Friday, March 11, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Frosting

It's not often that I get to make cupcakes, but I get excited about it every time I do because they're so much fun to make. Matt's sister was having a birthday and people were asked to bring an appetizer type thing or dessert. I knew I wanted to make some cupcakes since it's been so long but I had no idea what kind! I get of overwhelmed when there's so many options and flavor combinations to choose from. Finally I stumbled upon these ones and decided to end my search here. They were very chocolatey so if that's what you're looking for, these are great. If not, these are still good recipes but I would pair them with something other than chocolate on chocolate. The taste and texture of the swiss meringue frosting was just like chocolate mousse. I added a mini peanut butter cup inside each of the cupcakes but they got slightly hard since I had the cupcakes stored in the fridge. The chocolate pour (chocolate ganache, really) could easily be left out, but it does make them appear a little more fancy, especially when paired with sprinkles! I thought I should also add that my husband is out of town and took the camera with him so the only way I was able to get a photo was from the built in webcam on my computer. It was either this, or no picture, but atleast you got the idea.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
As seen on Bakers Royale

Yield: 12 cupcakes
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon table salt
½ cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan with two inches of simmering water. Gently stir butter and chocolate until melted and combined. Set aside until mixture is warm to touch.
Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder in small bowl to combine.
Whisk eggs in second bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla, and salt until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined, then sift remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is homogeneous and thick.
Fill cupcake line ¼ full. Add a Reeses peanut butter cup to each well (optional) and finish pouring cupcake batter on top of it until the wells are two-thirds full. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.
Cool cupcakes to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes

Swiss Meringue Frosting (I only made 1/2 of this recipe and had just enough)
5 large egg whites
11/2 cup sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter, diced and softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmering water. Bring mixture to 150 degrees F while whisking constantly.
Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until mixture cools and doubles in volume.
Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine. Add cooled chocolate and mix to combine.

Chocolate Pouring Sauce:
2/3 cups dark chocolate
2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
4-5 tablespoons water, warm (I only needed 1 T.)
Place chocolate and heavy cream in a bowl over simmering water. Let chocolate and cream sit for 2-3 minutes to melt without stirring. Then slowly stir mixture to combine. Add powdered sugar and mix to combine. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until pouring consistency is reached. Set aside and let sauce cool to warm.

Frost cooled cupcakes. Freeze frosted cupcakes for ten minutes. Drizzle chocolate pour over chocolate frosting. Shake sprinkles on chocolate sauce.
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