Chocolate Mint Cupcake December 27, 2010
These cupcakes turned out moist and minty. I’ve never had to go through so much work to make a frosting. We’re talking double boiling, sieving, tempering (which keeps egg yokes from curdling in case you were wondering). To make the frosting, I first added milk, vanilla and freshly chopped mint leaves to a saucepan. Then, I separated 2 eggs and then added sugar to the yokes and (this was new to me) took the mixing pan from my Kitchen Aid and put it right on top of a simmering saucepan to make a double boiler. Fancy fancy. Then the milk mixture is added 1/3 of it, in with the yokes, averaged the temperature, and all is back into the saucepan. It’s finally sieved and a sweet minty liquid emerges. That wasn’t all however, next were the egg whites and butter.
The cakes called for dutch cocoa powder. I have to admit, I’ve shyed away from chocolate before now because I couldn’t find the powder. I must have not been looking hard enough. This time, one trip to my fav. Whole Foods (man i love that store, every day is like Christmas) and I had no trouble finding dutch cocoa powder. WF had it in 3 varieties. *Note to self, the Ghirardelli is actually dutch, it says so in small print on the back. Seems like they’d mention that up front. As I’ve learned, DCP is treated with an alkali to neutralize its acids. Because it is neutral and does not react with baking soda, it must be used in recipes calling for baking powder, over natural cocoa. Interesting. And again, as a high altitude adjustment, I added 1/4 more milk, a tad less sugar and baking powder to the cakes and they were decliciously moist and perfect. Here’s a link to the cakes basically:
I also took taste tester Tammy’s advice and made these cakes larger than I had been. I think that was a good idea, they’re much more satisfying a size!
As for the frosting, the recipe had way too much butter in it (4 sticks yuck) so I cut it in half, and ended up adding some of a pre-packaged icing mix (which was pretty much sugar and vanilla) and cream cheese (as usual). I kept the rest of the egg/mint concoction in there. I think that was a nice end however, I still need to come up with a good butter cream recipe. I’ve never been a fan of the stuff but maybe I can find one that works for me. Does anyone really like buttercream??
I also read a good frosting hint- Add milk only at the end to get the desired consistency or eliminate it altogether if you don’t need it. And plan for some chilling time before you frost with it.