Thursday, November 21, 2013

Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Ok, I admit to buying a Hostess fruit pie everyday after riding my bike to school at the University of Utah.  But now it's been years since I've bought one of those things!  My kids would LOVE it if I bought anything Hostess.  However, that goes against all good judgment I've (hopefully) gained since then!  Ever heard of Michael Pollan?  He's this awesome food/history/science writer... and I'm a huge fan.  I heard him say in an interview recently..."Hey, you can eat all the junk food you want!  Just make sure you make it yourself."  Well, since I do have a habit of making highly delicious sweets I have to agree with Michael.  Just think, if we all cut out all the fast food, processed foods and packaged foods I think we'd all be A LOT happier, healthier, fitter and more beautiful.  We can eat a homemade burger and home fries, homemade potato chips, and yes even a filled chocolate  cupcake or two, after we've labored to create them. Enjoy them!
I had been thinking about making these for a long time!  I finally created them for Liam’s family birthday party.  The kids were so excited when they saw these cupcakes, you’d have thought they'd won the lottery!  The kids loved taking extras in their lunch boxes.  I even sent some extras for them to share with friends...they loved that!
2 cups flour
2 ½ cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 ½ cups buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Prepare 30 muffin cups with paper liners.  In bowl of electric mixer add all of the dry ingredients and whisk together with a hand held whisk.  Add all of the wet ingredients, including peanut butter.  Beat on medium with electric mixer until thoroughly combined, for about 3 minutes.  Pour ¼ cup of batter into each muffin cup.  You may be able to get 31 cupcakes from the batter if you scrape your bowl really well.  Bake at 350 for about 18 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely.  Remove cupcakes from pans. 

3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
3 large egg whites

 Separate eggs and place whites in bowl of electric mixer.  Whip egg whites with whisk attachment until soft peaks form.  Whisk in 2 tablespoons sugar and set aside.  In small saucepan, combine sugar, syrup and 2 tablespoons water.  Heat gently over low heat until sugar is dissolved.  This may take 5 minutes.  Raise heat and bring to a low boil.  Wash sugar crystals down sides of pan with wet pastry brush.  Put candy thermometer in place and bring to 230 degrees...NOT ANY HIGHER!!!  This will just take a minute or two, so no multitasking right now!  Remove pan from heat and with mixer on LOW begin whisking egg whites.  With mixer running on LOW speed, pour hot syrup into egg whites.  When syrup in all incorporated into egg whites, whisk on MEDIUM speed for 5-10 minutes.  Frosting will be thick and shiny.  Spoon into decorator’s bag with ¼ inch mouth.  Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Turn all the cupcakes upside down on parchment paper.  Cut a small slit through the paper baking cup on bottom of every cupcake.  Pipe about 1-2 tablespoons of filling into each cupcake.  You will feel the cupcake expand slightly.  Be careful not to overfill cupcakes, causing them to crack and burst.  Turn cupcake right side up after filling.

 Chocolate Glaze

 11 ounce bag milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

 On lowest heat possible place a small pot.  Add chocolate chips and shortening and melt. Stirring until smooth.  This will take a few minutes.  Be really careful not to let the chocolate sit on too high of temperature because this will scorch and ruin your chocolate.  Once chocolate is melted and smooth, dip tops of each cupcake in chocolate and place back on rimmed baking sheet to dry.  Once chocolate glaze is set add a tiny round tip to your decorator’s bag and pipe some cursive “e” shape across the top of each cupcake.  These will taste even BETTER the next day!

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