Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cupcakes Week 10

What's better than cupcakes? Cupcakes with Andes Mints :)

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes
Servings: 18


For the cupcakes:
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
3/4 cup warm water

For the mint buttercream:
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup milk
1/3 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 pound (4 sticks, yes you read it correctly) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
Andes Mints for garnish


1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.

3. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

4. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, extract, and the water; beat on low speed until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

5. Divide the batter evenly among the baking cups, filling each about 2/3 full.

6. Bake, rotating the tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

7. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks to cool completely.

8. For the mint buttercream: In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar on high speed until pale and thick, about 2 to 3 minutes.

9. Prepare an ice-water bath in a large bowl.

10. Bring the milk, vanilla, and mint leaves just to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat.

11. Whisk about one third of the milk mixture into the yolk mixture.

12. Pour the yolk mixture into pan with remaining milk mixture and whisk to combine.

13. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan.

14. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture registers 185 degrees.

15. Remove from the heat; strain through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl (discard solids).

16. Set the bowl in the ice bath, stirring the mixture until cool.

17. In another bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy.

18. Beat in chilled egg-yolk mixture.

19. Heat egg whites and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in the clean heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water, whisking constantly by hand until the mixture is warm to the touch and the sugar is dissolved completely.

20. Attach bowl to the mixer fitted with the clean whisk attachment; starting on low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff peaks form and mixture is completely cool, about 10 minutes.

21. Add the egg-white mixture to the butter mixture; switch to the paddle attachment, and beat on medium-high speed until smooth.

22. Beat in peppermint extract.

23. Fill pastry bags fitted with your tip of choice and pipe onto cupcakes. Garnish with Andes Mints

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