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This is just going to be a quick post, but thought I would share.
I made double chocolate cupcakes, using this cake recipe I've used millions of times before (it makes 36 cupcakes, if you use a 1/4 c measure to scoop the cupcakes). Bake at 300F for about 21 minutes (don't overbake, or they will be dry). At some point, I'd kinda like to experiment in making this recipe a tiny bit less sweet (maybe less sugar, or using unsweetened chocolate instead of dark chocolate....)...otherwise, it's sheer chocolate perfection. It's nice and soft, and moist and deeply chocolatey. OMNOMNOM.
I tried a different icing technique - I'd recently read about icings that involved a cooked milk/flour mixture incorporated into whipped sugar and butter. I used this whipped vanilla buttercream recipe from Epicurious. I was intrigued for a couple of reasons....first, the flour/milk would cut the pure buttery sweetness of a classic buttercream, and second, I had hopes that the use of granulated sugar would avoid that powdery blech taste of regular buttercream too. I wasn't disappointed. I made this recipe, doubled it, and added the zest of an orange, along with enough orange gel colour to make them a bit more Halloweeney. The icing is delicious - it has a wonderfully soft texture and isn't as dead sweet as most. I'll try this technique again!
Last, I topped them with white chocolate spiderwebs. I was actually shocked at how easy they were to make - I just purchased some white chocolate pastilles, melted them, and piped them from a ziploc bag (with the teeeniest snip ever in the corner). I drew a freehand template with a sharpie, and just piped onto waxed paper overtop of the template.
For good measure, I piped a few freehand ghosts too (had too much chocolate left, and was not convinced that any of my spiderwebs would make it off the paper). I used currants for eyes, and sprinkled with a little bit of black glittery sugar.
It was super easy to do (even for me, who is COMPLETELY talentless at piping/decorating) and they came off the wax paper pretty easily too (no need to chill in the fridge). You'll see that Geek Sweets has a beautiful photo walkthrough of these spiderwebs. Check it out!
Coming up soon - a post about my $50 Food Day dinner party (four courses AND bread for $5/person), and a phenomenal braised chicken cashew curry. I have a new toy.....isn't it beautiful? Look forward to lots of braising in the near future. ;)
Oh, and last but not least, mini-foodie two is on the way....coming sometime in April. Should be good times...
Cheers, and thanks for reading!