Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Shabbos Kallah, Part 3: Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

When I ask Miriam what she wanted for her Shabbos Kallah, the only thing that she said was "chocolate." The cake that I made was pretty much all chocolate (except the marshmallow frosting), so I wanted to do some more interesting variations. Voila, in comes Martha Stewart with these bee-youtiful cupcakes. Of course, they look nicer on her Web site - they always do - but they've still got the wow factor because of the chocolate-covered mint leaves. Said leaves appeared to be everyone's favorite part of the cupcake, or at least what pushed them over the top; no one could stop talking about the intensity of flavor or prettiness of presentation.

The leaves were kind of a pain to make but in the end they were worth it. You can either dip one side in chocolate and paint the other side (you can't really dip both sides, it ends up making the leaf too limp) or paint both sides, which means you're more likely to get the pattern of veins on the leaf but also takes a long time and leaves you exposed to unsightly green patches. Your choice.

Also, I don't know why - maybe I just didn't heat the whites hot enough or beat the meringue long enough - but this frosting absolutely did not work for me. I ended up having to shovel spoonfuls of confectioners' sugar into the mixer just to get it to achieve the correct consistency, but I think it spoiled the "fresh mint flavor" she was talking about, so then I had to add a lot more peppermint extract. Anyway, it ended up tasting good but I could have just made a simple buttercream and it would have tasted the same with a lot less effort. So let that (whatever "that" is) be a lesson to you all.

You can find the recipe here. Also, the pretty cupcake wrappers I used for both these and the maple cupcakes were bought at Zabar's, on 80th and Broadway.

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