So, after making the white velvet cupcakes last week, I wanted to make some other cupcakes this week. It turns out that one of the superstars of the ER was having a birthday this week, and she would be at work the day before her birthday (Hi V!)
I checked with my spy regarding the birthday celebrant’s tastes and confirmed that chocolate would be a good directioin to go in.
These cupcakes have three distinct textures and flavors. The cake is an adaptation of the Chocolate Ganache cupcake from Ina Garten. The filling is a white chocolate pastry cream, and the frosting is a chocolate butter cream. I used a much larger tip for the pastry bag to apply the frosting, and these cupcakes came out perfect.
¼ pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
16 fluid ounces chocolate syrup (recommended: Hershey’s)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 egg yolks
5 tablespoons white sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
2 cups milk
1 vanilla bean, halved
2 tablespoons butter
3 ounces white chocolate
½ cup solid vegetable shortening
½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup cocoa or three 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares, melted
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
3-4 tablespoons milk
Line muffin pans with 12 paper liners. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. Mix in the chocolate syrup and vanilla. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Don’t overbeat, or the cupcakes will be tough.
Scoop the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes, or until just set in the middle. Don’t overbake! Let the cupcakes cool thoroughly in the pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow. Whisk in corn starch. Set aside.
In a stainless steel saucepan, bring milk and vanilla bean to a boil, remove from heat and remove vanilla bean. Stir a small amount of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture. Return milk to heat and while constantly stirring with a wooden spoon, slowly add the egg mixture to milk. Mixture will thicken.
Allow to just come to a boil, remove from heat and stir in butter. Put mixture through a sieve into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap (this keeps mixture from forming a skin over top). Cool slightly.
Stir in melted white chocolate, cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble.
In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add cocoa and vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.
Cut a small whole in the center of the top of the cupcake. I used a paring knife to make the incision. You will want a whole about the size of a nickle. The hole should go roughly 2/3 of the way through the the cupcake, but not through the bottom.
Using a piping bag and a small circle tip apply pastry cream into create pocket of cupcake. The pastry cream should just come to the surface of the top of the cupcake.
Using another piping bag and a large star tip, apply butter cream frosting in a looping fashion starting on the outside, and overlapping slightly as you near the center. It should resemble the cupcakes in the picture above.