Trick or treat!
This Halloween, Matchachoco and I participated in our program’s Halloween themed bake sale. I whipped up some ghostly chocolate cupcakes, while Matchachoco made some mini pumpkin tarts. Actually, it was very sneaky of her because she didn’t even tell me she was going to bake something!
She made the tarts using the extra filling for the pumpkin empanadas we made for a school event, and added some condensed milk to it. The tart crust was already premade, but the lattice design on top was handmade by Matchachoco using this recipe. Cutenesss! We would have made a blog post about it, but it was one of Matchachoco’s impromptu baking adventures.
As for me, I made some chocolate cupcakes with chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream. I topped the cupcakes with meringue cookie ghosts. I’m always looking for a good chocolate cake recipe, and I think I may have just found my go-to recipe. Aside from requiring ingredients that I usually have at home, the process is relatively simple compared to other chocolate cake recipes. I also like how it uses oil instead of butter. The result was a dense, moist cake with a strong chocolate flavour. This is the first time I used this chocolate cupcake recipe, and I’m glad it wasn’t a fail, whew! For the frosting, let’s just say that I’m not a huge fan of the typical frosting made with butter and powdered sugar, so I like it complicated 😛
Anyways, without much further ado, here’s the recipe for the chocolate cupcakes.
Chocolate Cupcakes (makes 24 cupcakes)
Recipe from Add a Pinch
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. espresso powder
1 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder. Whisk the ingredients together.
- Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to the mixture of dry ingredients. Mix together on medium speed until well combined.
- Reduce the speed and slowly add the boiling water. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to incorporate air to the cake batter.
- Fill cupcake liners ¾ths full, and bake for about 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted to the cupcake comes out clean or with moist crumbs.
Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream (enough to frost 20-24 regular size cupcakes) Adapted from Yoyomax12
A little info about the Swiss meringue buttercream method: The idea behind the method is to incorporate butter and meringue to create a smooth, not-too-sweet, frosting consistency. I find that this frosting may too buttery for others when it’s just flavoured with vanilla extract, so I often use this method when there’s enough flavour to mask the buttery taste, such as this chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream recipe.
This frosting has a subtle chocolate flavour, so add more cocoa powder or dark chocolate if you’d like.
4 egg whites or 8 tbsp. of pasteurized liquid egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup softened butter, cut into cubes
~50 g 72% dark chocolate, melted
2 tbsp cocoa powder
- Using a double boiler, heat together egg whites with sugar. Continue to heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved. If using raw egg whites, heat until the egg whites have reached a temperature of 160 degrees F for food safety.
- Remove egg whites from heat, and beat until the egg whites form a stiff meringue.
- While beating, gradually add softened cubes of butter. Keep beating until you get a smooth frosting consistency.
- Add melted chocolate and cocoa powder. Beat until fully incorporated.
- If the frosting starts to look curdled after you added the butter to the meringue, keep beating! Don’t worry, it’s just a phase. It’ll still transform into a smooth frosting consistency if you keep beating.
- If the frosting is too runny, refrigerate for a few minutes or put in the freezer for about a minute or less. Take the frosting out when it starts to stiffen a bit, but not solid. Beat the frosting again until you get a smooth consistency.
Meringue recipe from here
Using a piping bag with a round tip, pipe small dollops of meringue in the shape of ghosts. Once the meringue cookies have been baked, draw the ghost faces using a toothpick and melted chocolate.