I seriously have a separate picture folder for all the food I try making, and it’s titled simply “Food.” Nevermind that most of what I have saved is baked goods, and I could have gone the more creative route by naming it something like “Kooky Confections” or whatever. But honestly, “Food” works just fine.
Anyway, moving on.
I do love to bake, and I always like doing something new, even if there’s that slight chance that whatever I bake could come out desperately wrong. And sometimes this happens (though not to the point of inedibleness, mind), but it’s a learning process, and that’s another great part about baking. When things go right, however, the recipe gets thrown into my little binder, with some notes and tweaks that I thought would work better.
Unfortunately, this time around, I did not try to get all geeky and decorate things with my fandoms (though I was tempted to turn my icing TARDIS blue in preparation for the Doctor Who Christmas special). But I stayed on theme and thought “well, what’s reminiscent of the holidays?”
In come the Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Marshmallow Frosting! A friend of mine had suggested I do the Cupcake-A-Day challenge, so I bookmarked the recipes for later use. I thought there was no better time to start the challenge than during Christmas, where baking was certainly of utmost importance. And from the list, I thought the most festive-tasting was going to be cupcake #8.
As usual, I did some tweaking already (because I never follow recipes to a T…which is a semi-bad idea, but that’s okay…I GOT DIS).
The cupcakes: The cocoa I used was unsweetened dark chocolate. I’m not sure how this differed from regular cocoa powder, but at risk of having a cupcake that was too darn sweet, I tend to go for the dark chocolate route to begin with. I kept the rest of the ingredients the same as far as the cupcakes went, though I did bake it for 18 minutes at 350 F as opposed to the suggested 20 mins.
The frosted top: Right, this is where I did some substituting and replacing. I’m not personally a fan of peppermint, so I scratched that ingredient entirely and used a mint extract instead. I halved the called-for amount of peppermint flavoring to 1 teaspoon of mint flavoring, because while I do love my share of dark mint chocolate, too much mint could overpower everything. Also, for the life of me, I could not find the darn marshmallow fluff/cream at the grocery store. So I had to make do with making my own with marshmallows and butter (I suppose you could use corn syrup, too…). The suggestion was 1 tbsp of butter to 2 cups of mini marshmallows, though I suppose if you wanted a more sticky, solid consistency, you would need to add more marshmallows.
And then liberality with the chocolate chips! Again, these are dark chocolates, because I feel mint is best with dark chocolate. I didn’t completely douse the cupcake with the mint marshmallow frosting, but as I said, I didn’t want to overpower the cupcake with a complete mint makeover.
Verdict: Minty fresh and cute, festive yet elegant enough for classy holiday parties. Ignore that my cupcakes got slightly more drippy than usual, but all I can say is these cupcakes have CHARACTER.
And a very happy holidays to you lot, too!