Thursday, September 25, 2008

SHF: Cupcakes

The challenge for Sugar High Fridays this time was 'cupcakes'. Normally, I'd welcome an excuse to play with cupcakes, especially after the cookie crusade I've been on lately. But I just wasn't feeling it. I have an idea (that I'm excited about) for this month's cupcake hero, but I feel like it has sapped my cupcake creativity. And I didn't want to cheat and enter it into both. The way I look at it, the point of participating in these sorts of things is to push myself to try new things; if I'm doubling up, there's no point in participating in more! So... last night, I sat down with my collection of cookbooks, and started with the ones I hadn't baked from yet. I went through a couple in search of a recipe that didn't require a grocery store run, and finally settled on the Martha Washington Chocolate Mousse Cake from:

The challenge was to do something a little different from a typical cupcake, and on this I may have strayed. It is essentially a chocolate/chocolate cupcake. It's just a bit more grown-up. There's ganache instead of butter cream, and more importantly, there's chocolate mousse filling! The end result was far from Duncan Hines cupcakes with a clown on top served at a 6 year old's birthday party. These had a decadence to them. (But I couldn't resist adding a spot of color to the otherwise brown-on-brown color scheme that tastes wonderful, but doesn't inspire me in terms of presentation.)
Here's the recipe, modified from "City Tavern: Baking and Dessert Book":
1/2 lb butter (2 sticks)
4 eggs
1 c sugar
5 c cake flour
1/2 c cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c whole milk (Mine had expired - oops!, so I used 1/2 half and half, and 1/2 skim, and it seemed to work)
Preheat oven to 350F
Beat butter and sugar on med speed until light and fluffy
add eggs, one at a time, beating each until blended
sift together dry ingredients
add dry ingredients and milk, alternately, on low speed until just combined
fill lined cupcake tins a little past 3/4 - these guys are thick, and don't rise as much as other cupcakes
(This is the best batter I've ever had in my life ... seriously! I think I probably ate at least 3 cupcakes worth of batter before it even made it in the oven. It's amazing!)
bake 20-25 minutes
2 oz semisweet chocolate
1/4 c heavy cream
2 egg, separated
(subject to revision - I am putting in amounts from memory at the moment)
Melt chocolate in a double boiler
whisk in egg yolks
set aside for 1 min to cool
whip heavy cream in a chilled mixer bowl, with a chilled whisk, until soft peaks form - cover in plastic wrap and put in fridge to chill
in a clean, dry, mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form
fold chocolate and whipped cream together, gently
gently fold in egg whites
cover and chill for at least 1 hour
6 oz semisweet chocolate (I used ghiradelli)
1/2 c heavy cream
bring cream just to a boil, then pour over chocolate
let sit for 1 min, allowing cream to start melting the chocolate
whisk together, then cover and refrigerate until cooled to desired consistency (I'm impatient, so I didn't let it cool for long, and just dipped the tops of the cupcakes in for a ganache-glaze)
to assemble
place mousse in pastry bag, fitted with a metal tip (I use a medium-sized tip. Usually, I use a round tip, but I couldn't find the one I wanted, and used a star tip this time - basically, it doesn't really matter)
insert tip in top of cupcakes and squeeze filling into inside of cupcake
dip top of cupcake in ganache to coat
add a sprinkle ;)


mysweetestday said...

beautiful! what an excellent idea!