Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cupcake Practice--S'mores Cupcakes

This weekend, Kyle went camping with some friends. I was invited to go but a.) I haven't had a weekend at home in a month what with travelling, visitors, and plans and b.) I don't go camping.

So with Kyle out of town, I had more free time on my hands this weekend this usual, hence, the two batches of cupcakes I made.

I made a s'mores cupcake with a graham cracker cucpake with a graham cracker crust, topped with marshmallow frosting, drizzled with semisweet chocolate. It was supposed to be dunked in the chocolate, but I'll explain that later.

As I started to get my ingredients together (mind you it was around 9:30 pm), I realized the can of baking soda I bought earlier in the week from Trader Joes was actually baking powder. They are not the same thing and there was not way for me to substitute. So, I hauled myself back to the grocery store, in the rain people!! to get my can of baking powder. Thanks to my basement level apartment, I generally have no sense for the weather system brewing outside, which is why I headed out without an umbrella. With no time to spare, I braved the rain umbrella-less. Needless to say I looked a hot tranny mess when I got back to my apartment.

But I had the baking soda!

So, here were my ingredients for the s'mores cupcakes:

I've got the recipe below, but here's the general progression of things, pictorially:

Yes, those are pink foil cupcake liners, why do you ask?

The ceremonial scraping of the vanilla bean. (I do have plenty of cutting boards, but i was lazy and did this on a paper towel instead. What's it to you, huh?)

I forgot to document the process after this until they came out of the oven. Ooops!

I really need a stand mixer, but in the meantime my handheld mixer really does a good job:

Tear. These may be the prettiest cupcakes I've ever made.

Okay, so here's where things kind of went, a liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittle south. This marshmallow icing needs to sit up for a while before you try to dunk it in chocolate, or else this happens (cue the disaster music):

It's supposed to maintain that tall swirly-do shape with a chocolate coating, but alas, the marshmallow succombed to the yummy chocolate and I got this nice marble-effect. Whatevs, it was still de-lish!


Because I wanted the rest to look a little more presentable, I ended up drizzling the rest with the chocolate instead of trying to dunk them. Then I dusted some crushed graham cracker on top. Frankly, I think these look pretty damn fantastic:

Try them for yourself. Just make sure you have baking soda beforehand!

Graham Cracker Cupcakes (adapted from Chokylit recipe)

12 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1 cup graham cracker crumbs, from 6 whole graham crackers
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs, from 2-1/2 whole graham crackers
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Combine 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs and melted butter.
2. Scoop a heaping teaspoon into each cupcake paper, pressing down to cover the bottom.
3. Beat butter on high speed until soft, about 30 seconds.
4. Add brown sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
5. Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds after each.
6. Whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
7. Measure out milk and vanilla together.
8. Add about a fourth of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.
9. Add about one third the milk/vanilla mixture and beat until combined.
10. Repeat above, alternating flour and milk and ending with the flour mixture.
11. Scoop into cupcake papers three-quarters full.12. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Swiss Meringue Marshmallow Frosting

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 egg whites
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine egg whites and sugar in the top of a double boiler (or a glass bowl over but not touching a pan of simmering water). Whisk constantly over medium-high heat until sugar is entirely desolved (should feel smoth between your fingers), about 5 minutes. Remove from double boiler and continue to beat on high for 6 minutes or until room temperature and soft peaks form. Add vanilla extract 1 teaspoon at a time until desired flavor.

Drizzle with melted semi-sweet chocolate and garnish with crushed graham cracker.


Jamie Nelson said...

Looking good in the neighborhood.

Julia said...

--Have you had a s’mores cupcake before? (If yes, how would this stack up against it?)
--What did you like best about the cupcake?
The frosting! Delicious! (And of course, the pink metallic wrappers)
--What would you improve about the cupcake?
I think it would be awesome if this cupcake had a filling…the frosting was actually just that good…you need more!
--Icing: too much, not enough, or just right?
Just right/not enough
--Was the cupcake easy to eat?
Yes (but since it was right after lunch I was already kind of full…so I saved some for a little afternoon treat)
--Would you pay $3 for this cupcake, assuming you were in the market to purchase a cupcake?
Maybe…if it were accompanied by a glass of champagne. :)

Heather said...

These s'more cupcakes look heavenly. I applaud your prowess in cupcake creation.

Anonymous said...

The S'more cupcake was heavenly and I'm very happy that I was one of the lucky ones who got to taste your samples.

Although I've never had a s'more cupcake I think the one thing I'd change would be the marshmellow topping. I bet if you played around with the consistency and were able to somehow make it thicker then it woud stay in place and you'd be able to dip it into the chocolate.

The marshmellow icing did slide off the top while trying to eat it which made it a bit tricky to eat. Luckily, I'm a bit smarter than my cupcake and I managed not to get any marshmellow on myself. (always a win) :)

If the icing issue was resolved then I would pay $3 for that cupcake. It was certainly top notch! :)


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