18 January, 2007

Talk About A Hat I Could Really Get Into!

Last Spring Martha did several different cupcakes but one show in particular caught my eye. I’m pretty sure it was the show in May (party month-my FAVORITE) when she did a pink themed party. And for this themed party, she had a desert bar. Naturally, on this decadent desert bar, were these amazing little cupcakes called Hi-Hat Cupcakes. Just look at that picture! I don’t even like chocolate but let me tell you, I’m willing to give it a second chance after seeing a picture like this. Coooooooooome to me, oh cupcake with the hi- hat on top!

Makes 12 Cupcakes

For the Batter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teasooon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup sour cream

For the Frosting:
1 3/4 cups sugar

3 large egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

For the Chocolate Coating:
2 cups chopped semisweet chocolate (about 12 ounces)

3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 350° with rack in center. Prepare the batter: Place chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl, and set it over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water; stir chocolate until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from heat, and set aside to cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed, scraping sides of bowl as needed, until light and fluffy. On low speed, mix in melted chocolate. Increase speed to medium, and add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla, and beat until mixture is creamy and color has lightened slightly, about 1 minute. Mix in sour cream. On low speed, add half of reserved flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Mix in 1/2 cup water. Add remaining flour mixture, and mix until just incorporated.

4. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Fill each liner with enough batter to come 1/8 inch from top, about 1/3 cup. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool in pan for 10 minutes.

5. Use a small knife to loosen any tops stuck to the pan. Carefully invert cupcakes onto the wire rack. Turn cupcakes right side up, and let cool completely.

6. Prepare the frosting: In a large heatproof bowl, combine sugar, 1/4 cup water, egg whites, and cream of tartar. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat on high speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Beat on high speed until frosting forms stiff peaks, about 12 minutes; frosting should register 160° on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and almond extracts, and beat for 2 minutes more until frosting thickens.

7. Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain pastry tip. Leaving a 1/8-inch border on each cupcake, pipe a spiral of frosting into a 2-inch-high cone shape, using about 1/2 cup of frosting per cupcake. Transfer cupcakes to a baking sheet, and refrigerate while preparing the chocolate coating.

8. Prepare the chocolate coating: Combine chocolate and oil in a medium heat-proof bowl set over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water; stir until melted and smooth. Transfer to a small bowl, and let cool about 15 minutes.

9. Holding each cupcake by its bottom, dip cupcake in the chocolate to coat frosting, allowing excess to drip off. Transfer to a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack. Spoon more coating around edge of cupcake and any exposed frosting; none of the frosting should show. Let cupcakes stand at room temperature 15 minutes.

10. Carefully remove paper liners from cupcakes, and discard. Place cupcakes on a serving platter, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to let coating set. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours more. Serve cold. Cupcakes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Of course this recipe is just supposed to get your mouth watering and motivated to hop in the car to get what you need to make these little delectable treats, but if you want more creative cupcake recipes, then go pick up the book, Cupcakes! By Elinor Klivans & France Ruffenach. The entire book is full of gorgeous wet your whistle tiny little cakes, all very unique. These are not your mother’s cupcakes, I promise!

So now that you’re all motivated to throw on that monogrammed apron and head to the grocery to pick up exactly what you need. It is on my to-do list to day as well, so I’ll post pictures of how mine turned out later. However, in other sort of cupcake (well, just cake) late breaking news, set your Tivo’s and DVR’s because tonight begins the 2nd season premier of Ace of Cakes on Food TV and you all KNOW how I love that pimp my cake and light it on fire show! And if you think I'm kidding and need even more convincing, then go to the cake shop website and peruse their cake gallery (and don't forget to check out the "Fun Stuff" category!


Amy G. said...

Mind-reader! I got this book for Christmas and made the Orange Chiffon cupcakes for a club board meeting I hosted here this past weekend. WOW. We did discuss business, but I am almost sure I'll see cupcake comments in the minutes when the secretary gets them to me--the cupcakes vanished before we hit the second agenda item. It's a snow day here, so my son & I are going to do basic chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting...he's volunteered to coat them liberally with sprinkles. YUM! If you don't have this book, get it!

ElleBee said...

If you like "Ace of Cakes", check out Mike's Amazing Cakes (www.mikesamazingcakes.com). The owner/cake artist, Mike McCarey is a frequent competitor/judge for the Food Network Challenges. His creativity is amazing! You won't believe that they are cakes!

Monogram Momma said...

Thanks, Ellebee. I will go check it out today at naptime! Right now I'm off to the grocery store to pick up the rest of my ingredients! I might be cursing these little treats later today but right now I can't wait to get started!

Anonymous said...

Oh my, those look AMAZING, however, I will need to make those, try one & send the rest away, they look dangerous :)

The New Classical Family said...

I've never seen Ace of Cakes, but I am really looking forward to it. My own cakes tend to be heavy on the star tip - but I aspire to much more!

KK said...

Thanks a lot for tempting me. I love cupcakes (well any sweet for that matter), but am TRYING to not eat them. I suppose this weekend I will make these for my husband ;)(who doesn't care for sweets). I suppose I'll be binging on cupcakes all weekend!!!!

Monogram Momma said...

Thought you'd like a little cupcake update... The icing is IMPOSSIBLE to get a "stiff peak" and I'm on my second. YES, SECOND, batch of this merangue icing.

Ughh. I am trying awfully hard to channel my inner Martha right now!

Lisa said...

Wow! The cupcakes look amazing. I am going to buy the cupcake book momentarily. I have very fond cupcake memories from my childhood, and it comes with a frosting mystery! My mother used to make yellow cupcakes with a sticky white frosting for all birthday parties when my brother, sister and I were little. They were simply the most delicious cupcakes ever. My sister and I still talk about that frosting. My mother cannot remember much about the frosting except for the fact that it was a boxed, powdered icing mix(I still remember helping her make it!). I have been doing frosting research (really!), and I am hoping it was Betty Crocker Homestyle Fluffy White Frosting Mix, which I just found surfing the net (and for which I just paid quite a premium lol)! I will report back once I receive and make the frosting mix, and I'll even send a picture of my favorite childhood cupcakes once I make them!

I cannot tell you how much I look forward to reading your blog every day! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!!

Kimberly said...


Anonymous said...

As for the icing, I have a hunch it could be your mixer's fault. My hand mixer is a Kitchenaid with thin, round wiry "blades" (or whatever they're called) and any time I have to mix something to a peak I have a problem. Thing is, I *never* had this problem with my old super-cheap Remington (think that was the brand) hand mixer. The Remington had wide flat blades instead of the thin wiry ones. That's the only thing I can figure.

Monogram Momma said...

That is a very good point, anonymous. My mom told me it could very well be the altitude where I live (it is extremely hilly and mountainous surrounding me), and then my friend told me that her grandmother always told her if she was going ot do anything with a merangue-type icing or cake, that you shuold always freeze your bowls, spoons, mixer beaters, etc. So next time, i will have to try that and perhaps add in more of that creme of tartar.

Marsha said...

Sheesh...that "newclassicalfamily" comment was from me. I'm starting another blog and apparently my user names got all messed up.

Anyway, what was the humidity like on cupcake day? I can never make anything remotely meringueish between, say, April and October. It's just too humid where I live. Moist air spells doom for meringue.