Flashback: Peanuts & Crackerjack Chocolate Cupcakes

October 21st, 2011

A past post of mine from the “Bicoastal Bakes” blog (a blog that pre-dates Nibbles by Nora!) I created this treat for the show run of  “Top of the Heap” at the Gallery Players.

October 27, 2009

Inspired by Scarecrow Treats, the cupcake has 3 layers – Chocolate Molasses Cake (there are many recipes via the google out there – pick your fav!), Marshmallows and Homemade Crackerjack.

After the cake is mostly baked, add a layer of mini marshmallows and put back in the oven until the marshmallows puff up.Adding the marshmallow layer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then add a layer of crackerjack on top.

Adding the crackerjacks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The finished product!

Peanuts & Crackerjack Chocolate Cupcake

Scharffen Berger Chocolate Adventure Contest Entries

March 18th, 2011

Back in October, Nichelle Stephens of Cupcakes Take the Cake gave my name to the organizers of the Scharffen Berger Chocolate Adventure Contest Kickoff Event.  Per the title, the event was held to promote their recipe contest with this year’s focus on cupcakes!

I’d never entered a recipe contest before but after attending the event, I felt inspired and decided I’d give it a go!

Each recipe had to include Scharffen Berger Chocolate and at least one of their 13 Adventure Ingredients.  After some brainstorming, I came up with 4 recipes (you could enter 10!) and invited friends over for a taste test in November.  1 recipe idea didn’t make it to the tasting after I saw how it turned out by the other 3 did!

I got some great feedback and tweaked the recipes accordingly, then entered them and crossed my fingers!

Alas, the winners were announced recently and my recipes weren’t even finalists.  But I will still share them with you here in case you want to embark on a non-finalist cupcake adventure! 😉

Entry #1 – “What the What?!” Cupcakes Recipe

Photo taken by Emilie Soffe

 

Adventure Ingredient Used – Stout

Topping
6 oz apricot preserves
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 Tablespoon Dijon prepared mustard

Prepare this up to a day ahead of baking your cupcakes.
Combine all ingredients, cover and chill until ready to use.

Chocolate Custard Filling
1 ½ cups water
1 ¼ cups sugar
½ Tablespoon corn syrup
¾ cup Scharffen Berger Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/3 cup cornstarch
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine sugar, corn syrup, cocoa powder and 1 ¼ cups of the water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally.

Dissolve cornstarch in ¼ cup of water. Whisk into cocoa mixture and return mixture to a boil, whisking constantly.  Continue to cook and whisk constantly until mixture becomes thick.

Remove mixture from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Pour mixture into bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure you press plastic wrap gently against the surface in order to prevent a skin from forming. Chill about 45 minutes until firm.

Cupcakes
½ cup margarine, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup stout beer, room temp, no foam

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare 1 muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In large bowl, cream margarine and dark brown sugar together, add egg and beat well. Set aside.

In separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, baking soda and salt.

Add flour mixture alternatively with stout to egg mixture. Beat well.

Fill each cupcake liner up to ¾ full of batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup butter, softened

Use mixer to blend all ingredients.

Photo taken by Emilie Soffe

To Assemble
Once Cupcakes have cooled, use a pairing knife to cut a cone out of the center of each cupcake and fill centers with Chocolate Custard. Cut off pointed end of cake cone so it fits back on top of the cupcake, covering the custard-filled hole.

Frost cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. Then glaze Frosting with 2 Tablespoons of the Topping.

Recipe #2 – Beet-iful Carrot Cupcakes Recipe

Adventure Ingredients Used – Beets, Meyer Lemon

Cupcakes

Photo Taken by Emilie Soffe

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
¾ cup milk
1 ½ tsp Meyer lemon juice
3 eggs
1 ¼ cups beet puree
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 8 oz can crushed pineapple,drained
1 cup grated carrots
1 ½ cup orange marmalade

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in small bowl and set aside.
Combine milk and lemon juice. Add the milk mixture to the eggs, beets, sugars, oil, pineapple and carrots in large bowl and mix well.
Gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.

Pour 2 Tbsp batter into each liner. Add 1 Tbsp orange marmalade to the center and top with an additional 2 Tbsp batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
16 oz cream cheese, softened
4 tsp vanilla
5 cups powdered sugar
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup Scharffen Berger Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
4 oz Scharffen Berger 70% Bittersweet Chocolate, Melted

Mix cream cheese, vanilla, powdered sugar and butter until just combined. Then mix in cocoa powder and melted chocolate. Frost cooled cupcakes.

Candy Carrot Garnish
2 medium size carrots
½ cup pure maple syrup

Photo Taken by Emilie Soffe

Peel carrots length wise to get 24 long strips.
Simmer maple syrup in sauce pan and add a few carrot strips at a time. Let strips simmer until they start to appear translucent (about 2 minutes). Transfer strips to wax or parchment paper and allow to cool.
Twist them in a “curly q” and place on top of frosted cupcake.

 

 

Entry #3 – “Pant and Pucker” Cupcakes Recipe

Adventure Ingredients Used – Chili Pepper, Molasses, Buttermilk

Chili-Lime Peanut Garnish

Photo Taken by Emilie Soffe

1 cup raw peanuts
½ Tablespoon olive oil
1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons lime juice
½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
½ teaspoon pulverized dried chili pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Toss peanuts in bowl with olive oil, salt and sugar until they are coated evenly. Spread peanuts out on baking sheet.

Roast peanuts and stir occasionally for about 30 minutes until they are fragrant and begin to darken.

Pour peanuts into bowl and add lime juice, hot pepper sauce and chili pepper. Toss to coat. Cool.

Store in airtight container in refrigerator until ready to use.

Lime Curd Filling
2 Limes, zested
1 ¼ cups sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
¼ cup lime juice
pinch of salt

Pulse sugar and lime zest in food processor until zest is finely minced into sugar.

Cream butter and beat into sugar mixture. Add eggs one at a time, then lime juice and salt. Mix until combined.

Pour mixture into saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes until thickened.

Remove from heat, cool and refrigerate until ready to use.

Cupcakes
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup Scharffen Berger Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon pulverized dry chili pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup dark molasses
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sugar
½ cup margarine, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare muffin pans with 15 cupcake liners.

Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda into bowl. Mix in chili pepper and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix buttermilk and molasses together. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time until mixed well. Then add vanilla.

Begin adding a third of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture. Mix until combined and then add a third of the buttermilk mixture. Mix until combined and continue to alternate until everything is mixed together.

Fill each cupcake liner up to ¾ full of batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup Scharffen Berger Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, cocoa, milk and vanilla until creamy. Mix in additional cups of powdered sugar until your frosting appears to be a good spreading consistency.

Photo Taken by Emilie Soffe

To Assemble
Once Cupcakes have cooled, use a pairing knife to cut a cone out of the center of each cupcake and fill centers with Lime Curd. Cut off pointed end of cake cone so it fits back on top of the cupcake, covering the Lime Curd-filled hole.

Frost Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and Garnish with several Chili Lime Peanuts.



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