Sunday, August 31, 2014

Marble Cupcakes + Whipped Cream + Whipped Ganache

My father, recently, approached me with the wish for a type of frosting lighter then buttercream. He didn't like the amount of butter required when one makes buttercream to top cupcakes. Originally, I believed it couldn't be done. However, after a few short minutes on Google, I found a whipped cream recipe and one for ganache. I decided they were to perfect substitutes to try and top the cupcakes with.

Also by request of my father, I made marble cupcakes to pair with the frosting. Marble used to be my favorite type of cupcake, before I discovered red velvet, and I had never thought to make it in cupcake form. Granted, I failed abysmally at taking photos throughout the process, so this will mainly be description.

I combined two different recipes to make the marble cupcakes. One was a recipe I had used previously to make chocolate chip cupcakes, and another provided me with the proper way to use the batter to make the chocolate portion.

First, you have to preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then, in a separate bowl, measure out 1 1/2 cups of plain flour, 1 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoons of salt. Then, in a larger bowl, cream a softened stick of unsalted butter and 1 cup of sugar until it is light and fluffy (about 4-5 minutes). The original recipe asked for you to use a paddle attachment in a stand mixer, but our stand mixer is quite heavy. As such, I just used a hand mixer and creamed the two together for about a minute longer then recommended, since I had to stop and scrape down the bowl occasionally (it was a bit too wide to do something like this).

Next, you have to beat in two eggs, one at a time. Then comes in 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and beat everything until it's lovely and smooth.

Now comes the flour mixture and 2/3 cups of milk. Beat in about half of the flour, and half of the milk. Then the other half of both groups. Now you need to add aspects of another recipe. The only bit of that recipe that I used was how much cocoa powder to add. Until the point where you add the cocoa powder, you have simply made vanilla cupcake batter. You can separate that into 12 cupcake tins and bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating halfway through.

However, if you want to be fancy, you can attempt marble cupcakes. Take out between 1/3 and 1/2 of the vanilla batter and put it in a separate bowl. Then, beat in (I just stirred) 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder until combined. Add a splash of milk if you think the batter is a pit too thick. I had a few small clumps of cocoa powder when I was finished, but they were fine once the cupcakes had baked.

What I would recommend doing here is putting a little vanilla batter, then a little chocolate, and then another layer of the two (switching sides for the second one) in order to ensure the two batters can be equally marbled. Take a butter knife and swirl until it looks pretty, and then you're done. What I did was just place a lump of vanilla and then chocolate on top, meaning it didn't have the marbled effect I was looking for. If I were to do it again, I would definitely change the method I marbled the batter.

Now, just bake them for 18-20 minutes, rotating halfway through. Take them out when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Hopefully, you now have marbled cupcakes. Let them cool for 5 minutes before moving the cupcakes to a rack to cool completely.

After those have cooled, it's on to the frosting. Start by making a simple ganache. I used 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate, chopped finely and placed in a ramekin. Microwave 1/2 cup of heavy cream (I used heavy whipping cream) until simmering (that amount took about 1 minute). Be certain to not let the cream boil over, so use quite a large container.

Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let that sit for 2 minutes. Use that time to marvel at the cupcakes you previously made. Once those 2 minutes have passed, stir the cream and chocolate until smooth. It will look as though it's never going to come together, and that's expected. Don't worry; it will and you'll be left with a beautifully rich chocolate ganache.

What I did then was core 6 of the cupcakes, saving both the crumbs and the top. Next, I filled the hole I'd made with the still liquid ganache and covered the exposed chocolate with the top from each respective cupcake. Save the rest of the crumbs, as they'll be used for decoration later.

Now you have to let that sit for 2 hours so that it can come to room temperature. Once you've done that, you can move onto the whipped cream.

Before you even start the whipped cream, be certain to place the metal bowl and metal whisk in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes (15-20). Then, take them out, and measure out 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Put both the sugar and the cream into the bowl. Now you just have to whisk the entire thing until the cream has stiff peaks. It doesn't take long, just a few minutes, and then you'll have whipped cream.

Now it's time to decorate the cupcakes. If you want, you can cover some with the now room temperature ganache, but be certain to leave some. If you have the original amount of ganache, take a little less then half of the whipped cream and fold it in, creating a mousse. You can always add more whipped cream, so start with a little and add to your liking.

Take the whipped cream and mousse, and decorate the cupcakes as you will. I took large spoonfuls of each and placed them in the center of the cupcakes, taking care to cover up the evidence of how you'd cored some of the cupcakes. The ones that you did core, sprinkle some of the crumbs you had saved from earlier in order to identify them out of all of the others.

And, tada! You've made marble cupcakes topped with whipped cream and chocolate mouse, with some having a hidden ganache surprise. I'll add pictures soon, once I've gotten them off the camera.

Here's a link to the original vanilla cupcake, and the link for the marble cupcake one I stole aspects from.

Here's a link to the whipped cream recipe, and one for the chocolate ganache.

Sprinkles of Sugar from,
Your Friendly Teenage Baker

Marble Cupcake ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) softened unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cups milk + splashes of milk as needed
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
Ganache ingredients:
  • 4 ounces finely chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) heavy whipping cream
Whipped Cream ingredients:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

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