Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dynamic Duo Cupcakes

Do not let the above picture fool you.  You might say that this cupcake has a split personality. The left half is chocolate with ground chocolate chips and the right half is mint.  If that was not enough, I have topped this with dark chocolate ganache and mint butter cream icing.

I have wanted a way to have 2 distinct cakes in one cupcake for awhile, but the idea of cutting an layering was out of the question.  I wanted the cake parts to bake together, but still be as one solid cupcake.  To my surprise they have cupcake and cake dividers.  You just put them in middle of the cavity and pour your batter into each side.  Then remove the divider prior to baking.

Sounds pretty simple, but what I did not realize is all the other factors.  With two different batters, there may be different textures, each side may rise to a different height and they may bake at two different temperatures and times.  It was not going to be as easy as I thought. A boxed cake mix would have been perfect to use, but I did not give in.

I made two batters of similar ingredients.  However, the textures and thickness did turn out different.  One was like a brownie batter and the other batter was thin enough to be poured.  I still went on and surprisingly the cupcakes did turn out well.
 These cupcakes were for donation, so the recipe makes about 4 dozen.

Dynamic Duo Cupcakes
by flourtrader

Ingredients/ Chocolate Cake
3 eggs
1 3/4 cup milk
1 cup or 2 sticks of butter (room temperature)
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2  tsp vegetable oil
1 cup ground semi sweet chocolate (I used food processor and chocolate chips)
1/4 cup cocoa
2 cups plus 2 tbs of flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs baking powder

Ingredients/Mint Cake
3 eggs
1 3/4 cup milk
1 cup or two sticks of butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp mint extract
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tbs baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Ganache Topping
see filling recipe here 
or use a mix of 8 oz semi sweet chocolate melted in a double boiler with 1 tsp shortening.

Ingredients/Mint Buttercream Frosting
courtesy of Cupcake Bake Shop
1 1/2 cups or 3 sticks of butter
6-7 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs milk
1/8 tsp mint extract or more to taste
green food coloring

If you are making the ganache topping, this will need to be done first.  Click over to the link and prepare as stated.  Once it is in the fridge chilling, then you can start on making the cupcakes. 

For the chocolate batter, cream together the butter and sugar.  Then beat one egg into the batter for about 30 seconds.  Continue this process with the remaining eggs, one by one.  Then add the extract and vegetable oil and stir until blended.  Set aside.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder.  Then fold 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter/sugar batter.  Stir in 1 cup of the milk until all is evenly blended.  Mix in 1/3 of the flour and continue to mix, adding the rest of the milk.  Fold in the last part of the flour and stir until no dry streaks remain.  Lastly, fold in the ground chocolate.  Cover and place in fridge.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease top edge of cavities in muffin pan.  Then line with cupcake papers and place the plastic dividers in the center of the cavities.

To make the mint cake, follow the same process as stated for the chocolate, except for the ingredient changes.  Leave out the vegetable oil, cocoa and ground chocolate.  You will replace the vanilla extract with mint.  Also note that this cake does call for a little bit more flour than the chocolate.

Take out the chocolate batter and fill one side of each muffin cavity to the top.  Continue until each cavity has chocolate batter on one side of the divider.  Then fill the other side of each divider in the cavity to the top with the mint batter.  Carefully pull out the batter dividers.

Bake cupcakes for 23-30 minutes or when tester comes out clean.  If you chose to do a chocolate drizzle on top of the cupcakes, now is the time to melt the ingredients in a double boiler. Once melted, remove pan from heat and pour into a heat proof bowl to cool.  Let cool at least 20 minutes prior to putting on cupcakes.

Once cakes are done baking, let cool in pan for 2 minutes then transfer to rack to cool.

After cooling, you can drizzle the melted chocolate or spread a thin layer of cold ganache on top.  Let topping set for about 1 hour.

To prepare the frosting, cream the butter until smooth.  Then add the rest of the ingredients and beat until all is evenly distributed. Taste to see if you want to add more mint extract.  After making the extract adjustment, add 3 drops of food coloring and beat again.  Continue to add the food coloring and beat until you reach the color you want. Frost cupcakes as desired.

                                           **LAST YEAR: Walnut Pillow Cookies**