Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Peppermint Perfection

Peppermint Perfection

I recently discovered the perfect Christmas cupcake due to Pinterest and thanks to this wonderful blogger. I couldn't be more excited about how moist these cupcakes turned out. They're also quite pretty looking if I do say so myself. 
The name itself caught my attention: Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
Here's the direct link to the recipe. Below I also copied and pasted the recipe so it's easier for you guys to find. But I may have just found my go to Christmas recipe. Seriously though these are the most moist cupcakes I've ever come across and they literally melt in your mouth.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients
  • 1 Box Chocolate cake mix
  • ½ C Hot chocolate mix
  • 1 C Milk
  • 3 Large eggs
  • ½ C Vegetable oil
  • ¾ C Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Chocolate extract (or substitute with vanilla)
For the marshmallow filling
  • 1 C Unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 C Marshmallow fluff
  • 2 C Powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp Heavy whipping cream
For the white chocolate buttercream
  • 1 lb (4 sticks) Unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 4 oz White chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 5 Large egg whites
  • 1 C plus 2 tbsp Granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
For the peppermint ganache
  • 2 oz Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses
  • 1 tbsp Heavy whipping cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Combine cake mix with hot chocolate mix. Add milk, eggs, vegetable oil, sour cream, vanilla extract and chocolate extract. Beat on medium speed until all ingredients are well combined.
  3. Line a cupcake pan with liners and fill each one ⅔ full.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 12-16 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cupcakes are done.
  5. Allow cupcakes to cool completely.
For the marshmallow filling
  1. Allow butter to soften to room temperature. Combine butter and marshmallow fluff and beat on medium high speed until well combined and fluffy.
  2. Add powered sugar, one cup at a time. Beat on slow speed and increase to medium speed once some of the powdered sugar has been absorbed into the butter. Mixture will be very thick.
  3. Add a pinch of salt and 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. Beat on medium high speed for 3-5 minutes until filling is fluffy.
  4. Pour marshmallow filling in a large piping bag or Ziploc bag and cut off the bottom edge of the bag.
  5. Core out the center of your cooled cupcakes with a knife or spoon, making a small hole. Fill each cupcake with the marshmallow filling. Set aside.
For the white chocolate buttercream
  1. Allow butter to come to room temperature. This is important! Do not try to rush it by microwaving it. I recommend cutting the butter into smaller sections to help it thaw quicker.
  2. Melt white chocolate in the microwave using a microwave proof bowl in 20-second increments until melted. Stirring after each 20 seconds.
  3. Combine sugar and egg whites in your stainless steel mixer bowl (or any heat proof bowl)
  4. Attached your candy thermometer to the side of the bowl
  5. Set your bowl over top of a pot with water, just enough to cover the bottom of the pot. You do not want the water to boil and touch the bottom of your mixing bowl. Heat on medium.
  6. Stir the egg whites and sugar constantly until the mixture reaches 150° F. This is the most important part; you do not want to egg whites to cook- so keep stirring! I have read that you can heat it be anywhere between 120° F – 160° F. When it reaches 150° F, the sugar should be dissolved in the egg whites. You can test this by placing a drop on your fingertips and rubbing them together. The mixture should be completely smooth.
  7. Place the mixing bowl on your stand. Using the wire whisk attachment beat the eggs. Start on low speedand increase the speed to medium after 2 minutes.
  8. Beat for another 3 minutes on medium. At this point, your frosting should have turned white as the egg whites are whipped and the body of the meringue starts to form.
  9. After the first 5 minutes, increase speed to high. You will notice that as you increase the speed, the body of your meringue will also increase. It will start to look glossy as the peaks begin to form. Beat for another 5 minutes.
  10. After you have beaten the meringue for a total of about 10 minutes, the bottom of your mixing bowl should be cooled completely. Your SMB should look kind of like whipped cream. Scrape down all sides and bottom of the bowl.
  11. Turn your mixer down to medium-low. Slowly add your softened butter, about 1 tbsp at a time, ensuring it is mixed well after each addition. Once you have added all your butter, add vanilla extract. Mix for another minute and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  12. Pour in melted white chocolate and switch to the paddle attachment and continue beating on medium to allow all the air bubbles to escape. In about 2-3 minutes the frosting is smooth. If your frosting has not formed yet, continue to beat until it is light and fluffy.
  13. Frost the marshmallow filled cupcakes.
For the peppermint ganache
  1. Combine Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses and heavy whipping cream in a microwave safe bowl. I recommend cutting the kisses into smaller pieces. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Continue microwaving until melted. Drizzle over frosted cupcakes.


Notes:

I used vanilla extract instead of chocolate extract and I used devil food's cake. They turned out perfect!





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