These cupcakes are a “must do” for the holidays. Chocolate, peppermint, and marshmallow...I mean come on! I took inspiration for these little babies from the December 2008 Bon Appetit magazine cover. But, this time, rather than wrestling with a cake that, when done, looked like something from Dr. Seuss’s “How The Grinch Stole Christmas!” – which was not a bad thing, I just worried that it might end up in Whoville overnight – so, this time I decided to make cupcakes. And it worked great since I didn’t have to worry about the cake toppling over in the fridge (even with cake-dowels stuck in it) and the individual cakes are so much easier to handle. When I made this, I used James Peterson’s Devil’s Food Cake recipe from his book “Cooking” – it’s just so easy and delicious – I kept with the peppermint marshmallow frosting and white chocolate cream recipe from BA. These little cupcakes are now a new holiday tradition. If you don’t like peppermint you can substitute orange – that would be yummy as well!
Devil’s Food Cake – from “Cooking” –
Makes 12-14 cupcakes
Ingredients - Cupcakes
1 cup flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, cut into eight pieces
8oz bittersweet chocolate pieces
1 cup sour cream (only Daisy here)
¾ cup sugar
3 eggs beaten
Ingredients – White Chocolate Cream Center
6 oz white chocolate pieces like Lindt or Ghirardelli
1 ½ cups chilled heavy whipping cream
¾ teaspoon peppermint extract
Ingredients – Peppermint Marshmallow Frosting
1 1/8 cups sugar
¼ cup water
2 large egg whites
½ tablespoon light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard sized muffing tin with paper liners.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside. Heat butter, sour cream and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt over a sauce pan of simmering water. Stir with a rubber spatula until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, attachment beat sugar and eggs until well blended. On low speed, add the chocolate mixture then the four. Scrap down the sides and bottom of bowl making sure everything is mixed evenly together – do not over mix. Fill each liner with a scant ½ cup of batter. Bake for 15-18 minutes until the tester inserted comes out clean and the tops spring back when pressed. Cool completely. Using an apple corer or small paring knife, cut a small plug from the top of each cupcake. Can be made one day ahead. Store at room temperature in a cake domes or covered in foil.
White Chocolate Cream
Heat 1 ½ cups cream in a small sauce pan until simmering. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour hot cream over pieces. Let stand 1 minute then whisk until smooth. Whisk in extract. Cover and chill until mixture thickens – about 4 hours. Can be made one day ahead. When ready to assemble cupcakes. Beat ½ cup of heavy cream in to chocolate mixture until smooth and peaks form. Pipe filling into cupcake centers, chill while making the frosting.
Peppermint Marshmallow Frosting
Combine sugar, water, egg whites, and corn syrup in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk to combine well. Place over a pan of simmering water and whisk, pretty much constantly, by hand until mixture resembles marshmallow and ribbons form when whisk is lifted – this could take as long as 20 minutes! Whisk in peppermint extract. Remove bowl from sauce pan and attach to stand-mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until barely warm to touch and very thick – about 10 minutes. Pipe frosting on the filled cupcakes and chill. Let cupcakes come to room temperature before serving.
Note: you must use the frosting immediately, so do not make until you are ready to ice the cupcakes.