Recipe by Sarah Phillips and Kelly Hong; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 8-17-2014 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
These high hat cupcakes are towering masterpieces: perched high atop moist Black Magic Chocolate Cupcakes is a billowy cloud of marshmallow frosting coated with a chocolaty magic shell. But rather than using the more traditional version with dark chocolate coating, I decided to swap it out with white chocolate so I could swirl it with a multitude of colors. It took me a while to figure out how to do this, and I can't wait to share this technique with you. I've even included a video to show you how to do it. This is such a colorful (and surprisingly easy) project. Who knew magic shell could be so much fun!
CAKE RECIPE HELP
The heavenly Seven Minute Vanilla icing that I use for these high hat cupcakes tastes like fluffy whipped marshmallows. The name of this classic icing refers to the length of time (7 minutes) that the ingredients need to be beaten continuously over simmering water. Its thick consistency makes it perfect to use with our Magic Shell Chocolate Coating because it stays fluffy and marshmallow-y underneath. If the icing gets too soft, just refrigerate it for 30 minutes, then beat it again. This icing is best used the day it is made. It does not need refrigeration, as the sugar acts as a preservative.
Black Magic Cupcakes:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, spoon into dry measuring cup and level to rim
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dutch-process Cocoa or any Natural cocoa powder, spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
1/2 cup strong black coffee OR 1 teaspoon powdered instant espresso powder plus 1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
NOTE: * To sour milk: Place 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar in a measuring cup and add milk to equal 1/2 cup. Stir and let sit for about 5 minutes until it curdles slightly.
Seven Minute Vanilla Icing:
3 large egg whites; separate eggs while cold and can use when cold in recipe
1 1/2 cups sugar or superfine sugar
1/4 cup tepid (warm) water; about 98 degrees F or body temperature - do not use hot water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Magic Shell Chocolate Coating:
12 ounces high quality white chocolate or REAL white chocolate chips, such as Ghirardelli Brand
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil (do not use olive oil)
12 to 13 Wilton's “Black Wave” Standard Baking Cups
1 large disposable piping bag with a large open tip. We used an Ateco 806.
1 box Wilton Candy Colors; NOTE: DO NOT use gel paste coloring here. It will adversely affect the consistency of the coating.
STEP I: MAKE THE BLACK MAGIC CUPCAKES
1. Position the oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pan(s). Set aside.
2. In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix on low until combined.
3. With the mixer turned off, add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla to the dry ingredients.
4. Turn on the mixer to low and then right after to medium speed, and beat for 2 minutes. The batter will be thin.
5. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans.
NOTE: Because the batter is thin, we found it easier to transfer the batter to a large measuring cup to fill the cupcake liners.
6. Bake about 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs but not batter attached. Cool cupcakes in their pans on a wire cake rack for 10 minutes before removing from their pans to wire racks to cool completely.
NOTE: As you can see, this recipe domes nicely.
The filling and frosting determines the cake's storage.
The cupcakes store nicely. They can be stored at room temperature for about 3 or more days. The cupcakes freeze well for about a month or more. Keep well wrapped, and thaw in their wrappers at room temperature.
STEP II: MAKE THE SEVEN MINUTE VANILLA ICING
NOTE: Do not flavor the mixture with candy oils or chocolate; oil, as an ingredient, will deflate beaten egg whites.
1. Fill the bottom of a double boiler with water. Make sure the bottom of the top bowl does not touch the water beneath, otherwise the touching water will super heat the contents of the bowl. If it does, reduce the water to no less than 2 inches. Set aside.
2. Place egg whites, sugar, tepid water, corn syrup, and cream of tartar in the heat-proof top part of a double boiler.
3. With a hand-held mixer, beat the ingredients for 30 seconds on low speed to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes, beating frequently on medium to dissolve the sugar crystals until the mixture feels like fine sand when rubbed between your thumb and forefinger.
Using a pastry brush, wipe the side of the top of the double boiler with water to prevent crystals from forming and the icing from becoming grainy.
SARAH SAYS: Dip the pastry brush in fresh water after each time you brush the sides of the double boiler.
I have incorporated these candy making techniques or preventing the formation of sugar crystals when making my Seven Minute icings; I found it helps to eliminate the common problem of getting gritty or soupy (won't whip) results when making these types of cooked egg white icings.
When there are a couple of minutes left, turn on the stove's heat to high and bring the water in the bottom of the double boiler to a rapid boil. When it does, reduce heat to maintain a simmer.
Set the top over the bottom of the double boiler, cover and cook the egg white ingredients for 1 minute. Remove the lid and stir briefly. Using a pastry brush, wipe the side of the top of the double boiler with water. Cover and cook 30 seconds longer.
4. Beat the egg white mixture at high speed over simmering water for a minimum of 7 minutes, or until thick, fluffy and forming soft peaks when the beaters are lifted. Remove from the heat when thick enough.
SARAH SAYS: Make sure you move the mixer around the bowl at all times so you can evenly whip the egg white mixture as it cooks.
When you beat the icing, it takes time to thicken and form soft peaks well into the cooking time. When it does, remove the icing from the heat source.
5. Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds to combine. Then briefly put it over the double boiler again (over simmering water), and beat it for about a minute to get it to be stiff enough to pipe.
6. If the frosting is too hot, let it cool to warm.
Immediately go to the next step of piping the icing before it cools too much; you want it a LITTLE warm while you pipe it.
Seven-Minute Icings are best used within a day or two, because they start to deflate, and can be stored at room temperature. When refrigerated, they become more marshmallow-like. They do not freeze well.
STEP III: PIPE THE SEVEN MINUTE VANILLA ICING SWIRL ON TOP OF THE BLACK MAGIC CUPCAKES.
For the frosting, you want to pipe a nice tall spiral. Think soft-serve ice cream cone!
1. Fit a large disposable piping bag with a large open tip. Stir the icing and fill the prepared piping bag with the Seven Minute Vanilla Icing while it is still SLIGHTLY warm.
2. Pipe the frosting while it is a LITTLE warm, in a tall spiral. Watch our short video:
Start in the center, then go to the outside edge of the cupcake, and pipe smaller and smaller circles of icing.
3. Repeat process on all the cupcakes and place them on a rimmed baking sheet and pop them in the freezer for 20 minutes.
STEP IV: MAKE THE MAGIC SHELL CHOCOLATE COATING. SELECT THE TIE DYE COLORS AND MIX. DIP THE CUPCAKES.
When cupcakes have been in the freezer for 5 minutes, make the Magic Shell Chocolate Coating.
1. Place the white chocolate and oil in a large bowl and melt it over simmering water.
When chocolate is fully melted, set it aside to cool for 15 minutes.
2. Take six cupcakes out of the freezer.
3. Place 3 tablespoons of the Magic Shell Chocolate Coating in each of three small bowls.
3. Add about three drops of candy color in each bowl. We used red, white and yellow.
Stir the color into the mixture with a spoon, until the color is evenly distributed.
4. Pour the rest of the uncolored Magic Shell Chocolate Coating into a Pyrex glass 1 cup measuring cup.
NOTE: You want the dipping "cup" to be deep with high sides, wide enough to accommodate the cupcake and the icing swirl on top; we found that a 1 cup Pyrex glass measuring cup to be perfect for this task.
5. Add about one teaspoon of each of the Magic Shell Chocolate Coating colors, previously tinted in the small bowls, on top of the uncolored chocolate coating in the 1 cup Pyrex glass measuring cup.
6. For the first cupcake ONLY, take a knife and run it through the three colors, ONCE, to swirl them together.
7. Take one cupcake, hold it by its cupcake liner, and dip it straight down into the Magic Shell Chocolate Coating mixture, until it almost reaches the very bottom of the frosting. None of the Seven Minute icing swirl should show; it should all be coated.
Turn the cupcake GENTLY, in a clockwise motion, to accentuate the tie dye effect.
8. Then lift it straight out, turn the cupcake upright, and let the Magic Shell Chocolate Coating flow down the surface of the Seven Minute Icing swirl; don't worry - the chocolate doesn’t really flow very far.
Place the coated cupcake on a baking sheet to set.
NOTE: if any of the coating gets on the cupcake liner, you can just wipe it off with your finger, before it sets.
7. For subsequent cupcakes, add the three dollops of color, but do not run the knife through them before dipping.
Just dip the cupcakes in, and give them a little clockwise turn.
You do not want to mix the colors up too much, or they will become muddy and unattractive.
8. When the first 6 are done, take the last 6 out of the freezer and coat them as well.
9. When all the cupcakes are coated, place them in the refrigerator to set the coating.
Take them out of the refrigerator for one hour before serving, just to take the chill off.
Store finished cupcakes, covered, in the refrigerator for up to two days. They are best, however, the day they are made. They do not freeze well because of the icing.