Monday, February 15, 2010

MSC Club: S'mores Cupcakes

So, I have still not been made an official member of the Martha Stewart Cupcake Club, but I am not going to dwell on it, since many of the lovely club members said they consider me part of the club, so here I go.  This month's cupcakes were S'mores Cupcakes, from page 150-151 of her book.  They were selected by Mary Ann, who has a really cute blog called Meet Me in the Kitchen.

Oh man, were these cupcakes a lot of work!  There were so, so many steps and so, so many dishes.  My poor husband, who does most of the dishes, doesn't even like chocolate, so these were lost on him.  If he is reading this (which he does only sometimes) -- thanks for doing all the dishes without much cupcake reward.  

I made a number of chances to the recipe, and I'm not sure all of them were for the better.  First, the Martha recipe called for graham flour, which I could not find anywhere.  There are some substitutions on google, but they all require buying a bunch of things I didn't have, so I knew I had to make a change.  I googled graham cracker cupcakes and decided to use 2 1/3 cups of regular flour and 1/2 cup of crushed graham crackers, based on the proportions in the recipe.  I know that graham crackers have a bunch of other things in them, besides graham flour, but I thought it might be ok.

Second, I reduced the butter from 2 1/2 sticks to 2 sticks.  I just thought it was too much butter, especially based on previous experience with Martha's cupcakes  where the butter seeped through the wrappers.  

Both those changes went ok.  I thought the cupcake itself had good graham cracker flavor (my husband has been eating them plain, without frosting) but they were a little dry, which might have been over-baking, or might have been from the changes I made.  I don't know, but I thought they were ok, but not fluffy and cake like, like I want my cupcakes to be.

I didn't make any changes to the chocolate ganache.  I had a lot left over and, after tasting the cupcakes, I wanted more chocolate flavor, so I probably should have put more on.  It was really easy to work with and easy to make.

For the frosting, I didn't use Martha's recipe because it called for gelatin.  Although there is kosher gelatin in the Kosher store, my friend Shoshana of Couldn't Be Parve said that the regular, plant based gelatin they sell in kosher stores doesn't hold up to the long beating time that marshmallows require, so I decided I didn't want to risk it (again, these cupcakes were MANY steps) and decided to make Dorie's marshmallow frosting from the Devil's Food White Out cake.  The frosting was good and marshmallow-y, but it didn't develop the crust that I expect from marshmallows.  I don't have a kitchen torch, so I didn't brown the frosting.  Maybe that would have made a different.  

Anyway, after all that, I thought the cupcakes were good but not great.  I actually liked them better when I cut off the bottom of the cupcake and smushed it on top of the frosting into a sandwich.  It was more s'more like that way.  Even though these cupcakes were not warm, they had that messy, runny feeling of a s'more.  If you enjoy s'mores, you will enjoy these, but it would be a lot less work just to make a s'more.

Here is the recipe for marshmallow frosting, from Dorie:

Marshmallow Icing - adapted from Dorie Greenspan
1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 large)
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Put the egg whites in a clean, dry mixer bowl or in another large bowl. Have a candy thermometer at hand.
Put the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, cover the pan and boil for 3 minutes. Uncover and allow the syrup to boil until it reaches 242 degrees F on the candy thermometer. While the syrup is cooking, start beating the egg whites.
When the syrup is at about 235 degrees F, begin beating the egg whites on medium speed with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer. If the whites form firm, shiny peaks before the syrup reaches temperature, reduce the mixer speed to low and keep mixing the whites until the syrup catches up. With the mixer at medium speed, and standing back slightly, carefully pour in the hot syrup, pouring it between the beater(s) and the side of the bowl. Splatters are inevitable — don’t try to scrape them into the whites, just carry on. Add the vanilla extract and keep beating the whites at medium speed until they reach room temperature, about 5 minutes. You should have a smooth, shiny, marshmallowy frosting.


  1. I think your cupcakes look really great. I was debating about using Dorie's marshmallow frosting b/c I have made it before and it is really delicious.
    I wasn't too excited about the gelatin either- that definitely played a part in my subbing mini marshmallows.
    Thanks for baking along, even though you aren't an official MSC member!

  2. Good call on Dorie's frosting - far superior to the gelatin based stuff.

  3. Love the little tiny peaks with your frosting, they make your cupcakes look like a party! Very nice job on these. I found graham flour and it was fun to work with and tasty, so I am hoping to locate some more recipes to make things with it. Maybe cookies! As far as I am concerned, YOU are PART of the group! But you need to keep commenting on my blog so I can find you as you aren't on the list yet. Thanks for coming to visit my blog so I could come and see your time I do marshmallow frosting, I am trying for those little peaks like you cute!

  4. whew, you make these sound so much more exhausting than they seem, haha. i'm sorry these weren't what you hoped for. i made substitutions as well and mine came out great, i would just dial back on the sugar.


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