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After Eight Cupcakes

January 10, 2011

This past weekend Grill Boy and I got together with all my Cousins for a little belated Christmas. An annual tradition of good times, good food and good yankee swapage. There were some hot items on the table this year, and fittingly Grill Boy ended up with an awesome cast iron pan and cookbook, and funnily enough it was the same cast iron cooking cook book we got his mom for Christmas! Can’t wait to try it out.

Some fun times lay ahead with these bad boys.

But back to the baking, as one of the requisite bakers of the family, dessert was my task for the event. Feeling a little adventurous I opted to try out these After Eight Cupcakes from With Sprinkles on Top combining again my two winter loves, chocolate and mint. I switched up the cupcake batter a bit since I was missing a few ingredients and instead went with a classic German Chocolate cake mix from my new Betty Crocker cookbook (cooking was the glorious theme of this year’s Christmas).

German Chocolate Cake (I made a half batch which makes about 16 Cupcakes)

2 oz baking chocolate
1/4 cup water
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened.
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
A handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. First up heat the water and chocolate in a small sauce pan until the chocolate melts completely, then cool.

I kind of discovered half way through heating these that I didn’t have enough butter to make a full batch, so I took two of the squares out and siphoned off what water I could, it turned out alright, but probably would be even better with the correct amounts!

2. Meanwhile, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.

3. In a large bowl beat the sugar and butter on high until light and fluffy. I didn’t really get to the fluffy stage, but they were well blended.

4. Separate the eggs, set the whites aside for later and beat the yolks into the butter/sugar mixture one at a time.

5. Beat in the chocolate and vanilla on a low speed.

Mmm delicious and it isn’t even close to being done.

6. Add half the flour mixture, mix well.

7. Then mix in the milk. Although the recipe calls for buttermilk, and many chocolate cake recipes do, I never have buttermilk or want to buy it. So instead I mix a little bit of vinegar into the milk and it has the same effect. About 1 tablespoon of vinegar per 1 cup of milk.

8. Mix in the rest of the flour and set aside.

9. In another bowl (provided you have a handheld mixer on hand, otherwise put the batter in a different bowl, wash and dry everything and use the mixing bowl and whisk attachment), put the two egg whites, and beat on high until stiff. Now that I have made a meringue I feel like I am a pro on egg white states and I knew to beat these for a solid 3 minutes, until they form glorious peaks.

I started with 1 beater, since it was a small bowl.

Then I had to succumb and dig out the second beater

Well worth it for those peaks.

10. Gently fold the whites into the batter.

The fluffiest batter ever! Egg whites are awesome.

11. Pour into cupcake tins, sprinkle each with a few chocolate chips and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. For an 8 inch round cook 35-40 minutes, for 9 inch 30-35 minutes.

Alas I was 1 cupcake liner short, and once baked the cupcake would not come out, sadly I had to eat it fresh from the oven, it was tough.

Also I had some extra batter (hence the 16 cupcakes, just an estimate though) so I made a mini cake.

And voila 30 minutes later, beautiful cupcakes.

Mint Buttercream Frosting

3/4 cup butter, at room temp
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
a few drops mint extract
a few drops green food coloring

1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Caution though, don’t be too heavy handed with the mint!
2. Blend up nicely until super fluffy.
3. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes, or just spread on with a knife.

As much of a pain as it is to pipe, they look so pretty.

Finally time for the chocolate ganache to drizzle on top

Chocolate Ganache

1/3 cup heavy cream (I used fat free half ‘n’ half)
1 cup chocolate chips
12 junior mints (or 11 if you are missing that 12th cupcake liner)

1. In a microwave safe bowl heat the cream and chocolate chips for about a minute.

2. Stir until the chips melt completely, heat for additional time if necessary.

3. Allow to cool slightly before drizzling over cupcakes.Then using a spoon drizzle in your desired pattern on the cupcakes.

Top each cupcake with a junior mint, serve and enjoy.

They were delicious! Definitely will be making these again!

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