Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Dark/White Chocolate Cupcakes and an Engagement!
My friends Heather and Shawn are in love. It's so sweet! (And so are these delicious cupcakes I made for them!) They left for a Maine vacation as boyfriend and girlfriend and came back as bride- and groom-to-be! What better way to celebrate their engagement than hanging out with our gaggle of friends to talk, laugh, and admire Heather's beautiful ring? And what better addition to this gathering than some delicious cupcakes?
When I bake, I make a colossal mess. And oddly enough, if I make two batches of cupcakes I get more than twice the mess! The kitchen looked like either a major disaster had struck or a super-villain whose evil power involves inflicting epic disorder upon people's homes had just paid me a visit. Anyone walking in on this mess would probably be seriously concerned for my safety. By now, the mess is under control, though. No need for alarm.
For Heather and Shawn, I made the strawberry cupcakes mentioned in my first post (Heather wanted to try them!) and dark chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate frosting.
I am still in search of a fool-proof, perfect chocolate cupcake recipe. I already have one I like, which always comes out tasty, but I am looking for the moistest, chocolatey-est, bestest chocolate cupcake recipe ever. I had hopes that the Hershey recipe would be my new fool-proof favorite, but apparently, this fool is able to mess it up. I actually ended up making more than one batch of chocolate cupcakes because of a baking problem that occurred in the first batch. I took them out of the oven at the correct time and they looked marvelous, but five minutes later, they had sunk, looking sadly shriveled and old. Maybe it was because I halved the recipe? Maybe I mixed the ingredients wrong? I don't like taking the blame, so I'll blame it on the oven. That crazy oven! Anyway, the oven tried to mess up the second batch, but I out-witted it and they came out fine. Still on the look out for the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe. Maybe I will try Cook's Illustrated next. Or maybe a chocolate cupcake bake-off is in order? Hmm....Something to think about.
The white chocolate frosting was a first time experience and after a little hunting on the internet, I put together a recipe and a method that worked out nicely.
Here it is:
White Chocolate Frosting:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectionary
6 ounces white chocolate baking bar, chopped, melted and cooled
4 tablespoons heavy cream
Melt chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir until completely melted and smooth, and let cool to room temperature (it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours). Make sure it is completely cool or it will melt the butter.
Cream butter. Add heavy cream and beat until smooth. Add melted white chocolate and vanilla and beat until velvety smooth. Add confectionary sugar and beat until desired fluffiness.
The little chocolate double hearts I made for the toppers to these cupcakes were another first. After a lesson learned about what size tip to use to create these (pinhole size is too small), I am confident I could do this again with success. I used those Melt and Mold candies you find in the grocery store or at Michael's in the cake and candy decorating department. I melted the candies over a double boiler and put the melted chocolate in a decorating bag with a small tip to create the double hearts.
My cupcakes were one of a number of desserts at our little gathering, and all of them were tasty! But the best part of the evening was celebrating Heather and Shawn's engagement!