Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chocolate Soufflé Cupcakes with Mint Cream

This is bliss in a cupcake.  I accidentally ended up over-whipping the cream so it turned into butter, but it was still delicious.  I made these the night before and let the mint butter and liquid cream soak into the cupcakes overnight.  I think it was even better that way.  The insides became gooey and minty.  Either way though, these are definitely worth a try.

These made 12 cupcakes for me, but I think it all depends on how fluffy your egg whites get.

Chocolate Soufflé Cupcakes with Mint Cream (from Smitten Kitchen) (Cupcakes very generously adapted a Bon Appetit recipe; whipped cream brilliance via a Claudia Fleming recipe)


Chocolate Soufflé Cupcakes
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons  unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon espresso or instant coffee powder
3 large eggs, separated
6 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

White Chocolate Mint Cream
2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
3 ounces heavy whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract

Get the white chocolate mint cream ready for later (I ended up just microwaving to save dirtying a dish):
1. Place the white chocolate in a small bowl.
2. Bring the cream to a simmer, pour it over the chocolate and let it sit for a minute to melt the chocolate.
3. Whisk well. Add the peppermint extract and whisk again.
4. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the cream. Chill until very cold, about two hours.  (I didn't chill this long, perhaps that's why it didn't whip properly!)

Make cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 standard-size \muffin cups with paper liners.
2. Stir chocolate, butter and espresso powder together in heavy medium saucepan over low heat mostly melted, then remove from the heat and whisk until it is fully melted and smooth.
3. Cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally.
4. Using electric mixer (I hand mixed for this part as I don't have a hand mixer) beat egg yolks and 3 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl until mixture is very thick and pale, about 2 minutes.
5. Briefly beat lukewarm chocolate mixture, then vanilla extract, into yolk mixture.
6. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until soft peaks form (this is where I busted out the stand mixer).
7. Gradually add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and all of the salt, beating until medium-firm peaks form.
8. Fold whites into chocolate mixture in 3 additions.
9. Divide batter among prepared cups, filling each three-fourths of the way.
10. Bake cakes until tops are puffed and dry to the touch (some may crack, embrace it) and a tester inserted into the centers comes out with some moist crumbs attached, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in pan on a cooling rack, where the cupcakes will almost immediately start to fall. It will be all the better to put your mint cream on them.

Finish your masterpiece:
1. Beat mint white chocolate cream with electric beaters until soft peaks form.  (or get frustrated and walk away only to discover your mixer is making butter like I did!)
2. Remove cupcakes from pan, arrange on a platter. Fill each sunken top with a healthy dollop of white chocolate mint cream. Top with shaved dark chocolate, if you’re feeling fancy.

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