Thursday, 4 October 2007

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup (2 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped, melted
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup chocolate milk
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup (6 ounces) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 175°F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.2. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Beat the melted chocolate into the butter mixture. Add the eggs, peppermint extract, and chocolate milk. Beat until creamy.3. In a separate medium-sized bowl combine the flour and baking soda.4. Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture and beat until well blended (DO NOT OVER BEAT). With a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips.5. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3-3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan.

Mint Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe adapted from marthastewart.com)Makes about 3 cups3 egg whites3/4 cup granulated sugar1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature1 teaspoon peppermint extract1. Put egg whites and sugar in a double boiler over simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees).2. Pour heated egg mixture into a clean bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes (It's very important to beat it for the whole 6 minutes).3. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If frosting appears soupy or separated after all butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.)4. Beat in peppermint extract. Reduce speed to low; beat 2 minutes to eliminate air bubbles. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth.