My second baking adventure using the scrumptious looking The Southern Cake Book by Southern Living was Mississippi Mud Cupcakes.
The final product looked so cute with its dainty, fluffy tuff of Marshmallow Frosting, and clusters of nuts and chocolate. Click HERE for the recipe on the Southern Living website.
But appearances can be deceiving because despite its silky good looks I found the cake itself a little dry. Not Sahara desert dry, but it definitely needed a tall glass of milk to wash it down. If I make it again I would do some tweaking to the recipe, and also reduce the baking time by 3-4 minutes.
The mixing process also dirties a lot of bowls and utensils. One set for the blending of sugar & eggs, one for the dries, and one for the sour cream mixture.
Eventually everything goes into one bowl.
And then the beautiful chopped chocolate are added as the last step.
Dropped into the prepared cupcake liners the batter looks more like brownies than cake.
But after baking they puffed up nicely. I baked mine for 17 minutes (18-20 was the recommended time).
Slicing one open shows just a few hints of the chopped chocolate that was added to the batter. It definitely needs more chopped chocolate, lots and lots more chopped chocolate.
The Marshmallow Frosting was the most eye-opening part of this baking adventure. It was a flavorful mix of butter, cream cheese, and marshmallow cream. I’m not a big fan of marshmallows, but I have to say this stuff was really, really good. Not too sweet, with just a hint of marshmallow and cream cheese. Neither taste was overpowering. It was the perfect blending of both.
It also had a light airy consistency that added to its appeal. I think this will become my standard cupcake frosting. I also added a few drops of
Americolor Bright White Food Color to bring the color back to pure white. Between the yellow butter and the brown vanilla extract the frosting had a slight yellowish cast. A few drop of Bright White got rid of the frosting's jaundice look.
The final verdict came from my family at our 4th of July party. Granted these cupcakes were competing with lots of festive red-white-and-blude desserts, but the cupcakes just sat there. Sad, lonely, forgotten. A few were eaten but no one went back for seconds :-(
I took the leftovers home with me and ate them with ice cream. Nothing moistens up cake like melting ice cream.
So this adventure turn out a little disappointing. If I try these again I would do something to add moisture to the mix. Maybe add some oil to the batter (2 Tablespoons), double up on the amount of chopped chocolate, and decrease the baking time by 2-3 minutes. I would start checking for doneness at 14 minutes and err on the side of undercooked instead of overcooked.
Overall I would give the cake 3 stars, but the Marshmallow Frosting gets the highest rating of 5 finger-licking stars. That stuff is good.