Nov 30, 2009

Smore's Cupcakes

I have seen so many iterations of Smore's cupcakes on blogs for the longest time now - I was so excited to finally make them!  Some of them have a graham cracker cake base - with a chocolate filling - some are chocolate cake with a marshmallow filling and graham cracker crumb topping - no matter how they are constructed they are bound to taste good.  I liked this version for two reasons - I got to use my creme brulee torch and I liked the graham cracker crust and chocolate cake combination.   Everyone who had one loved them - I am excited to try these out again (hopefully sooner rather than later). 

One note about the torching - I had some of them in the foil wrappers and some in just regular paper wrappers - I found that some of the paper wrappers caught on fire while I torched the frosting!  I was able to just blow out the flames and it didn't seem to harm the cupcake - but just be careful with that torch!  

(makes 24 cupcakes)

For the graham cracker crust:
  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips

For the cake:
  • 2 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ plus 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

For the frosting:
  • 8 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ tsp. cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper (preferably foil) liners.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter; mix well with a fork.  Drop about 1 heaping tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner and press down to line the bottom. 
3. Sprinkle a small amount of the chocolate chips on top of the graham cracker crusts.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven, and maintain the oven temperature.
4. To make the cake batter, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on low speed just to combine.
5. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract; whisk together.
6. Add to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
7. Add the boiling water and stir just to combine (batter will be very thin).
8. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ of the way full.  Return the pans to the oven and bake about 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
9.  To make the frosting, combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in your mixer bowl placed on top of a pot of simmering water.
10.  Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it reaches 160° F with an instant-read thermometer.
11. Move the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whisk starting at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form.  Mix in the vanilla until combined.
12. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.  Brown with a kitchen torch and garnish with chocolate and graham cracker segments.

As seen on Annie's Eats,  cake from Hersheys 

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