Monday, December 28, 2009

Snowy Chocolate (Brownie) Baby Cakes

Last year in Southern Living's December 2008 issue there were the cutest little Christmas cupcakes called Snowy Chocolate Baby Cakes. These little gems were simply upside-down chocolate cupcakes topped with white glaze and garnished with red cinnamon candies and fresh bay leaves.

I didn't get a chance to make them in 2008, but I put them on my list of "Things to Bake for Christmas 2009". And surprise, surprise I actually made something on my list. Here they are…

Too cute.

The original article in Southern Living used a doctored devil's food cake mix for the cupcakes, but I already had Birthday Cake on my Christmas menu so I decide to make baby brownie cakes. I used a Curtis Stone brownie recipe adeptly named "Best Fudge Brownies". And believe you me they are indeed the best fudgy brownies I've baked (so far). They are not fudgy to the point of goo, but not cake-like in the least. They are just right.

Even the batter looked yummy...

Baby Brownie Cakes just out of the oven...

One of the brownie cupcakes stuck to the pan, but the rest dropped out without a problem...

I iced the brownie cupcakes using the Winter White Glaze recipe given in the Southern Living article, and I garnished with mini M&Ms and mint leaves (I didn't have any cinnamon candies or bay leaves). I had a little trouble with the mini M&Ms bleeding into the white glaze, so make sure the glaze is completely dry before topping with the candies. The M&Ms may not melt in your hands, but they sure do melt on wet sugar glaze. The mint leaves also caused a bit of crisis because they started to wilted after just a few hours. Next time, I'll solve all the problems by making the garnishes out of fondant.

Best Fudge Brownie Cupcakes
from Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone: Recipes to Put You in My Favourite Mood

Yield 8 cupcakes

6 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, (60-70% cacao). Chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Lyle’s Golden Syrup or light corn syrup
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

To make the cupcakes:
  • Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Using a standard 12 wells cupcake pan, generously spay the top of the pan and 8 of the wells with non-stick cooking spray (or line with paper cupcake liners)
  • Stir the chocolate and butter in a small heavy saucepan over low heat until they melt and the mixture is smooth.
  • Stir in the syrup and salt. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and eggs in a large bowl for 2 minutes or until the mixture is thick and light.
  • Slowly stir in the cooled chocolate mixture.
  • Add the flour and baking powder, and stir just until blended; then stir in the walnuts.
  • Divide the batter equally among the 8 cupcake wells, filling them completely.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the cupcakes puff and crack on top and a skewer inserted into the center of one comes out with fudgy crumbs attached.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the tin and let them cool completely on a wire rack.

Winter White Glaze

Yield: 2 cups

4 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon meringue powder
1/4 cup (or more) hot water

  • Beat together all ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth. Add more water as needed to achieve a pourable consistency.
  • Use immediately. Cover the glaze surface directly with a damp paper towel or plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming.


1 comment:

  1. These are so cute. Wish I had seen them earlier. Needed an idea for a Baby shower around Christmas time.