Friday, October 31, 2008

Dessert Guinea Pigs

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I just took my daughter, Sarah, to her first Halloween Party yesterday. She dressed up as a pumpkin. I don't know what animal eats pumpkin but we came home safe from being with a lion, turtle, monkey and chicken for a good few hours. When we were home, I made these cupcakes: Moist chocolate cupcakes with dark chocolate ganache and spooky meringue ghost. Aren't they cute?

I'm not a big fan of meringue. It's just too sugary... Sometimes I wondered that I'm qualified to call myself having a sweet-tooth. However, it's fun to make them. It's quite easy to make and the end result is always impressive. A few years back, I made some meringue mushrooms to decorate my Christmas dessert. I found that you really need patience to make meringue. If you keep turning your electric beater or stand-up mixer on & off during the process, you'll never get there. The piping part is the fun part. Since you're not piping on a cake, there's less pressure. You can even experiment on what type of "ghost" you like. I like the smooth looking one better than the "Michelin" ghosts.

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I made these cupcakes just for fun. I gave the cupcakes to friends who have kids at home. Also, I want to enjoy all the baking fun without weighting 300lbs. That’s why I have a list of friends who signed up as my “Dessert Guinea Pigs”.
After the weekend, one of my guinea pigs called me and told me how much she LOVES the cupcakes. Especially the "icing". She said she had never have that "icing" before. Well, it's because that wasn’t icing… That was chocolate ganache. I'm very happy to hear that she can taste the difference. I tried to select my "dessert guinea pigs" very carefully. I just hate to send my homemade treats to someone who doesn't appreciate the work behind. (or simply can't taste the difference between homemade and store bought tarts.)

One other reason of having a list of guinea pigs is that Frank and I could not finish everything. Sarah is still too young to eat cake. I'm waiting patiently to make her all the different cakes and cookies for different holidays and occasions when she's older. Of course, the first one will be her 1st birthday cake. Stay tune, it's coming in a month.

Meringue Ghosts

Makes 12 meringue ghosts

2 egg whites
pinch cream of tartar
¼ cup sugar

In a stand mixer, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until they form soft peaks. Stir Slowly begin adding the sugar continuing until stiff peaks form. Spoon the meringue in a pastry bag with an 1/2 inch tip. Pipe out your ghost on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Carefully place the sesame seeds on the meringue for the eyes of the ghosts. Bake in an 200C oven for 1 hour.

Chocolate Ganache

Yield about 1 cup

4oz semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup heavy cream

In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to just boiled. Removed from heat and add chocolate. Make sure the heavy cream covers all the chocolate. Stir occasionally until all the chocolate melted. Let cool, the ganache will thicken as it sits but it should be pourable.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
1 large egg
¾ cup milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
¾ tsp pure vanilla extract
¾ cups warm water

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners. Into the bowl of electric mixer, sift together all the dry ingredients. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; add the rest of the ingredients all at once. Beat on low speed until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about two-third full. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Transfer pans to wire rack to cool.

When the cupcakes are completed cool, dip each cupcake’s into chocolate ganache. Be careful not to drip on the side. Place each meringue ghost on the cupcake & Enjoy.

3 comments:

艾莉卡 said...

你真的很厲害~~甜點很漂亮
我也很愛做甜點喔~
蛋治說你會看中文~~我就不打英文了
加油做甜點~~

Winnie said...

Thank you for your comment. I really enjoy making dessert. Hope to hear from you again.

lyndsay said...

these are so cute!! great photos too.