"Come with me, and we'll see if a cupcake can make the world a better place to be." -Unknown
It's almost Valentine's Day, and for my that means chocolate (well, just between us, that's my MO on any given day actually). And what could be better than a cream-filled chocolate glazed cupcake? Hand-held happiness right there!
Growing up, my aunt and uncle owned a little neighborhood corner store. Besides penny candy they also carried the whole line of Hostess goodies. In my opinion, the only one worth the time to unwrap was the two pack of hostess cupcakes, one for me , and well, the other one for um, me. We saw them several times a year and could eat our fill of all kinds of awful-ly wonderful stuff. But the Hostess cupcakes took the cake (pun intended).
Inevitably I grew up and evolved, taste buds included, and the packaged, highly processed delights of my childhood no longer delighted me (with the exception of an occasional vanilla Pop-Tart* and M&M's*, but I digress)., but the memory certainly did. Mock Hostess* cupcakes to the rescue. There are several steps, but don't be intimidated. They are all easy, can be broken down, made ahead and assembled later. Printable PDF of recipe below. Fill your hearts with love and your tummies with treats this Valentine's Day!
Mock Hostess Cupcakes- makes approximately 2 dozen
Prepared and cooled Chocolate cupcakes (the best recipe is here)
Marshmallow Cream Filling (recipe below)
Chocolate Glaze (recipe below)
specialty equipment needed - Wilton Bismark Piping Tip
Marshmallow Cream Filling:
3 Tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon cold water
1 teaspoon powdered gelatin, such as Knox
4 Tablespoons softened unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste OR seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 cups marshmallow cream
(adapted from Simply Sensational Desserts by Francois Payard)
6 ounces good quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
small pinch instant espresso powder
1/4 cup Light Corn Syrup such as Karo (not high fructose corn syrup)
1. Put water into a medium sized, microwave safe bowl. Sprinkle gelatin evenly on top. Let sit 5 minutes to soften. Microwave mixture on high for 30-60 seconds, JUST until gelatin is melted and small bubbles appear at the edge. Remove.
2. Whisk in butter, salt and vanilla bean paste until smooth. This is a little messy but trust it will come together because it will.
3. Whisk in marshmallow cream. Again, it will come together. Patience and care. Cover mixture with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (can be made up to 3 days ahead at this point, cover and refrigerate until needed).
4. Meanwhile prepare chocolate glaze: In a medium sauce pan, combine cream, espresso powder and corn syrup, bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate just until submerged in cream, cover and set aside for 3 minutes.
5. Remove cover and whisk glaze until smooth; set aside. (can be made up to 3 days ahead, cover and refrigerate. To use, gently reheat in microwave on half power at 30 second intervals, until smooth and fluid).
6. Insert tip into piping bag. Fill bag half-way with cold marshmallow cream mixture. Poking a hole through the bottom of the cupcake, pipe filling, applying pressure to the bag while simultaneously pulling it steadily back out as you pipe, finally releasing pressure right before removing tip,until you feel cupcake get slightly heavier. Do not over-fill or cupcake will pop open. This may take a few to get the hang of it, but you'll master it in no time!
7. Once all cupcakes are filled, dip the tops into chocolate glaze, twisting back and forth a couple of times to make sure it's well coated. As you remove the cupcake from the glaze, holding the cupcake close to the surface of the glaze, give it a little shake to allow excess to drip off. This is a gently motion. Immediately tip cupcake right side up and shower it gently with sprinkles of your choice.Repeat until all cupcakes are finished. Alternately, while glaze is still wet, you can pipe a design with melted white chocolate on top instead, more closely mimicking the whole Hostess thing.
Happy Valentine's Day to you, lovely reader. May your day be sweet and delicious! ♥
NOTE: Cupcakes are best eaten fresh, but may be kept, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
* Hostess, Pop-Tarts and M&M's are registered trademarks and not affiliated with this recipe at all.
“I've never met a problem a proper cupcake couldn't fix." -Sarah Ockler
I'm thinking happy thoughts. They say the mind is so powerful if we can change our mind about something then we can change our lives. So happy it is. And what food could be happier than cupcakes, specifically, moist chocolate cupcakes? I mean, who wouldn't want essentially a mini cake all to him or herself? And let's face it, the ratio of frosting to cake is way better in a cupcake than in a slice of cake. We all know the frosting is the only reason to eat any cake anyway. So, all the more reason to love those little joy cakes. This recipe is super easy to make and you can frost it any way you please. My favorite ways are with a dense chocolate cream frosting (shown below) or a delicious , tangy cream cheese frosting. What's your favorite way?
Moist Chocolate Cupcakes - yields about 22 regular cupcakes
2 1/8 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon good quality cocoa powder such as Valrhona or Cocoa Barry
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable or melted coconut oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup hot freshly brewed coffee or boiling water
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Line 2 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners (22 of the 24 wells); set aside.
2. In bowl of stand mixer, sift together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, soda and cocoa powder. Place on mixer and turn on lowest speed.
3. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla ( if using coconut oil, make sure milk and eggs are at room temp or slightly warm) until well blended. Add to flour mixture on low speed and mix for 1 minute on low. Scrape down bowl, increase to medium speed and and continue mixing for 2 minutes.
4. Off mixer, using a rubber spatula stir in boiling water or hot coffee by hand until fully combined.
5. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup , pour batter into each liner.* Bake at 350 F until cupcakes come out with moist crumbs attached, about 15-20 minutes. Do not over-bake!
6. Let cool completely then frost as desired. If using cream cheese or creamy chocolate icing, keep frosted cupcakes in refrigerator for storage.
Notes: If you live at high altitude (5000-ish ft above sea level like I do), make the following changes:
reduce both baking soda and powder to 1 1/8 tsp each, add in 2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce with liquid ingredients and increase flour to 1 3/4 cups PLUS 2 tablespoons and reduce sugar to 2 cups. Bake as directed.