Thursday, March 14, 2013

Recipe Rewind: Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

The perfect green treat for St Patrick's Day!

Adapted from Annie's Eats, makes 3 dozen cupcakes


¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup hot water
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1¼ teaspoon coarse salt
1½ cups butter
2¼ cups sugar
4 large eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
2 to 3 teaspoons mint extract
5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 to 4 teaspoons mint extract

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and the sugar. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium-low speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is cooled. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla and cocoa mixture, beating until incorporated. Reduce to low speed. Add in half of the dry ingredients, then the sour cream, then the remaining dry ingredients, beating just until combined.

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling them about ¾ full.  Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.

To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Add the cream to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand for about 1 minute. Gently stir the chocolate and cream together with a whisk. 

When the ganache has become smooth, whisk in the butter one piece at a time until incorporated.  Whisk in the mint extract.  Place the ganache in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken.

To make the frosting, combine the egg whites, sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160 F. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes.

Reduce the speed to medium and gradually add the butter, about 2 tablespoons at a time, until combined.  If the frosting "curdles", continue to beat on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes and the icing will come together. Stir in the mint extract and tint with food colour if desired.
To assemble the cupcakes, cut a cone out of the center of each cupcake with a small paring knife.

Place a spoonful of ganache into the hole and smooth the top.

Place the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and frost the cupcakes. Garnish with chocolate shavings or gold sprinkles.


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