Thursday, August 8, 2013

S'mores Cupcakes

       There's something about cupcakes that always makes me happy.  Maybe it's the cloud of frosting on top, or the fact that you don't have to slice it like a cake or pie; with cupcakes, everyone gets their own beautifully decorated dessert.  Or maybe it's the endless possibilities for the combination of cake, filling, frosting, and toppings.

         As you may tell, cupcakes are at the top of my list of favorite things to bake.  So when I decided to enter some baked goods into my county's fair, I was definitely going to bring some awesome cupcakes to the competition.  

         With these cupcakes, I brought in another one of my favorite things: s'mores.  I combined the versatility of cupcakes with one of the most perfect flavor combinations in the world.  The cupcake is composed of a graham cracker cupcake, marshmallow fluff filling, malted milk chocolate frosting, and toasted marshmallow frosting.  Then the cupcake is drizzled in dark chocolate ganache, topped with a ganache-dipped graham cracker, and lightly sprinkled with more graham cracker crumbs. 

          The cupcake was moist and soft, with a strong vanilla-graham cracker taste.  Originally, I wanted to make a cupcake out of graham flour, the actual flour used to make graham crackers, but since I couldn't find it, I used crushed graham crackers instead.  Very finely crushed graham crackers is a lot similar to flour.  

          Using the coning method, I filled the cupcakes with marshmallow fluff.

           The malted milk chocolate frosting was perfect for the cupcake.  It had a slight marshmallow-y taste, so it contributed a great s'more flavor.  The frosting is an easy-to-make buttercream with chocolate malt powder and melted milk chocolate incorporated.  

           The toasted marshmallow frosting is made with marshmallow fluff and oven-toasted marshmallows.  To toast the marshmallows, just turn on the broiler in your oven and place some large marshmallows on a baking sheet and put them in the oven for a few moments, watching carefully so that they don't burn.  Make sure to spray the baking sheet so that the marshmallows don't stick.  I like broiling marshmallows and sandwiching them in graham crackers just whenever I'm in the mood for a s'more.  

            To frost the cupcakes, I used a large French decorating tip.  I piped a dollop of chocolate frosting, and then a smaller dollop of marshmallow frosting on top of that.  Then I reheated some leftover ganache I had and piped it on top of the frosting in a zig-zag pattern.
             The only that makes me sad is that the appearance was ruined while I was transporting the cupcakes to the fair. The cupcakes tumbled around in the box, so I ended up with a cupcake with a mess of brown frosting on top (oops). It's fine though, and I also made two other things for the fair, which I will post in the future.  


S'mores Cupcakes

makes 12 frosted and filled cupcakes
cake recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, frosting adapted from Sweetapolita


For the graham cracker cupcake:
1-1/2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs (about 10 crackers ground in a blender or food processor)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature

For the malted milk chocolate buttercream:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs chocolate malted milk powder
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
4 oz quality milk chocolate

1/4 cup heavy cream

For the toasted marshmallow frosting:
8 large marshmallows
1/2 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 jar (3.5oz) marshmallow fluff

For assembling:
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
about 1/4 cup marshmallow fluff
graham crackers, cut into 12 small rectangles
more graham cracker crumbs, if desired


Make the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners. 
  2. Whisk graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, and pinch of salt in medium bowl. 
  3. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Beat in vanilla. 
  4. Add graham-cracker mixture in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with graham-cracker mixture. Divide batter among muffin cups.
  5. Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center come out clean, about 22 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to rack; cool completely.
Make the malted milk chocolate frosting:
  1. Cream together the butter and confectioners sugar until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Add malt powder, vanilla and salt, and beat on low speed until well combined. Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes).
  3. Add whipping cream and beat on medium-high speed for another minute.
Make the toasted marshmallow frosting:
  1. Place marshmallows on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Place on lower rack of oven, and broil marshmallows until nice and brown on top, between 30-60 seconds. Remove pan from oven and gently turn the marshmallows over, and broil until they are golden brown on both sides.  Watch carefully and make sure they don't burn.
  2. Beat together the butter and confectioners sugar.  Add vanilla and beat for 3 minutes.  Add marshmallows and marshmallow fluff and mix for one minute on low speed.
  1. Make a bittersweet ganache by bringing 1/4 cup heavy cream to a simmer.  Pour the hot cream over 4 oz chopped chocolate and let sit for 30 seconds, then mix until all the chocolate is melted and smooth. 
  2. Cut a cone shape out of a cooled cupcake and fill the hole with about 1 tsp marshmallow fluff. Press the cone shape back in place.
  3. Pipe some chocolate frosting on top of the cupcake, and then pipe marshmallow frosting on top of that.
  4. Pipe the ganache on top of the frosting in a thin, zig-zag pattern. Dip graham cracker pieces in remaining ganache and place in the cupcake frosting.  Sprinkle cupcake with graham cracker crumbs, if desired.

No comments:

Post a Comment