Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hot Chocolate-Mini Marshmallow Cupcakes



It's the first month of a new year. I promised myself, I would start blogging again on New Years Day. Didn't happen. But, I didn't let the month completely slip away before starting up. Late start, but it's a start.
It has been warm in the heartland of Kentucky for the last few days. Warm considering it was sub-zero last week; however, all good things must come to an end as a strong cold front blows through tonight and threatens snow next week.
To warm our hearts and tummies, I offer you a recipe that I created last weekend. These cupcakes will cause lots of lip-smacking and exclamations of delight, I promise. Eighteen cupcakes, 6 adults, gone by evening. Priceless!

Hot Chocolate-Mini Marshmallow Cupcakes
Makes: 18
This recipe has three components which require complete cooling before assembly.

Ingredients:
2 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup hot strong brewed coffee (or hot water)
4 oz unsweetened chocolate (4 Baker’s squares)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or 1 stick butter, melted)
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature (or greek yogurt)
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Hot Chocolate Frosting, recipe follows
Mini Marshmallows, recipe follows

Cake Preparation:
Prepare standard cupcake pans by filling with paper liners. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Whisk together sugar, flour, salt, baking soda in a large bowl.
Pour the hot coffee over the chocolate in a small microwaveable bowl, microwave for 2-3 minutes, whisking after every minute, until chocolate is fully melted into coffee.
In a large bowl, whisk together until well blended the eggs, vegetable oil, sour cream, vanilla, and chocolate mixture. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients by thirds, stirring well after each addition. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake papers. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to completely cool before frosting.

Assembly: Generously frost each cupcake, mounding frosting in the center. Top frosting with 3-5 mini-marshmallows. Sift a bit of cocoa powder, and cinnamon over each cupcake. To get the “hot chocolate” effect: Put a cupcake in the microwave for 8-9 seconds. The middle of the frosting becomes liquid, like hot chocolate, Yum!

Hot Chocolate Frosting
Ingredients:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 box (8 squares) Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate
3 TB hot strong coffee (or hot water)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting Preparation:
Heat the cream, butter, sugar, and salt in a heavy saucepan until butter is just melted. Add the chocolate and stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in coffee and vanilla. Let cool at room temperature for several hours or until completely cool. Right before using, aerate with a hand mixer, set at medium speed, until the beaters leave a path when drawn through the center. Frosting color will lighten.

Mini-Marshmallows

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups cold water, divided
3 envelopes unflavored powdered gelatin
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp kosher salt (table salt can leave an off-taste)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preparation:
Prepare a 9 x 13 dish by lining with foil, leaving a generous overhang on the sides. Sift a layer of powdered sugar over until no foil is visible on the bottom.
Pour 3/4 cups of cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle all the gelatin over the top of the water.
Clip a candy thermometer to a large saucepan. Don’t let the thermometer tip touch the bottom of the pan. Pour sugar, corn syrup, and remaining water into pan. Give a couple of stir just to moisten the sugar. DO NOT STIR ANYMORE. Boil the mixture over medium-high heat until the temperature reaches 235 degrees, about 10 minutes. With the mixer on low, pour the hot sugar mixture into the gelatin in a slow, thin stream.
Increase the speed to high, and beat until the mixture becomes very frothy. Add vanilla and sprinkle in the cinnamon. Continue beating the mixture until the bottom of the bowl is just warm to the touch, about 5 minutes. Mixture will become white and billowy.
Pour mixture into the prepared pan, scraping out as much as possible (you won’t be able to get it all). Smooth top. Sift more powdered sugar over the top until it is completely covered. Let set for at least 2 hours (I let it set overnight).
Using the foil, remove the marshmallow from the pan. Loosen the foil from the marshmallow then invert a cutting board over the top and flip so the marshmallow is on the cutting board. Sift remaining powdered sugar onto a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Dip a long, thin-blade knife into cold water and cut 1/4” wide strips, wiping off blade periodically and re-wetting. Dredge each strip through sugar and leave on baking sheet until all strips are cut. Lay a strip on cutting board and cut in half length-wise. Then cut the lengths into 1/4” cubes. Toss cubes in powdered sugar on the baking sheet. Leave on sheet to until all cubes are cut. Toss a final time to ensure all cubes are sugared. Using a colander, shake off any excess powdered sugar. Store in an air-tight container. There will be more than needed for the recipe.

3 comments:

Mary said...

These are so cute! I've bookmarked your recipe to make when the family gathers, Janine. I'd eat them all myself if there wasn't a crowd around :-). I hope you're having a wonderful day.

Shannon said...

Beautiful!!! I am a cupcake-kinda-gal and these are right up my alley!!!!

Jackie Braun said...

Looking good (and yummy) - am going to give it a try...