Mar 27 08
by cara
at 7:54 PM
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S’murtle Cupcakes

The Cupcake Hero theme for March was Marshmallow.  Last month, for the liquor theme, I made Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes, but felt like they were kind of boring.  This month, I spent hours pouring over recipes and cupcake descriptions, agonizing over the “perfect” recipe, one that would really stand out in what I figured would be a sea of s’mores and rocky road cupcakes.  My entry, the S’murtle Cupcake, was inspired by the S’murtle Cupcake I found online on the menu at Jilly’s Cupcake Bar in St. Louis.  I’m in Houston, so I’ve never heard of nor visited this bakery, but the cupcakes look amazing!  Anybody out there ever visited this bakery and seen or tasted the S’murtle Cupcake?  I’d love to hear about it!  My S’murtle Cupcake consists of a chocolate devil’s food cake stuffed with marshmallow fluff and topped with chocolate ganache, drizzled with dulce de leche, praline pecans, a toasted marshmallow pretzel stick and a chocolate dipped graham cracker.  Whew!  That made me tired just typing it out!  Clearly, this cupcake is not for the faint of heart-in terms of baking or eating it because there is a lot going on. It’s pretty gimmicky, but a real show-stopper in my opinion.  My taste-testers gobbled them down, so apparently the cupcakes are tasty too.  I prepared the various parts of this cupcake over several days, so I’m just squeaking in under the deadline!

smurtle-cupcakes.jpg

Devil’s Food Cupcake

from 500 Cupcakes, by Fergal Connolloy

  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) sweet butter, softened
  • 2 separated eggs
  • 3 1/2 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place 18 paper baking cups into muffin pans.  Sift the flour and baking powder and set aside.  In a medium bowl, cream the sugar and buter.  Add the egg yolks and beat well.  Add the melted chocolate and vanilla, mixing well.  Add the flour and milk alternately, beating well with each addition.  Beat the egg whites in a medium bowl until soft peaks form, and gently fold them into the batter.  Spoon the batter into the cups.  Bake fro 20 minutes.  Remove pans from teh oven and cool for 5 minutes.  Then remove the cupcakes and cool on a rack.  

Marshmallow Filling

Transfer 1 jar of Marshmallow Fluff to piping bag.  Once cupcakes have cooled, cut a cone shaped piece out of the center of each cupcake and discard (or eat!).  Using the piping bag, fill the hole you’ve created with marshmallow fluff until level with top of cupcake (approximately 1 tbsp. of marshmallow per cupcake).

Chocolate Ganache

  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 10 ounces good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup

Melt butter in a 3-quart saucepan.  Remove from heat, add chocolate and corn syrup, and whisk until chocolate is melted.  Refrigerate ganache in bowl, stirring occasionally, until thickened and spreadable, about 1 hour.

Frost each cupcake, making the top flat (or even with a little indention), to allow for the dulce de leche.

Dulce de Leche

from The Pastry Queen, by Rebecca Rather

  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Remove the paper wrapper from the can of sweetened condensed milk.  Use a can opener to make two small punctures in the top of the can on opposite sides.  Set the can of milk in a medium saucepan, puncture side up.  Fill the saucepan with water to reach two-thirds of the way up the sides of the can.  Cover the saucepan and bring the water to a boil over high heat.  Decrease the heat until the water simmers and simmer about 1 hour.  (Picky Apple Note: It usually takes around 2 hours, not 1).  Check the sauce pan periodically, adding water to ensure that the level does not drop below halfway.  A bit of milk may seep out of the small holes in the can.  Cook until the milk pooled on top of the can has turned a deep golden brown.  (You may have heard that boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk unopened is a shortcut.  Do not attempt this.  The milk expands when heated and may erupt with explosive results.)

Allow dulce de leche to cool.  Spoon about a tablespoon on top of each cupcake.

Praline Pecans:

adapted from this Southern Living Recipe

  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup butter 
  • 1/4 cup milk 
  • 1 tablespoons corn syrup 
  • 2 1/2 cups toasted pecan halves

Stir together first 5 ingredients in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, 7 to 8 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 234°.  Remove from heat, and vigorously stir in pecans. Spoon pecan mixture onto wax paper, spreading in an even layer. Let stand 20 minutes or until firm. Break praline-coated pecans apart into pieces.

Chop praline pecan pieces, and sprinkle each cupcake with about a tablespoon of chopped praline pecans.

Toasted Marshmallow Pretzel Sticks

  • Pretzel sticks (I used “Old Fashioned Dipping Style” pretzel sticks)
  • Mini marshmallow

Toast mini marshmallows on a cookie sheet under the broiler until browned.  Working quickly, put a toasted marshmallow or two on the end of each pretzel stick.  Insert bare end of pretzel stick into cupcake.  (Depending on the length of your pretzel sticks, you may only need half a stick).
Chocolate Dipped Graham Crackers

  •  at least 3 whole graham crackers
  • 2 cups of dipping chocolate (or chocolate chips with a little bit of butter)

Break each graham cracker into 4 pieces.  Heat chocolate until runny.  Dip each graham cracker in chocolate, and set on a rack to cool and harden.  Once the chocolate has cooled and hardened, insert a graham cracker into each cupcake.

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