Monday, 31 October 2011

Halloween Spider Cupcakes

Happy Halloween!
This weekend to celebrate Halloween  we made spider cupcakes with devils food cake and ganache frosting. The recipes were both from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes.

Devil's Food 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 (we used sea salt)
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream

Recipes typically call for you to preheat the oven before you begin and line the muffin pans then. I usually do this towards when I'm finishing so that I'm not wasting too much energy.

Whisk together hot water and cocoa and set aside (use a small bowl for this). In another bowl, whisk together baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour (use a medium bowl for this).

Melt sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium high heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat and pour in a bowl (use your largest bowl for this). With an electric mixer, beat until cooled (5 minutes) on medium-low speed. Add eggs, mixing in between until each egg is fully combined. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, mixing until combined. Reducing the speed, mix in dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with sour cream and beating until each is combined.

Divide batter into the lined muffin pans evenly, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Transfer to racks to cool.

Ganache Frosting

1 pound bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 
2 1/3 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup corn syrup

Place the chocolate in a large heat proof bowl (in our case we didn't have a bowl so we used a rectangular pyrex container). Bring the cream and corn syrup to a simmer over medium high heat. Pour the mixture over chocolate and wait about 5 minutes for the chocolate to melt.

Stir the mixture, beginning in the center. The mixture will slowly start to turn thicker and brown. Continue stirring until the mixture is combined and smooth. It will look something like chocolate syrup. 

Refrigerate and take out to stir every 5 minutes. It will take about 20 minutes for it to reach the desired consistency (you should be able to lift the spoon and small speaks will form or more generally that it holds form rather than looking like pudding).

Finally the decorations were made by first dipping the top of the cupcakes in black sprinkles, silver dragees (or balls as they are sold in bulk barn) were used as eyes and white chocolate button were cut up into little fangs.