Chocolate Shadow Cupcakes

With such a great response from viewers with anything containing chocolate, I decided to try another confection involving the popular cocoa bean’s signature creation. I do love to eat chocolate but as a pastry chef it can get rather boring after awhile from all of the requests for it yet again with all of the requests comes great business so I can’t totally shun the chocoholics right ;). So today is all about playing up the rich and chocolaty cake flavor. To keep the focus on the cake and off the frosting, I chose to use a light vanilla flavored Chantily Cream as it enhances the chocolate flavors without overpowering it. If I used a vanilla buttercream it would have been so heavily sweet and rich as the chocolate cake itself that the taste buds would be on sweets overload. Sometimes too much of a good thing is bad.


So with that said I stuck with the light icing but played up the light fluffiness with a hit of chocolate glaze across the top to add shine and chic for presentation. The title itself brings to mind a haunting or Halloweenesque type cake but the darkness of the title doesn’t really relate to any particular ghoulish holiday. Rather, the rich chocolate cake hidden beneath the fluffy Chantily icing and drippy chocolate glaze is only haunting of the waistline when you eat the whole pan like I am tempted to do as they go down so quick and easily. These cupcakes are sooo simple to prepare as with most cupcakes. You could assemble mini cakes in much the same way but you get more servings from using the formula to prepare cupcakes not to mention the cupcake method is a HUGE time saver over cake preparation. It’s easier to serve the cupcakes at a party or as the perfect crowd pleasing favor. I used them as a welcoming treat for relatives staying with me on vacation. Since it is hard to juggle work, blog, various personal endeavors, family, cats, well cats are my family… I must keep this short and sweet today and leave you to baking some Chocolate goodness of your own. Enjoy!!!

Chocolate Shadow Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe of your favorite Chocolate Cake Batter or 1 box Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 tbsp. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 4 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate
  • 4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tbsp. Light Corn Syrup

Formula:

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°. Prepare chocolate cake batter according to your own personal favorite recipe or according to the instructions on a boxed cake mix. Line a regular size 24-count muffin baking pan with paper liners. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners in the pan, filling each liner about halfway full. Bake about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
  2. To prepare the Chantily Cream, place the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use. HINT: To beat the cream the quickest, place your bowl and beater for the mixer in the refrigerator and chill with your heavy cream before preparing. Once the cupcakes are cool and the Chantily Cream is firm, fill a disposable piping bag fitted with a medium sized star tip (I used #843) with the Chantily Cream. Pipe the cream onto the cupcakes. Chill while preparing the Chocolate Glaze. 
  3. For the Chocolate Glaze, place the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in a large heat-resistant bowl set over a saucepan filled with barely simmering water. Make sure that the water is not too high that it touches the bowl. Stir constantly, until the chocolate is melted and smooth, then remove the bowl from the heat and let cool, about 5 minutes. Fill a pastry squeeze bottle with the melted chocolate mixture to decoratively drizzle over the frosted cupcakes or use the back of a spoon to drizzle in much the same manner. Chill and serve.

Special Thanks To:

Peter Mendoros – Photography


All content © Honeybee’s Patisserie 2012

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Brown-Eyed Susan Cake

Happy Holidays everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, etc., and I wish you all a Happy New Year from Honeybee’s Patisserie. Let me tell you, it was a busy Christmas for me, but I still managed to crank out a few sweets and capture some photos for the blog. This particular sweet on topic for today is the Brown-Eyed Susan Cake. I particularly like this cake, not only for its wonderful flavor combinations of orange and chocolate, but because of the flower it represents. As a child, I used to go picking the brown centered, yellow petal flowers with my grandfather, although it was illegal in the location we were picking them. I still remember him telling me as I held bunches of brown-eyes susans in my little hands, to watch for any cars with bright, flashy lights coming our way and to notify him immediately if there were. It makes me smile to this day knowing I was doing misdemeanor activity at the age of seven and that the flowers my relatives received were always attained via trespassing on private property.

 Thankfully, achieving this cake doesn’t require illegal activity, therefore I shall share it with all of you. First, start off with your favorite formula for a basic yellow cake batter. Once you prepare the yellow cake batter, you divide it equally between two bowls. One bowl will be your chocolate batter, one will be your orange which you will marble into your cake pans. Once the cake layers are baking, choose your favorite type of frosting formula. I chose a simple buttercream because during the holidays I desired something…well simple. As with the yellow cake batter, be sure to separate your frosting into two separate bowls, one for orange flavor and one for chocolate. All in all the cake is rather effortless to prepare. The layering and decorating is likely the most troublesome for the average home baker. Good news is, the way you decorate it depends on your personal preference so no rules. I started with chocolate rosettes on top, a chocolate chip border for the crown, and a shell border along the bottom. However, you could easily take some candied orange peels to resemble petals and place them around a chocolate chip center to resemble the wildflower itself. Place multiple replica flowers on the top of the cake and it would look superb with less piping fuss!

Brown-Eyed Susan Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 formula Yellow Cake Batter, enough for two 9 in. cake pans
  • 5 oz. Unsweetened Chocolate, melted
  • 1 tsp. Orange Extract
  • 1 tbsp. Orange Juice
  • 4 cups Vanilla Frosting, preferably Buttercream
  • Yellow Food Color
  • Semisweet Chocolate Chips, optional
  • Candied Orange Peel, optional

Formula:

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 350°. Divide prepared yellow cake batter into two bowls. Add 2 ounces of melted chocolate into one bowl and orange extract into the other bowl. Drop cake batter by spoonfuls into two prepared 9 in. cake pans. Be sure to alternate between the chocolate and orange batters to create the desired marble look. Bake cake layers for 20-25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes in cake pans before turning out onto racks to cool completely.
  2. While the cake layers cool, prepare the frosting. Equally divide the prepared frosting, preferably buttercream, into two bowls. Stir in the remaining 3 ounces of melted chocolate into one bowl and the orange juice into the other bowl. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring to the bowl with the orange flavored frosting.
  3. Place one cooled and leveled cake layer on a cake board. Spread a generous amount of chocolate frosting evenly over the top of the cake layer. Place the second cake layer on top. Cover the sides with chocolate frosting and smooth. Spread the top of the cake with a generous amount of orange frosting. If replicating the piping shown here, pipe shells around the base with orange frosting, then pipe rosettes on top of the cake with chocolate frosting. Where the orange and chocolate frosting meet, place semisweet chocolate chips to form a crown border. If piping is not your particular forte, keep it simple by arranging candied orange peels around a chocolate chip to create a brown-eyed susan flower. Place the flowers around the top of the cake to complete the look.

 

 

 

All content © Honeybee’s Patisserie 2011