Thursday, October 31, 2019

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes w/ Toasted Meringue Frosting

Happy Halloween goblins and ghouls! I originally planned on posting this recipe much earlier in the month but it's been a crazy couple of weeks. Lewis and I just got back from visiting our families in Florida and I was happy to return right before Halloween to enjoy a spooky night with the pups. I made these for a Halloween party and HAD to share this amazing frosting with the world. Not only do you get to play with fire while making it, but I would also choose it over buttercream any time of year. Scroll below for this special treat (no tricks).

For the cake...
makes 12-14 cupcakes
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature*
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil (or melted coconut oil)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup freshly brewed strong coffee (can be added hot or room temp)

Cake Directions:
1) Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 2 liners – this recipe makes about 14 cupcakes. Set aside.

2) Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

3) In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla together until completely smooth. Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then half of the coffee. Gently whisk for a few seconds. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and coffee. Stir until *just* combined; do not overmix. The batter will be thin.

4) Pour or spoon the batter into the liners. Fill only halfway (this is imperative! only halfway!) to avoid spilling over the sides or sinking. Bake for 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting. Once frosted, store cupcakes in the fridge for up to 5 days.

For the raspberry filling and topping...
1 cup raspberry preserves
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (can also sub for vanilla extract)

1) Heat preserves in a saucepan over low heat. Add lemon and vanilla and stir. Cook for 2-3 min until combined. Cool to room temp before using as topping or filling.

Meringue frosting...
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 TBS corn syrup
3 TBS water
5 large egg whites room temperature

1) Bring 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the corn syrup, and the water to a boil, stirring constantly. Wash down sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush.
2) Stop stirring and cook the sugar syrup until it reaches 230 degrees.
3) While the sugar syrup is cooking, beat the egg whites with a mixer until you have soft peaks. Beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
Add the sugar syrup in a slow, steady stream down the side of the mixing bowl. Beat on high speed until thick, fluffy, and cooled, around 7 minutes.

To assemble:
Carefully core each of the cooled cupcakes and reserve centers in a bowl. Spoon about 2 tsp of raspberry filling into the cake and top with the removed center.

Pipe meringue frosting with star tip then carefully "toast" using a culinary torch.

Top with remaining raspberries and desired decor (could also use fondant knives or sugar glass)

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