The cupcake version of a soft-serve dunked in chocolate! Perfect for Halloween Eve with their spooky purple and green insides. # 195: Chocolate-Dipped Swirl Cupcakes
Happy Halloween Eve! It’s weird to think of a Halloween without the typical flood of trick-or-treaters in my parents’ neighborhood. My dad is prepared just in case anyone does show up, with a 12-ft long “candy chute” from the porch to the sidewalk. He might just fall in love with this version of candy delivery and make it then norm even after covid is a distant memory. Watch out, kids!
I think everyone could use a little chocolate going into next week. But you only get a cupcake if you vote. No exceptions.
I know that my last post involved silly faces too, but they just look so much like the poop emoji, I couldn’t resist! Cutest lil poop ever, if I do say so myself. (Yes, there is an attempt at a mummified poop emoji in the background. He prefers to stick to the shadows.)
The only spiderwebs allowed in my house are ones made out of icing.
You know that really light, fluffy-but-still-somehow-moist texture that cupcakes from a boxed mix have? This recipe came the closest I’ve ever gotten to that with a homemade batch. The two ingredients that stood out as different from normal cupcake recipes I’ve tried are the use of oil and brown sugar.
Technically, brown sugar adds more moisture to a recipe (you know how it clumps together in the bag due to the molasses?) but I don’t think that could have made such a big difference. Though it definitely helped add yummy flavor!
So that leaves the oil as the main reason for the difference! If you think about it, it makes sense: butter is solid at room temperature and oil is liquid, so if you sub out oil for butter as the fat in your recipe, the crumb won’t be as dry.
Another perk of using oil in cake batter is that it’s super easy to mix by hand. Break out the whisks!
That drip is what you get when you’re using your dominant hand to take a photo. I made sure to wipe it off before popping them in the oven so it didn’t burn before the cupcakes finished baking!
Swiss meringue buttercream time! I used Martha Stewart’s recipe this time, but I’ll be reducing the amount of butter next time. I normally turn to swiss meringue frosting as a lighter version of buttercream, but this one was just a liiiiiittle bit too much for moi. I prefer more of the marshmallow-y flavor you get from the meringue.
Gently cook the egg whites and sugar in a bain-marie.
Then whip into a frenzy for a ridiculously long time! I think it took me 15 minutes or so with the mixer on high for it be stiff peaks. I don’t even want to THINK about how long that would have taken me if I was beating it by hand.
The recipe warned that it might look split once you start to add the butter, but it didn’t stop my stomach from dropping out in horror at the mess it turned into. I did some research and apparently a quick way to fix a split swiss meringue buttercream is to heat it gently over simmering water (a la a bain-marie) until the edges start to melt, then whip it in a mixer for 2-3 minutes. Worked like a charm!
Pastels are spooky right? (Remember these are made by yours truly, who refuses to watch horror movies and is scared of the dark.)
It took me a minute to situate the bags so the colors came out evenly, BUT a fun trick to get swirled frosting is to put two bags of different colored frostings in a bigger piping bag so they meld into one! You can buy bags that have a plastic divider in them, or you can fake it fabulously like me.
The joy of mini cupcakes is there’s SO MANY OF THEM!
While the frosted bebes are chilling in the fridge, time to make some chocolate coating. I thought it would be just melted chocolate but there’s a secret ingredient: oil. The added oil keeps the chocolate from getting too brittle once it cools.
It also has the added bonus of making it super easy to dip into without leaving a super thick coat.
Before . . .
After! It magically turns matte and looks lovely after letting them sit in the fridge for 10 minutes. They remind me so much of the soft serve dip cones you could get at Foster’s Freeze in Alameda when I was little. So freaking good! Also mind-blowing that you could dip a towering pile of soft serve upside down into a bucket of chocolate without disaster striking.
The big reveal.
Eek so scary! Quick, eat it before it eats you!
No seriously, he’s comin’ for ya.
Cupcake recipe from: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/super-moist-chocolate-cupcakes/
Frosting recipe from: https://www.marthastewart.com/353415/swiss-meringue-buttercream (but I want to try it with less butter next time)