Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hi Hat Cupcakes!

Just look at these babies. Moist chocolate cupcakes, towering pillars of marshmallow, and a hard, thin chocolate shell. Mmmmm...

Like most impressive treats, these do take some time, but they're actually not at all difficult.  And look at them! These are hi hats! These are worth it!

The recipe is posted below, but there's a really great picture tutorial from King Arthur Flour you can look at for step-by-step instructions.

Chocolate Hi Hat Cupcakes
recipe slightly adapted from Martha Stewart and Tracey's Culinary Adventures

Cupcake Batter (Martha says this makes 12 cupcakes, but I doubled the recipe and got WAY more than 24.  I think this recipe makes about 16 cupcakes.)
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
Marshmallow Frosting
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup meringue powder
Chocolate Coating
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

Cupcake Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. Put the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 15-second bursts, stirring in between, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder together.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a regular hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. With the mixer on low, add the melted chocolate and beat to combine.

  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate each completely before adding the next.
  7. Mix in the vanilla and beat until the batter is creamy and the color has lightened a bit, about 1 minute.
  8. Add the sour cream and mix until the white streaks disappear.
  9. Finally, with the mixer on low speed, alternately add a third of the flour mixture, then half of the water, then another third of the flour mixture, the rest of the water, then the remaining flour mixture, beating just until combined.
  10. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared liners, filling each with about 1/3 cup of batter (the wells will be quite full, and the cupcakes will bake with tops that rise slightly over the edges of the pan).
  11. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  12. Remove the muffin pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes before removing the cupcakes from the pan to the rack to cool completely.

Marshmallow Frosting Directions
(you can also make marshmallow frosting with egg whites. Martha has a recipe for that)
  1. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Once boiling, remove the pan from the heat and add the sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar completely. Let cool to room temperature. (I put it in the refrigerator to speed up the process)
  2. Add the meringue powder to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or use your hand mixer!), and add the cooled sugar water and beat the mixture on medium to medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 10-15 minutes.

  3. Cut the end off of a piping bag or ziploc bag, and fill with marshmallow. I put the bag into a drinking glass, then fold the bag over the mouth of the glass. It makes it easier!

  4. Pipe the marshmallow onto the cooled cupcakes in a tall, swirl pattern. First I piped one circular layer, then another smaller one on top, then another, etc.  You want the frosting to look almost like a soft serve cone of ice cream would. If it takes a few tries to get it right, don't worry - you can scrape the frosting off the cupcake easily and try again.

  5. Once all the cupcakes have been frosted, put them in the freezer for a few hours.
Chocolate Coating Directions
  1. Combine the chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Heat in 15-second bursts, stirring in between, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
  3. Let the chocolate cool slightly before you start dipping the cupcakes.
  4. Transfer the chocolate to a tall cup with an opening wide enough for the cupcakes. I used a margarita glass - I found that it was the perfect shape and depth!

  5. Holding each cupcake by its bottom, turn it upside down and dip it into the chocolate - you want to cover all of the marshmallow frosting but not the cupcake itself.
  6. Lift the cupcake out of the chocolate, but continue to hold it upside down over the cup of chocolate to allow the excess to drip off.
  7. Turn right side up and transfer to a platter.
  8. Use a toothpick to touch up any spots at the base of the cupcake that may not have been covered.
  9. Once all of the cupcakes have been dipped, move them to the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to fully set.

  10. Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator, but let them sit out at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.

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