Friday, August 19, 2011

S'Mores Cupcakes

Yes, I know this is A Cupcake a Week and I already posted cupcakes yesterday!  But they were ones I already made so didn't count :)

This week's cupcakes were made in honor of the fact that I had book club with my friends from high school. The book was The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. People were exchanging emails about the book and discussing who would bring what, but since at that time i hadn't even started the book, I didn't know what to bring!  Someone said that a common food from the book was margarine, so I said "I'll bring cupcakes!  I just don't know what type yet".   I should point out that since margarine was a "theme" I thought the main character was a baker.... read the book and see how completely wrong I was!

Once I started reading the book I noticed a common theme was "fire".  As a life long girl scout there is only one thing I associate fire with:  S'Mores.   So the S'mores cupcakes were born!

I did a lot of googling of recipes and almost everyone one led me back to one of my favorite food bloggers Annie's Eats.  I think her photography is just awesome (as is her food!).   So i used her recipe as a guide and came up with pretty tasty cupcakes.  I really liked the idea of melting the chocolate over the graham crackers, but I used less than the 8oz and it still didn't melt, so it had this weird consistency at the bottom of the cupcake.  I also think the graham cracker crust could have been a little thicker.  And I used my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe, which was probably denser than it needed to be, but still tasty!

Now for the icing...  It was the first time I had ever made marshmallow icing.  I don't know how to describe it other than STICKY!  It was really really sticky!  I was disappointed it didn't have a stronger structure when piped.  It just kind of exploded on to the cupcake.   I guess I could have kept whipping it, but it had been in the mixer for about 10 minutes and I just wanted to go to bed! Also, I could not get the egg white/sugar/cream of tartar mixture to be above 140 degrees.  After 2 failed attempts and redoing my double boiler, I finally gave up and settled for the fact I wouldn't get it any hotter.  So maybe if I had been able to get the temperature up higher, the texture would have been better.  But the flavor was still good.

I also did not use a kitchen torch on the tops for a few reasons.  The first was that I didn't own one, so I went to Bed Bath and Beyond.  Well they come without the butane and I'll be honest that I really didn't feel like driving around to find it.   Also, if you've met me... you'd probably agree that playing with fire is not in my best interest.  I am really really clumsy and who knows what would have been lit on fire!  I simply crushed some graham crackers and sprinkled them on top, which was tasty!

They definitely weren't my favorite cupcakes I've ever made, but I would definitely make them again if someone requested.... or the inspiration was there!  
Thanks for being my favorite hand model Maureen :)

Makes 24

For the graham cracker crust
  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

For the cupcakes
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
For the Icing
  • 8 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ tsp. cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter; mix well with a fork. 
  3. Drop about 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner and press down to line the bottom.
  4. Sprinkle a small amount of the chopped chocolate on top of the graham cracker crusts.  
  5. Bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven, and maintain the oven temperature.
  6. To make the cupcakes, whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. 
  7. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  8. Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. 
  9. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes.
  10. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated
  11. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. 
  12. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.
  13. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. 
  14. Bake until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
  15. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes
  16. To make the frosting, combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the top of a double boiler. 
  17. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whisk starting at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form.  
  18. Mix in the vanilla until combined. 
  19. Frost your cupcakes as you desire and sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs

Idea inspired by and icing and graham cracker crust from Annie's Eats
Cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart 

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