Friday, September 19, 2008

Cupcake Hero: Almond Joy Chocolate Cupcakes

(cutie banner snagged from new Cupcake Hero home!)

So Cupcake Hero is a year old. Hip Hip Hooray...! In the blogging world, one year is like a 10 year anniversary or something. aka a big deal. So in the spirit of things, the fearless leaders over there did two things. (a) we got our own Cupcake Hero vanity url..woot. and (b) we got to choose this month what we wanted to bake...only thing was that it had to use at least 2 of the previous year's monthly baking ingredients.

This made me super excited. I was not able to partake in Jalapeno..because let's face it, I am really just not that creative. And I don't even like Jalapenos. Plus I was really busy in August. I am also really busy in September...but I love the idea of choosing my own thing.

I was daydreaming on what to go for when I realized I had to make some cupcakes for a friend..and ding struck me. What I wanted to make for her actually combined 3 elements of previous Hero's AND it's one of my favorite cupcake combinations. PERFECT! My September Hero was born.

So without further of my most favorite cupcake combos ever...I love making these for people and this time I made it even better in my opinion. This is a very rich chocolate cupcake with a very dense texture, with bursts of coconut and marshmallow. YUM!

Almond Joy Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 24-36 miniature cupcakes (depending on pan size!)

1/2c hot water
2/3c unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp instant coffee or espresso powder
1 oz bittersweet chocolate chunks
1/3c heavy cream
1 stick butter, room temp
1c sugar
2 eggs, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2c whole milk
1 1/2c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
chopped chocolate almond coconut candies (aka like almond joy)

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder. In a small bowl, add chocolate bar/chunks and heavy cream, microwave for 45 seconds. Mix until creamy and combined. In another bowl, mix cocoa and instant coffee granules with the hot water until a thin paste forms. Set both chocolate bowls aside.

Cream sugar and butter together until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, mixing well each time. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the bowl, mix together on low, add 1/2 the milk. Repeat flour/milk alternating until combined. Add both chocolate ganache and water/chocolate mixture bowls to the larger bowl, and slowly beat in...whipping on high for 30 seconds at the end to get a very fluffy light moussey batter. Scoop into cupcake liners, press a chopped candy into the batter, and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes (miniatures).

A thick outer crust will form, but the inside of the cupcake stays soft, so do not overbake..these will appear softer in the middle due to the melting candy than your typically 'done' cupcake, but they are done. Remove and let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then unmold onto a cooling rack. Cool entirely before frosting.

For the frosting, I use a Fluffy Boiled Icing that GigiCakes introduced me to. It's not a marshmallow frosting, but it sure looks like and it tastes just like marshmallow, so I will consider it 'marshmallow'...why not?!

Fluffy Boiled Icing
3 tablespoons of meringue powder
1/2 cup of cold water
2 cups of sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup of water

Beat meringue powder and cold water until stiff, about 4 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Bring to boil and cool slightly.With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the syrup mixture to the meringue.
Then beat on high for 4 minutes, until stiff and glossy.
Store at room temperature.
It's super fun to pipe as well and will develop an outer shell, and can be left out overnight with no issues.

Random note on the frosting but sometimes when I make it I get not as firm results, anyone know why this might happen?? Sometimes it's not as thick as previous times. Also, DO NOT REFRIDGERATE this frosting on the cupcakes...I did it on Friday night and it glopped and melted all over the place. Maybe something about the structure of the frosting while cooling in the fridge? It was a disaster. But it still tasted good...anyway any tips on this appreciated.

Hero elements used: Cocoa, Marshmallow (faux!), Coffee. Happy Birthday Hero...check out all the other fabulous September Bakers Choices at the new Hero home here.


Mo said...

YUM! I was there for this creation, and it tastes good!

Amelia said...

My, what shiny frosting you have, hehehh! Another great one, Mara! On a different topic, I'm tagging you on one of those tag lists, come see.

PheMom said...

Those cupcakes are absolutely darling!

CB said...

Oh no you didn't?? snap Almond Joy cupcake!! My keyboard just called. She's blaming you for the drooool. HAHA. Great job!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

great flavors (AJ is one of my favorite candybars), and they are beautiful!!

Kim said...

New to your blog. These are so gorgeous!

I am 'new' to fancy cupcakes and I have found some good icings that are fairly stiff (I like to do really high twirly mounds), but they soften really quickly. I am trying to figure out a way to make it HOLD better so that I can actually BRING the cupcakes to my daughter's school. Do you have any ideas? Thanks so much!