Monday, November 1, 2010

Ghostly Cupcakes

Hi Haley,

I think you could play pranks on Mike with those bloody fingers from your last post. Try leaving one beside his razor or curling another over the edge of his comforter. Hmmm. Reminds me of when Crach and I short sheeted your bed. Or when we thought it would be hilarious to fill Mom and Dad's bed with Rice Crispies. We were wrong.

On Friday I had the opportunity to cook dinner for over one hundred people down at Street Cafe, a ministry operated by the Mustard Seed Church. The dinner is for those down on their luck or living on the street. The food is served restaurant style: lights are dimmed, candles are lit, and live music is featured. Guests are offered the choice of two entrees. On Friday, we prepared hash brown casserole and teriyaki chicken. When seven o'clock rolled around, Tina and I swapped our cook's aprons for waitress's aprons and attended the tables. We had more than a little fun storming into the kitchen hollering, "I need a chick and two hash." Restaurant lingo is truly addicting.
I brought a few desserts to serve with dinner. These chocolate ghost cupcakes were made in the spirit of Halloween. The recipe is from Nick Malgieri's book, Perfect Light Desserts. The cupcakes are my very favourite chocolate cupcakes and are extremely good topped with a mocha whipped-cream (1 cup whipping cream plus 1 tsp instant coffee, 2 tsp cocoa, 1/4 cup sugar combined and then beaten). In the future I will try topping them with a chocolate sour-cream frosting or a white-chocolate butter cream.

Chocolate Ghost Cupcakes
For the cupcakes
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate coarsely chopped
1 cup boiling water or very hot coffee
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream (low fat is fine) or thick, Greek-style yogurt

Preheat your oven to 350 with a rack positioned in the center.

Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Measure and mix the sugar, flour, salt, and baking soda in one bowl.

Put the chocolate in a large bowl and pour the hot water or coffee over it. Let the chocolate stand for 2 to four minutes to let it melt, then whisk it into the liquid. Beating well after each addition, add the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sour cream one at a time. Be sure to whisk smooth after each ingredient.

Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, mixing until the batter is just smooth.

Pour the batter into your lined muffin tin and bake for 20 to 25 min until the muffins are just done. An inserted tester should come out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool in the tins for 5 to 8 minutes then remove them to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the boiled icing
2 large egg whites
a pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
2 tsp vanilla

Fill half a saucepan with water and bring it to boil. Reduce the water to a simmer.
Combine the ingredients in a bowl and whisk smooth.

Place the bowl over the water and whisk gently until the egg whites are hot (140 degrees_ and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat. Beat with an electric beater until the icing is cooled, has increased in volume, and will hold soft peaks.

Use the icing immediately.

Store the cupcakes in the fridge. They can remain out for a few hours, any longer and the icing will harden (which some people prefer).

1 comment:

  1. I've eaten your mocha-whipping cream version and can attest that they are fabulous. I love the image of you and Tina getting rowdy in the kitchen. I'm sure that you messed up half the orders but were just so cute that no one minded.