Reason number 73 why my recent “business trip” to Portland won in every way: my sister and I made cupcakes. Giant, ridiculous cupcakes with heaping mounds of meringue and so many forms of chocolate and perfectly sleek shells. We devoured them and got chocolate everywhere just before my red-eye home, and they ranked as by far the best part of the evening.
I lasted about four days before making them again at home, as part of one of my baking extravaganza days. Sometimes my roommate walks in to a chocolate-smeared and flour-strewn kitchen and asks, aghast, what’s going on? Oh, not much, I’ll reply. Just three kinds of cupcakes and some cake and a scientific experiment involving meringue. By the way, want to taste test?
I’m either the best roommate or the worst, hard to tell.
Whether or not you have an imminent red-eye to prepare for with absurd amounts of chocolate, you should make these cupcakes a part of your life as soon as possible. The base starts out strong–the cupcakes have two kinds of chocolate for deep flavor and only use egg yolks for unbelievable tenderness. We make the meringue Swiss style (cooking the egg whites before whipping) for dense, smooth creaminess, and then we dip the whole thing in chocolate.
Oh man. I didn’t expect this at all, but it tastes exactly like a chocolate-dipped soft serve cone.
- 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
- 1 oz. semisweet chocolate
- ¾ c. flour
- ½ t. baking powder
- ½ t. baking soda
- ¼ t. salt
- ½ c. butter, room temperature
- ¾ c. sugar
- 2 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
- 1 t. vanilla
- ½ c. sour cream
- ¼ c. water
- 2 egg whites
- ¼ c. sugar
- ¼ t. cream of tartar
- ½ t. vanilla
- CHOCOLATE SHELL:
- 8 oz. semisweet or dark chocolate, chopped or chips
- 2 T. neutral oil
- Make the cupcakes: Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners and preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Melt the chocolates together over a double boiler or in the microwave. Set aside to cool.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light in color. Add the yolks and mix until fully combined. Add the vanilla and sour cream.
- Stir in half of the flour mixture until mostly combined. Mix in the water, then follow with the rest of the flour mixture. Mix just until combined.
- Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until the tops feel firm. Let cool.
- Make the meringue: Combine all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer. Heat over a double boiler, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches 120 degrees F (if you don't have a thermometer, wait until the mixture starts to steam).
- Transfer to the mixer and whisk at medium speed until the egg whites reach stiff peaks and the side of the bowl is cool to the touch.
- Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag (or a ziploc with a corner cut off). Top each cupcake with a ridiculous pile of meringue. Chill the cupcakes in the fridge for at least two hours.
- Make the chocolate shell: Melt the chocolate and oil together and stir well. Hold in a bowl deep enough to accommodate the oodles of meringue. Carefully dip each cupcake into the chocolate, using a spoon to touch up the edges if necessary.
- Store the cupcakes in the fridge. They will keep for up to two days.