I've posted here before about cupcakes... but, last week I made some cupcakes that topped even the super awesome margarita cupcakes from a while ago. I can't even wait, I have to show you the glamor shot right up front...
Yes, its true- its exactly like a hostess cupcake, except homemade and even more delicious. Yowza! The inspiration for the recipe comes from Our Best Bites.
The cake itself:
Now, she starts off with a recipe for homemade cake, and I'm sure that it is delicious. But, if I'm going to make 2 kinds of frosting, and insert them in every possible location in a bunch of cupcakes, it sounds like a good day to start off with cake mix. I used some kind of chocolate cake mix that was on sale, but I added a small package of pudding an and extra egg, just to make it denser. (by the way, if you want cakemix to be even better use melted butter instead of oil and milk instead of water. I was out of milk and all my butter was going to the frosting, though). So, make some cupcakes- I got about 18 out of it because I wanted them decently sized to aid with the stuffing. Let them cool, fortunately, you have a whole lotta frosting to make so there is plenty of time.
This is without a doubt the weirdest frosting recipe I have ever seen, and I highly suggest you visit the original website for pictures. But, that said, I think that this frosting really made the cupcakes because it was the perfect texture.
3 T white flour
.5 C milk (I used non-fat)
.5 C actual real butter
.5 C sugar (granulated, not powdered)
1 t vanilla extract
Whisk together the flour and the milk while heating in a small pan on medium heat. Now, you have to whisk it continuously until it starts to get thick- let it cook a bit but keep stirring. Eventually, it becomes sort of gluey or puddingy looking. Apparently it just really won't work unless you let it get thick. Once that happens, you strain it- put a mesh strainer over a bowl and dump it in, and work it through with a spoon or rubber scraper. Let this chill completely.
Using a mixer (I used a hand mixer because its what I have) beat the butter and the sugar for a minute or two. Then, add in the flour/milk mixture and vanilla and keep beating. Do NOT freak out, it really looks gross. Just keep mixing- for mine, with the hand mixer and all, I had to go almost 10-11 minutes. And, part way through I was sure I was going to have to throw it out and just put the chocolate on top and be done (which, by the way, would have been delicious, just not super amazingly awesome like these were). So, persevere. It will eventually look like frosting and be fluffy and delicious!
Now, of course, you have to get this in the cupcake. There are 2 possible techniques. One involves some kind of magical frosting shooting tool that I don't have (see, I don't even know the name!). Then, there is the tact I took- use a sharp knife and carve out a little cone shaped piece of cupcake. Then, cut the bottom off the cone- you can imagine that if you replaced the top of the cone it'd be like the lid on a pumpkin and leave an internal hole for frosting. Here is one of mine, filled, waiting for a lid:
Now, I'd make this before you get going on carving up your cupcakes, because it has to chill. Basically, you're going to make a ganache- the recipe as it is was a little big, and I actually had left over frosting (I know, I know, this is not a tragedy ;). I'd never made this before, but it was super easy!
.75 C Cream
2 T real butter, melted
8 oz semi-sweet/dark chocolate, chopped up
Put chocolate in a bowl and pour melted butter over it (I did not read instructions, and dumped a whole cube of melted butter over it, which I then had to drain off, estimated how much I left behind, and everything was fine- this recipe seems to be fool proof. Either that, or you can never have too much butter). Place cream in pyrex measuring cup and microwave for ~2 minutes- it should be at a simmer, not boiling. Immediately pour over chocolate and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit for somewhere around 3 minutes and then stir briskly until smooth. Let it cool- you can kind of decide when to use it, depending on your level of frosting skill. When I did it, it was somewhere between runny and thick- you could still pour it and it would spread out nicely, but it wasn't spreadable with a knife. It turned out so nice and shiny- check it out!
(by the way, I wasn't very happy with these photos, but I was very excited to sit down with a glass of milk and eat one of these things, and by the next day they'd be inhaled by my co-workers, so, this is the one for posterity!).
At any rate, look at the chocolatey goodness- you would never know the awesome filling that lurks within! These were a hit!