RECIPE: My Take on Hi Hat Cupcakes
These cupcakes are the most delicious I have ever made. I'm not kidding. The cake is a dense, moist chocolate, with a piped mallow-like filling on top. Then you dunk the whole thing in high quality melted chocolate, and wait for it to set. Because I made these for our "black and white" themed wine & dinner club party, I decorated the tops with dabs of white Candy Melt polka dots.
Now I am confused about who came up with this cupcake originally. I thought it was Martha Stewart, but I also read that it came from some blogger? I am not sure. If you know, please let me know. I wish to link and credit whatever foodie brilliance that inspires a dish if applicable. It's an ethical thing with me.
So, I adapted this recipe technique wise as well as recipe wise.
I used my go-to chocolate cake recipe that I usually use for cake pops. I also froze the mallow tops for quite a bit to assure this crazy-cooking-physics experiment actually worked.
These are labor intensive, but worth it. Make them for a special occasion and prepare yourself for serious accolades.
Note: This batter makes a lot of cake, so if you don't want to be dipping massive amounts of cupcakes for hours-pour this batter into however many liners you want. Then pour the extra batter in a Pyrex cake pan. Bake it then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap once cooled. Then freeze it. You can use it later for a last minute guest or crumble it up for cake pops. I am asked to make my cake pops a lot, so it's nice to have extra cake to crumble up on hand.
Urban Domestic Diva's Take on High Hat Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups good quality unsweetened cocoa
3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups hot water
1/4 cup water
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 cups semi sweet chocolate (might need more as you go)
3 Tbsp. canola oil (might need more as you go)
Heat oven to 350˚. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
Mix flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. With a paddle attachment, mix the oil, buttermilk, vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Add hot water. Scrape the sides and blend a few minutes more until smooth.
Pour the batter into the liners about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-30 minutes on the middle rack. The cake should spring back to the touch and toothpick comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely on cooling rack.
Meanwhile make the mallow.
Fill a large stock pot with water about halfway up, and place on a low flame. You want the water to just barely simmer. If it gets boiling, lower the flame. This pot is going to act like a double boiler, so it needs to fit whatever bowl you will be using for the frosting.
While the pot is heating up, in a large bowl combine sugar with the water. Mix until it's dissolved. Add the egg whites and cream of tartar. Use a hand mixer and beat until this mixture is foamy, usually about 1 minute.
Set the bowl over the stock pot in the barley simmering water. Use an oven mitt to hold your bowl. Use you hand mixer (make sure it can reach your stove-you may need an extension cord) and beat the egg mixture until stiff peaks form and the frosting is 160˚. Clip a candy thermometer on the bowl to measure the temperature as you beat things up. This takes 12 minutes at least, so get comfortable! Have the kids take turns so you get some breaks.
Once you have fluffy, stiff peaks and things are glossy and at the right temperature, remove the bowl from heat and set on a towel on the counter. Stir in the vanilla and almond extract, and beat the mixture with your hand mixer for 2 more minutes until nice and thick.
Use a piping bag with a plain hole, large tip (like this). Spoon the frosting into the bag and pipe the mallow in a large circular motions and upward, making a fluffy giant mountain on top of each cupcake.
(Here I had to hide my skepticism. These looked so lovely at this point, and I had no idea how dunking these luscious tops into hot chocolate wasn't going to trash these tops right off the cupcakes.)
Place these on a baking sheet and freeze these for at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, melt your chocolate.
Mix the chocolate with the canola oil. You can either melt the chocolate on a double boiler or use the microwave. Heat the chocolate in the microwave for 30 second intervals at 50% power, mixing in between. Pour the chocolate in a deep, narrow bowl. Make sure it's deep because these have high tops! You don't want the top of the mallow frosting to mush against the bottom of the chocolate dipping bowl. You may need to keep adding oil or more chocolate or heating lightly as you go. You need a lot of chocolate and it needs to move freely.
Move gently and quickly in this next step.
Take a cupcake out of the freezer. Turn it upside down and dunk the cupcake down into the chocolate and quickly pull up, twirling it and letting excess drip off. With a turn of the wrist, twirl the cupcake upright and let set on a cooling rack for the chocolate to set and harden. Use a decorating brush or toothpick to cover bottom parts of the cupcake that didn't get chocolate.
Once the chocolate sets and hardens, you can melt some candy melts to decorate the tops.