Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes & A Whirl at SMBC.

Tonite while in the shower after working out, I decided to make cupcakes. Even though it wasn't on my plan ... a TJ's shepherd's pie and The Bigger Loser were on the schedule.

But, tomorrow night for cake class I am seeing a good friend. She loves mint chocolate chip ice cream. She gave up ice cream for Lent and made it the WHOLE 40 DAYS. Seriously, she is a better woman than me. I gave up 'sweets' and it lasted 2 weeks. I'm just not cutout for the deprivation thing.

So after the 40 days she just wanted one thing. A big monstrous Ghiradelli chocolate mint fudge sundae in SF. So she made the trek on Monday after Easter. They were OUT of Mint Choco Chip. Who's out of MCC you ask? They are apparently. She was so disappointed.

Since she is my ever-faithful cupcake tester (and even gave me Ziploc disposable snap n'locks for her precious cupcakes)...I figured that since she was denied the ice cream, I'd make her a special cupcake.

But since it wasn't on my plan for tonite (and shepherd's pie and Biggest Loser was STILL happening)...I wanted to make it easy...aka not 4 bowls coffee-brewing difficult.

I decided to look for a recipe for One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes...found and adapted from Martha's website.

Cupcakes came out pretty good. I was emboldened.

For frosting...I said 'Forget easy'. I decided to try the SMBC recipe from How to Eat a Cupcake...I figured..sounds easy enough right? Well it was probably easy enough, but not for me. I made it 3/4 of the way there.

It never quite got to stiff-enough consistency for good piping... I thought I followed the directions to a tee but obviously something was off.

So I just made super large round tipped dollops which look really lovely anyway.

I was going to put Ghiradelli Mint Chocolate Chips on them in honor of the missing ice cream experience, but they looked a little garishly green against the cute dollops so I just sprinkled light green sparkling sugar on them instead.

Note to people trying not put the double broiler on and heat it up and then crack the egg white into it. It will cook the egg. Oopsie. Well what's a little extra protein floating in your frosting?? Maybe this is why it never quite stiffened enough?

I will try the SMBC again next time. In the meantime, these are tasty morsels. I threw a Ghiradelli chip on a mini anyway for myself...dessert is served.

Recipe from Martha's website, slight adaptations:

One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes (Made 'Mint' Style!)
Makes 7 large and 8 minis.

1 1/4c all purpose flour
3/4c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4c sugar
1c buttermilk
1 egg and 1 egg white
1/4c melted and cooled unsalted butter

(and for mint adaptation)
1 tsp peppermint extract

Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk together cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt in a medium bowl. Add buttermilk, egg and white, butter, and peppermint extract. Mix to combine, 2-3 minutes. Do not overbeat. Spoon into cupcake liners or cups.

Bake ~10 min for minis and up to 18-20 for large cupcakes. Remove from oven, let cool for ~5 minutes then move to cooling rack. Let cool entirely before frosting.

Note: When using the nut and party cups on a regular cookie sheet, I put my silpat liner down or else the bottoms of the nut and party cups tend to burn and blacken slightly.

SMBC recipe from How To Eat a Cupcake
Copied directly since mine didn't come out quite right... this frosted all my 7 large and 8 small with a perfect amount of frosting.

Mint Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe adapted from
Makes about 3 cups

3 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon peppermint extract1.

Put egg whites and sugar in a double boiler over simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees).

Pour heated egg mixture into a clean bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes (It's very important to beat it for the whole 6 minutes).

Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If frosting appears soupy or separated after all butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.)

Beat in peppermint extract. Reduce speed to low; beat 2 minutes to eliminate air bubbles. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth.


the AIRY FAIRY said...

these look amazing. i love the way the icing looks on top...and that chocolate cake looks so rich....i'm drooling big time!

Mara said...

aww thanks, that is a huge compliment coming from you, i love your cuppies!

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

AHH! How long did you beat the frosting on high after you added the butter??? You really gotta give it a good 3-5 minutes. (More if the meringue wasn't completely cooled before the butter was added)

I hope it works next time! :) :)

Mara said...

I actually beat it even longer hoping it would stiffen up more. But I think I didn't let the egg white sugar mixture beat enough before adding butter.

Another thing..I used 1/2 turbinado sugar and 1/2 bakers sugar because I ran out of bakers. So wondering if THAT was the issue.

In any case, next time I try it I will be armed with all bakers sugar and will beat it even longer. It tastes yummy, just was not as thick as yours !

re: Taste...should it basically just taste like a creamy whipped buttery sugarcream?

Janna said...

The big dollups turned out great and I am loving the sanding sugar on top.
Very cute! What did your friend think?

CupcakeLady said...

Very nice cupcakes. They look delicious!