Or okay, the messiest cupcakes I have ever made.
But since I haven’t exactly made a whopping number of cupcakes thus far, I guess these cupcakes are getting the short end of the deal here. In the process of making these, there were flashes of cupcake murder scenarios forming in my head. My brain kept telling me, ‘Why don’t you just throw this into the chocolate and see whether it sinks or floats?’
Frustration, ladies and gents.
I can’t recall ever attempting any “extravagant” manner of cupcake, and this would have been my first had I only fully succeeded. I liked the idea of these hi-hat cupcakes, not only because they were cute and looked different, but there was marshmallow frosting encased in hard chocolate shell involved!
It seemed simple enough on paper, and it was until the very last step. All my excitement for this cupcake was excised when I began getting so much hot melted chocolate on my hands. It wasn’t supposed to be like that, surely. I remember thinking ‘My goodness. This better be worth it!‘ as I labored through.
And you know what? I admit, begrudgingly, that it was so totally worth it. Even though I was well prepared to throw a cupcake at someone’s face if they so much as utter the wrong thing; even though I wanted to drown the cupcakes in the river of chocolate and disregard all thoughts of cuteness, these cupcakes actually taste pretty darn good.
Looking at the photos above, one could arguably not tell of the difficulties I encountered as I made this. To be fair, the ill feelings did not surface until the very end. As I was preparing to put on the chocolate for the marshmallow shell, I realized it would be impossible to dip the thing into the chocolate as the instructions stated. First, the meringue topping would get smushed as soon as it hits the surface of the chocolate. That is if it doesn’t fall completely off the top of the cupcakes as it hangs inverted for dipping. So like a proper idiot, I decided to drizzle spoonfuls of the chocolate unto the marshmallow frosting to cover it up, getting my fingers burnt and sticky in the process.
Pain in the name of baking. Ha! I love it.
All the while there was a nagging voice in my head saying, ‘This pain is your punishment for your impatience!’ Folks, I did not refrigerate the cupcakes long enough to set the meringue. That’s why I couldn’t dip them in the chocolate. *cue slow clapping*
Anyway, because of the scooping thing I did, I ended up not having enough chocolate to cover every cupcake up (confession: I just did not want to melt another batch and go through with it again), but the ones I did cover were pretty cute once the chocolate shell hardened. I admit, once again begrudgingly, that I should have more faith in things turning out for the best. But really the moral of the story is: Follow instructions. There’s a reason why they are there!
Before I go forward with the recipe, which I still highly recommend despite everything that happened, let’s talk about the chocolate cupcakes for a few seconds: YUM. YUM. YUM. Moist, deep and chocolatey; divine-smelling while baking, after baking, after days in the fridge… The works!
It is important to note however that when I say fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full, I mean do not overfill unless you want your batter to overflow! I speak from experience. The only thing I would change for next time (rest assured there will be one) is the amount of sugar. I feel that it needs to be reduced a bit.
For discovering this Devil’s Food Cupcake recipe alone, the relationship between these Hi-Hat Cupcakes and I has been rescued. But eating the cupcakes with the crunchy chocolate shell and the soft melt-y marshmallow-y frosting is definitely a recommended experience.
Well? Get on with it!
- 9 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour (may substitute all-purpose flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup strong coffee, mixed into 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1. Heat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line muffin tins and set aside.
- 2. In a medium bowl, sift together cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
- 3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated into the batter, stopping the mixer as necessary to scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is getting mixed in. (You may also do this by hand but it will take longer.)
- 4. In a glass, mix together the coffee and milk.
- 5. Add half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix just until combined, then add the coffee-milk mixture. Finally stir in the other half of the dry ingredients. Mix until fully incorporated.
- 6. Pour batter into lined cupcake pans, just a little over 3/4 of the way full, and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
- 7. Place the egg whites in a bowl of an electric mixer.
- 8. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan at medium-high heat, combine the water, sugar and cream of tartar and bring to 215°F (about 102°C). Increase the heat a little and continue heating the sugar mixture to a final temperature of 283°F (about 140°C).
- 9. In the meantime, start to whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until they form stable peaks.
- 10. Once the peaks are firm and the sugar syrup has reached the desired temperature, whip the egg whites on high while adding the hot sugar mixture very carefully. Continue to whip until the whites are at room temperature. *
- 11. Once the frosting is cool, pipe onto the cupcakes, piling them in thick, high swirls. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or freeze as you melt the chocolate if in a hurry. **
- 12. Combine the chocolate and oil in a double boiler until melted and smooth, stirring to help smooth the chocolate. (If the chocolate is not smooth enough that it drips from the spoon, add a little bit more oil and stir until smooth.)
- 13. Dip the frosting into the hot chocolate mixture, careful not to burn your fingers, until well-coated, using a spoon to pour on top if needed. ***
- 14. Allow the excess to drip off and place them on a rack lined with foil/parchment paper to catch the extra drips. Refrigerate until hardened and set-up.
- * You can add flavourings and extracts to the frosting, such as vanilla or peppermint, but not so much that it would water down the egg whites. I'd start with about 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon.
- ** Important! I refrigerated mine for only around 15 minutes, and it is probably the main reason why I had problems in the dipping department. I didn't know at the time that I could freeze it.
- *** As mentioned, I was unable to follow this process of dipping my cupcakes into the chocolate because the frosting does not survive such a handling. What I did was hold the cupcakes diagonally over the chocolate bowl and scoop chocolate over the marshmallow frosting, letting the excess drip back into the bowl as I went. If you do not have as high a tolerance to heat as I do, wear protective gear to cover your hand.
- Cupcakes adapted from Honey & Jam; Frosting and chocolate shell from
In hindsight: I think if these were made into mini-cupcakes rather than regular-sized ones, the dipping process would have been much easier. Also, I shouldn’t have let my impatience get the better of me when time came to refrigerate the piped marshmallow frosting. If I had thought of freezing the damn things like what Bakerella did here to get the meringue hard enough for dipping faster, it might have been a completely different story.
I feel bad for blaming the cupcakes for my own shortcomings. Because these cupcakes are actually really very good. Try them. Please?