tartar in a large bowl.  Set the bowl over the simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.

With an electric mixer on high-speed, beat the mixture, still over the simmering water, until thick and fluffy, about 7 minutes.  Beat in the vanilla extract.  Serve this the day it is made as it becomes granular if it sits.

Makes about 3 cups.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Dairy-Free Mini Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

All-Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cupcakes with Mini-Chocolate Chips

Summer in Seattle is called payback for all the clouds and rain we endure – it is absolutely spectacular.  The weather for the past week has been nothing short of incredible.  Blue sky, warm temperatures, no humidity (which coming from the east coast is quite a bonus), and just overall pure bliss.  Today we spent the afternoon at our neighborhood pool, and when we checked in, the computer said “Welcome to Paradise” – let me tell you, that’s exactly where we were.  As I am typing this, I still have my bathing suit on, I am just relishing in the fact that summer has finally come.

Now let’s think back to June, when I was singing a much different tune.  My older daughter’s birthday is at the end of May – and this year she wanted to have a pool party.  She is smart enough to know that a pool party at the end of May is laughable, so she requested that her party be at the end of June instead.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her that we were still playing with fire on that decision, but it was the only weekend before summer began where the majority of her friends were around.  This year June was one of the worst months I can remember – yes, it was Junuary for the entire month.  We were just hoping for dry skies, the pool is heated, and as long as it was over 60 degrees, we thought we could manage.

The morning of the party, it actually looked like the sun was going to come out, even though they were predicting rain (the weather people are as good at predicting the weather as they are at predicting horse races around here).  About 30 minutes before the party was supposed to start, the skies opened up, and it was an all out downpour.  It was quite something.  Well, that didn’t stop them.  She and all her friends jumped in the water anyway – and they had a grand old-time swimming in the pouring rain.  It was a birthday party to remember.

When it came to making cupcakes, my daughter was pretty sold on the summer beach theme – so we came up with this idea to make sand out of butter cookies, towels out of fruit leather, and a beach ball out of a sour ball.  We bought some of those drink umbrellas, and there was our beach.  We were actually quite pleased with how they turned out.  The cupcakes tasted even better than they looked though…I used a recipe out of The Cake Bible, by Rose Levy Berenbaum, that was just incredible.  It was moist and delicious, and we added mini-chocolate chips just for fun.  I will definitely be making this recipe again – in fact I did so today – for a very very special occasion coming up…just keep your fingers crossed that I get to tell you about it (I am waiting to see how the final product turns out).  So, here’s to summer – may it last at least a few more weeks…come on, we deserve it!!

Ingredients

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup  milk
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups sifted cake  flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons  unsalted butter (must be softened)
  • 1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl lightly combine the yolks, 1/4 cup milk, and vanilla.

In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for  30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and the remaining 3/4 cup milk. Mix on low  speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (high  speed if using a hand mixer) and beat for 1 1/2 minutes to aerate and develop  the cake’s structure. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the egg mixture in 3  batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the  ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Scoop the batter into the cupcake tins lined with papers. Fill them about 3/4 full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until a  tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center.

Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on racks for 10 minutes.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

For the frosting recipe, please click here:  https://firstlookthencook.com/2010/06/15/marshmallow-frosting-aka-7-minute-icing/

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: All-Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cupcakes with Mini-Chocolate Chips

Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Rules.  They are everywhere.  At work, when they are mandatory to follow, we call them “policies” – but sometimes we create rules that could have exceptions, those are called “guidelines”.  At home, they are just called rules and for the most part, our girls are complete rule followers.  When they were very young, under 3, they would repeat rules to themselves.  They both did this, even though they were three and a half years apart.  It was hilarious, they both loved the rules, it gave them structure and they always knew where the lines were.

The rule we most often need to remind them about now is to finish your work before you play.  Fortunately for them, they can actually do that.  I am a rule follower as well, but I realized years ago that rule was just not one I would keep up with.  There would never  be time to play if that were the case.  My work is never done – not just at home, but at work.  I have this fantasy that eventually I will be completely caught up with everything I need to do.  I have been waiting 14 years for that to happen.  This week is no exception, I have had so much going on, that I have not even been able to break away to post these cupcakes.  The funny thing is that I am a morning person.  I do my best work in the morning.  Usually I am on the first bus of the morning, just so I can have some quiet time to crank on work before the craziness begins.  My blog though gets the shaft.  At 9pm, I am spent.  But I power through it, and somehow manage to get a post done.  This week it just didn’t happen.  So here I sit on the bus, my mind as sharp as it gets, words flowing out of my head freely.  Good thing I have to get off the bus soon, this could turn into a very long post!

I don’t usually mix work with baking, but I donated cupcakes in an auction we had for charity in the fall.   I have done this before (remember these?) and I swore I wouldn’t do it again, but here I was.  This time it was a much more pleasant experience – she let me choose whatever cupcakes I wanted!  What a gift.  The only problem was she wanted them to share with her team on Friday, which meant weeknight baking – but as I tell my kids – dig deep, you can do it – you can do anything you set your mind to.  I was so excited to try these cupcakes from this awesome cookbook Cooking My Way Back Home, it wasn’t too hard.  I decided to make minis, which would yield more cupcakes for her team.  I have to admit, I didn’t actually get to try the cupcakes, but they looked amazing.  These were real red velvet, not chocolate with a little red food coloring – this was the real deal.  I did get a spoonful of the cream cheese frosting – and what is not to love.  I heard these were a big hit – I certainly had fun making them.  Even though it was a Thursday night, and I was exhausted from the week, once I got that pastry bag in my hand ready to frost – I was a million miles away – in my happy place.  My older daughter helped me with the hearts on top, which is starting to be our specialty when it comes to red velvet.  They add just a little extra special touch.  She wanted to help with the entire process….but she had work to do.  Fortunately for me, my work that night was making the cupcakes.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup canola or safflower oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring
  • 1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting

  • 1/2 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line 24 mini muffin-tin cups with paper liners.

To make the cupcakes, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into the bowl of a stand mixer.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, egg, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.  Add half of the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until a paste forms, stopping to scrape down the sides and along the bottom of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula.  Add the remaining wet ingredients and mix until smooth.  Do not over-mix the batter or the cupcakes will be tough.

Fill the prepared muffin cups two-thirds full with the batter.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a center of a cupcake comes out clean.  Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, then remove from the pan.

To make the frosting, in the stand mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed until smooth.  Don not whip!  Add the butter and mix until incorporated.  Use the rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and along the bottom of the bowl to check for lumps.  Sift in the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until smooth.  Add vanilla and mix until combined.

Spoon the frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch star tip and pipe a rosette onto the top of each cooled cupcake.  Serve right away.  They will keep for a day in an airtight container.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes

Why is it that when you make snack cakes in muffin tins, that they are not called muffins?  I have decided that unless you frost them, you really can’t call them cupcakes – although truthfully, that’s what they should be called.  In France, you almost never find cupcakes – that is definitely an American dessert.  What you do find is little miniature cakes though, with no frosting – and they don’t need any frosting, they are so delicious and moist, you don’t need anything to distract from the wonderful cake.  I am not a huge frosting person anyway, unless it is cream cheese or marshmallow – both are not too sweet, and definitely enhance a cake, instead of turning it into matter that holds the frosting on.

This recipe was printed in David Leibiwitz’s book Sweet Life in Paris – and his recipes are excellent.  These cakes are not something you would see in a patisserie, but something that a French mother would make for her kids as a snack.  These cakes were amazing – the little bit of almond extract really went a long way – these cakes were moist and extremely flavorful.  The top hardened slight upon cooling, but the inside of the cakes stayed moist for days.  If you are looking for a rich chocolate flavor, look somewhere else – these are just subtle, but oh so worth it.  Even though they are called snack cakes, I think that serving these with coffee in the morning would be acceptable.  Hey, just call them muffins, and you are good to go.

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners or lightly butter the pan.

In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate with 1/4 cup of the oil.  Once melted and smooth, remove from the heat. (Alternately, you can do this in the microwave on high for 30 seconds, then in 15 second increments, stirring well between each until smooth.)

In another bowl, mix the remaining 1/4 cup oil with yogurt, sugar, eggs and vanilla and almond extracts.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the yogurt mixture. Stir lightly a couple times, then add the melted chocolate and stir until just smooth.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until they feel barely set in the middle and a tester or toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack before serving with coffee and a nice dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream and any berries you can scrounge up in your fridge. Or, you know, as is.

Do ahead: These cakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for four days.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes

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S’Mores Cupcakes

I realize that summer is over, but s’mores should really be enjoyed all year-long.  When I was a kid, I was not a fan of chocolate, therefore s’mores were never really my thing.  All I really wanted were the toasted marshmallows, and the more crisp the better.  I shutter to think about all the carcinogens I put into my body with toasted marshmallows.  I loved burning the crap out of the marshmallows, eating off the burnt part with some melted marshmallow, then throwing the marshmallow back into the fire for another round, until there was no more marshmallow left.  Now that was smart.

Fortunately I grew out of that stage, and now I just love s’mores – I like to get the marshmallow nice and toasted – but a lightly brown toasting is just perfect – then I put the marshmallow next to the chocolate, sandwiched around some graham crackers, and yummo!  When Trophy Cupcakes first opened, I was enamored with the s’mores cupcake – that was until I found this recipe.  Instead of a chocolate cupcake, this had a graham cupcakes – amazing!!  I love the layer of ganache on top, and then the marshmallow cream – which of course I had to change-up a bit from the recipe printed in Bon Appetit.  I just had to make the homemade stuff – it is too easy not to, and it is so much better tasting.  So – if you are craving those s’mores, but don’t feel like lighting a fire in your back yard to enjoy them – here is your solution…I swear you will not be disappointed.

Ingredients

cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 15 whole crackers ground in processor)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole milk

ganache

  • 1/2 cup (scant) heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped

marshmallow frosting

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 12 1-inch pieces broken graham crackers (for garnish)

Preparation

cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper  liners. Whisk graham crumbs, flour, baking powder, and pinch of salt in medium  bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at  a time, beating to blend between additions. Beat in vanilla. Add graham-cracker  mixture in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions, beginning and  ending with graham-cracker mixture. Divide batter among muffin  cups.

Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center come out  clean, about 22 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to rack; cool  completely.

ganache

Place chocolate in medium bowl. Bring cream just to boil in  small saucepan; pour over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute; stir until smooth. Cool  ganache until lukewarm.

marshmallow frosting

Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan.  Combine the egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, water, and cream of tartar in a large bowl.  Set the bowl over the simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.

With an electric mixer on high-speed, beat the mixture, still over the simmering water, until thick and fluffy, about 7 minutes.  Beat in the vanilla extract.  Serve this the day it is made as it becomes granular if it sits.

Push your thumb 1 inch into top of each cupcake; remove  cake, forming hole. Spoon 3/4 cup marshmallow creme into resealable plastic bag,  pushing into 1 bottom corner. Cut 1/2 inch off corner. Pipe into holes in  cupcakes. Spread 2 teaspoons ganache over each cupcake.

DO AHEAD Can  be made 8 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Preheat broiler. Coar rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.  Spoon dollops of marshmallow creme on sheet. Broil until slightly charred, 1 to  2 minutes. Spoon dollop of charred cremem over each cupcake; garnish with piece  of graham cracker.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  S’mores Cupcakes 2

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Ganache-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

Ever since I made these, I have been thinking about making them again – but doing things a bit differently to make sure that the Ganache stays intact.  Someone even commented on the post and alerted me to a web discussion going on about this very issue – with the very recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. It was an interesting discussion, I could tell that there were a lot of frustrated bakers out there.  I wasn’t that frustrated just because the cupcakes were so outstanding, so what if the Ganache ended up melting through the cake. Still, it was fascinating.  There was even one person that suggested Cook’s Illustrated PhotoShopped the picture, and made it look like the Ganache stayed together.  Whatever will be, will be.  But I wanted another chance.

I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit, and it was the word “filled” that caught my attention.  I read the recipe, and there it was – fill the cupcakes after they bake.  I know, I know – of course that’s how you do it – but it was so cool to think you could actually put a spoonful of Ganache on the batter, and have the cake bake around it.  That method just wasn’t in the cards for me, and I decided that filling the cupcakes after they bake was the only way for me to be successful quickly – without making hundreds of cupcakes to figure out the best method.  Well, this one certainly worked – the problem was that the filling and the frosting were the best parts – the cake was nothing to write home about.  Nothing like the cake in the this version.  So – I bet you can guess what I am going to do next?  Exactly – this process with the other cake – I can’t wait!

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 1/4 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (about 7 1/2 ounces; do not exceed  61%  cacao)

Filling and Frosting

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (do not exceed 61% cacao)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch of coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 12-cup standard muffin pans  with paper liners. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into medium  bowl. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until light and  fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well incorporated  after each addition. Beat in vanilla, half of flour mixture, then 1 cup hot  water. Add remaining flour mixture; beat just until blended. Let batter stand  until cooled and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips.  Divide batter among muffin papers (about ¼ cup batter each).

Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out with  some crumbs attached, 22 to 25 minutes. Cool cupcakes completely in  pans.

Filling and Frosting

Bring cream just to boil in heavy small saucepan. Place  chocolate chips in medium bowl; pour hot cream over. Let stand 1 minute, then  whisk until melted and smooth. Let stand at room temperature until cool and  firm, about 2 hours. (Alternatively, chill ganache until cool and firm, stirring  occasionally, about 1 hour.)

DO AHEAD Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let  stand at room temperature.

Whisk 1/3 cup water, sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar, and  coarse salt to blend in large metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of barely  simmering water. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until soft peaks form, about  5 minutes. Remove bowl from over water and continue beating until frosting is  cool to touch, stiff, and billowy, about 2 minutes. Beat vanilla into  frosting.

Using thumb, press down center of each cupcake from top to  bottom, forming deep pocket. Spoon or pipe ganache into pocket  of each  cupcake.

Frost cupcakes, forming tall peaks.

DO AHEAD Cupcakes can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and store at room  temperature.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Ganache-Filled Chcoolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

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