Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Samoa Cupcakes

I hosted a CAbi party at my house last weekend and I knew one good way to get people over to my house was to bribe entice them with cupcakes.  It's sneaky.  Rather sneaky.

I knew that since the party was to be 'fashioned based' my cupcakes better come dressed for the party.  And did they ever!

I saw these sinful silhouettes over at Fields of Cake a few weeks ago and I nearly fell over.  THANKFULLY, I had made the deadline for hunting down a few boxes of Girl Scout cookies last minute.  And when I say, last minute, I mean checking the girl scout website for locations the night before they were set to close up shop, calling said locations, and then peeling into the parking lot at said location 30 minutes before girl scout table shut down, and knocking a few people over with my grocery cart on the way in.  It had to be done.  I meant serious business.

Meanwhile, I get home and realize I made a stupid mistake.  Stupid.  I only bought 2 boxes of Samoas.  Meaning....I only bought enough to make these once.  ONCE.  What was I thinking?  I could have thrown a few boxes of these things in my freezer.  Ugh.  Kicking my own leg....

Anyway, I will mention as a side note, since I was terribly rude to post these when you probably cannot get Samoas anywhere, that these cupcakes actually TASTE like a Samoa so there is no need to put the cookie on top.  It's for looks...and to tell the looker, "Hey, I am a Samoa cupcake, see?"  There are a few things you can do to the top that would probably really make it look like a Samoa, such as: drizzling more ganache on top with the caramel as well as drizzling a bit of coconut on top.  That should do it.

Besides the look of these cakes, I was really interested in the way she made her frosting.  It was something I have never seen anywhere and I read a lot of cake books, and A LOT of food blogs.  She used pudding mix.  I think this replaces a lot of the sugar because, well, pudding mix is basically sugar.  I must say, it creates a very dense flavor without that 'sugar in your face' flavor.  I might have to experiment with this stuff a bit more.  Plus, its super easy to make.

I changed a few of the recipes and ways this was made....so here we go.  

First, what's in this thing anyway?

Lets start with the bottom and work our way to the top:

Cookie Crust bottom
Chocolate cupcake
Chocolate coconut caramel filling
Chocolate ganache
Coconut Rum buttercream
Vanilla caramel
Samoa Cookie

Now before you freak out- yes.  This has a lot of components.  This is true.  BUT all components come together pretty quickly and you can break it down and do each over the course of a day or so.

Cookie Crust
9 oz. cookies (I used TJ's mini choc chip cookies but you can use shortbread cookies and add a few tablespoons of mini chocolate chips)
2 tablespoons toasted coconut
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter melted

Put ingredients (except for the butter) in a ziploc and roll a rolling pin over it to break it down into small pieces. Add the butter and mix around until all combined. Spoon about a tablespoon into each cupcake liner and tap it down with the back of the spoon. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Let cool and make your cupcakes.

Chocolate Cupcake for pictures, click here.

Beaty’s Chocolate CupcakesFrom: Ina Garten

1 ¾ Cups all-purpose flour
2 Cups granulated sugar
¾ Cup good cocoa powder (I used Callebaut)
2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. kosher salt
1 Cup buttermilk
½ Cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1 Cup freshly brewed hot coffee (I used a French roast)

1. In a large mixing bowl: Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt together.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
3. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry with the mixer on LOW.
4. With the mixer still running on low, add the coffee and mix just until combined.
5. Warning: Batter will be VERY thin (so thin you may think you are missing something)
6. Pour batter into cupcake liners or use an ice cream scoop. Fill 3/4 full.
7. Bake cupcakes for 17-22 minutes at 350 or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Caramel Filling
Recipe derived from Fields of Cake

1/3 cup toasted coconut chopped (mush them up a bit with your fingers)
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup corn syrup
pinch sea salt (fine)
1/2 Cup water
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter cut into 6 chunks
1/2 Cup heavy cream (room temp)
2 teaspoons coconut extract
1 teaspoon rum extract

Make sure all of your ingredients are measured out and sitting by the stove.  Caramel moves fast and everything need s to be ready.

In a heavy bottomed sauce pot, combine:  sugar, corn syrup, salt and water.  Whisk until mixture comes to a bowl and sugar dissolves. Cover pot for about 2 minutes and allow the steam to clean the sides of the pot.   Uncover and turn burner to high. Boil mixture without stirring until it reaches 315 degrees, this will take awhile.  (It took mine over 5 minutes but keep an eye on it and don't leave that stove!) Remove from the heat and swirl the pot.  (Mixture should be a light amber color).  Gently drop in the butter pieces and whisk.  Pour in the cream, and whisk again.  Stir in the extract.  Set aside about a cup of caramel (for the finishing drizzle).  Then add coconut, and chocolate chips to the caramel in the saucepan.  Don't worry, the chocolate chips are supposed to melt.  

Coconut Rum Buttercream
Recipe derived from Fields of Cake

1 lb. unsalted butter, room temperature
1,  3-ounce package white chocolate pudding mix
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon rum extract
2 teaspoons coconut extract
1 cup powdered sugar 

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and pudding mix on high for about 5 minutes until fluffy.  Scrape down sides and add cream and extract.  Beat on high for another 5 minutes.  Turn mixer to stir and add powdered sugar.  Beat on medium high until combined.  Taste and adjust sugar and flavorings.

Chocolate Ganache

6 oz dark chocolate, chopped 
3/4 cup heavy cream

Put chocolate in a large bowl.  Put heavy cream in a microwavable measuring cup and microwave for about 1-2 minutes (until hot).  Pour cream over the chocolate and stir until confirmed.

To assemble:
(after cupcakes have cooled completely) cone out a nickel size hole with a pairing knife.  Pull out cupcake piece and reserve.  Fill with about a teaspoon of the chocolate coconut caramel mixture.  Put cupcake 'cork' back in.  Top with chocolate ganache. (I tipped the cupcakes over into the ganache and swirled them to stand them up).  I then put them in the refrigerator to set the ganache.  Pipe butter cream on.  Drizzle caramel on top of buttercream (the plain stuff without the chocolate/coconut).  Tip: don't put warm caramel on top it will melt the buttercream.  Top with a cookie.  EAT!

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