18 January 2013

S'moreanne Cupcakes

Hummingbird notes that these cupcakes are inspired by the American s'mores. I don't know about you, but I wasn't familiar with such a thing, so had to do a little research. I consulted my friend and American enthusiastic, who told me that they are a campfire tradition of melted marshmallows in biscuits, with chocolate in there somewhere. Well that sounds good to me.

The main part of each cupcake, was a moist chocolate cupcake. Looking back these little cakes aren't as  light when compared to hummingbird's other cake recipes. They are slightly denser, which was welcomed given we're talking about chocolate (look at brownies - they're chocolate and you never see anyone complaining that they are too 'heavy'). 

Next the mixture needed to be sprinkled with chocolate. Grated chocolate. I believe grating chocolate is a devilish messy nightmare. The chocolate melts in to your hands no matter how cold the chocolate is. Then you get to that awkward stage at the end of the chunk of chocolate, where there is a very high risk of grating ones fingers. For health and safety reasons this bit must be consumed, BEFORE there is ANY risk of grating fingers (any excuse to nab a bit chocolate). The consequence of this precaution, is that you can't simply weigh the chocolate then grate. I have thus far only found three options: either zero the scales including the grater and bowl then grate like that; zero the scales including just the bowl and hover the grater above, making sure you position it so the hard-earned grated chocolate lands in the bowl on the scales; or just grate the chocolate first then weigh after, accepting the likelihood that you may have to grate some more or have some excess if you haven't guesstimated correctly. I chose the latter method and used the excess to sprinkle on top of the cakes at the end.

The white peaks cook in the grand finale.
The next layer is the digestive biscuit. Crushed with a rolling pin this is comparatively mindless (when compared to grating chocolate) whilst offering therapeutic benefits. Enough said. I would use more digestive in the future, especially if you buy a packet just for the recipe (and saves me nibbling the rest of the packet before, during and after you bake your S'moreanne Cupcakes).

The last layer (after the cake, grated chocolate and crushed digestives) is the soft white peaks. Basically this is a very posh and pretentious meringue topping. The bible (Hummingbird's Cake Days recipe book in case you didn't catch the drift) describes a 'soft ball stage' when melting the sugar and water. To be perfectly frank, I wish they would just give a temperature and be done with it-- it was hopeless trying to make little balls in my bowl of water with ice cubes floating on the top. It was an annoying step and an annoying recipe to make...Oh but the end result is heavenly. Just wonderful.

Note: the grated chocolate on top of the meringue was a bad idea as you have to kinda grill the meringue mixture on top and so the chocolate ends up burning. Obviously I was getting too big for my boots thinking I could get creative.
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