At the moment I have about five assignments on the go, plus it seems everyone I know is getting married in the next few weeks so I'm booked up with cookies, toppers and cakes too!
While all of the craziness may be driving me slowly mental (who am I kidding, I'm already there!) I'm still making time to bake yummy treats for Mr S and I to enjoy on the odd occasion.
In the last week I made Little & Friday's shortbread and The Caker's raspberry macaroons, for no other reason than to eat! What a relief that is!
A couple of weeks ago I made the most delicious cupcakes which got Mr S's seal of approval. Seriously. Like, he went crazy for them.
You see, Mr S loves mint and chocolate. Whether it's ice cream, biscuits, chocolate bars or milkshakes he is mint and chocolate's biggest fan!
So when I told Mr S about my idea to incorporate his love of mint and my fascination with high hat cupcakes he definitely was on board.
I've wanted to make high hat cupcakes ever since I saw Bakerella recreate Martha Stewart's recipe. They looked amazing! In fact, I even added them to my list of things to bake before the end of next year (okay so it was actually 2011, who's counting?)
I finally made them! I was (like most) very sceptical and had already imagined the melted icing all over the cupcakes but the cake gods were looking out for me. I followed the directions, made changes where necessary and voila!
I'm not going to lie, icing the cupcakes was a lot of fun! The way the minty icing glided on almost made it therapeutic!
I had so much icing left over I decided to ice a few extra cupcakes I had hanging around, I think they look quite nice in brown too, don't you?
...and just to show I'm not perfect, check out my first attempt (on the left, if it wasn't obvious!)
Mint Chocolate High Hat Cupcakes
Makes 12 Cupcakes
1 cup flour
¼ cup cocoa
½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. vanilla essence
¼ cup oil
½ cup buttermilk (or ½ cup milk and ½ tbsp. white vinegar)
½ cup black coffee, cooled (made with ½ tsp instant coffee)
1 C Milk Chocolate Chips
1 ¾ cups sugar
3 egg whites
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. peppermint essence
Green food colouring gel
225g chocolate (I used Whittaker's 50%)
1 ½ tbsp. oil, canola or vegetable
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line a muffin tray with cupcake cases.
- Mix coffee and let it cool down while you make the rest of the mix up.
- Make homemade buttermilk by combining milk and white vinegar. Let this sit while you make the rest of the mix up, it will be lumpy when you go to use it.
- Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Add eggs, vanilla, oil, coffee (once cooled) and buttermilk to the dry ingredients and mix on a low speed until combined.
- Mix on medium speed for about 1 minute, the mixture will be very runny.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Pour into cupcake cases approx. ¾ full and bake for 10 - 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Leave in tins for 5 minutes then cool on a wire rack.
- Leave cupcakes to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before placing on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Combine all ingredients except the essence in a heatproof bowl, beat until well combined and foamy, approx. 1 minute.
- Place bowl on a pot of simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the bowl.
- Using a handheld mixer, beat the icing until stiff peaks form and icing reaches 70 degrees C on a candy thermometer (I only got to 65 but it worked for me!) this will take approx. 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the peppermint essence and a few drops of green gel colouring using a toothpick.
- Fold the essence and colouring in until well combined (taste to check how strong it is).
- Beat the icing again until it thickens up, approx. 2 minutes.
- Using a large round tip pipe round swirls as high as you can get.
- Once all cupcakes are iced, put them in the freezer for 15-20 minutes while you prepare the chocolate.
- Melt chocolate using the double boiler method as above or in the microwave in short bursts.
- Add the oil and mix until well incorporated.
- Leave to cool until chocolate is no longer hot or warm, you want it to be liquid but not setting.
- Pour the chocolate into a small container, it needs to be tall enough so it covers the whole mound of icing when dipped in, I used a glass.
- Hold the cupcake by the wrapper and dip into the chocolate, don't worry if there is a tiny bit missing at the bottom.
- Rotate the cupcake so the excess chocolate drops off.
- Touch up the chocolate with a toothpick or teaspoon so there is no icing showing at all.
- Once icing is completely covered, place in the fridge to harden.
- Repeat above steps until every cupcake is covered, when you start to run out of chocolate you can just spoon this onto the icing and slowly rotate until fully covered.
- Keep cupcakes refrigerated until ready to be served.
Marshmallow icing adapted from Martha Stewart