After reading our blog about making Crème Brulee one of our readers very generously gave us a kitchen torch. Apparently our exciting adventure with the huge welding torch was enough to inspire her to donate her torch to us. She said she wanted to see it go to a good home but, I think she envisioned us setting the house on fire and wanted to help us NOT to do that. So, THANK YOU KELLY. Your gift is very much appreciated.
Of course Sue and I could hardly wait to try it out. I spent most of one day Googling things we could torch. I know…I know…. It’s like I’m a kid with a new toy. Who knew there were so many things you could torch? Anyway, we decided to start out easy. Kind of…. I can make cupcakes in my sleep so I knew that part wasn’t hard. It’s the piping and the torching I have not had much practice at.
We found these Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow on the Martha Stewart website. (Otherwise known as S’More Cupcakes - Martha does like to be fancy schmancy) and adapted them a bit as we often do.We also found Lemon Meringue Cupcakes (Thanks again Martha) and will do a separate blog for them.
2 + 1/4 cups sugar (separated)
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate,finely chopped
Marshmallow Frosting Ingredients
8 large egg whites
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 standard muffin cups with cupcake liners; set aside.
Sift 2 cups sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix ingredients together on low speed.
In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl and continue mixing on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add boiling water and stir to combine; set cake batter aside.
Place graham cracker crumbs, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl; stir until well combined. Place 1 Tbsp graham cracker mixture into the bottom of each prepared muffin cup. Use the bottom of a small glass to pack crumbs into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Reserve remaining graham cracker mixture for topping.
Place 2 tsps chocolate in each muffin cup. Transfer muffin tins to oven and bake until the edges of the graham cracker mixture is golden, about 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and fill each muffin cup three-quarters full with cake batter. Sprinkle each with remaining chocolate and graham cracker mixture. Return to oven and bake, rotating pans halfway through baking, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer muffin tins to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely.
Marshmallow Frosting Directions:
Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until combined. Use immediately.
Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a large plain round or French tip. Pipe frosting in a spiral motion on each cupcake. Transfer cupcakes to a baking sheet. Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the frosting, taking care not to burn the cupcake liners. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container, up to 2 days.
There you have it. Our first trial with the new kitchen torch. It was really easy. I was a little nervous at first - the hissing of the torch before you click the button to spark the flame always makes me think *BOOM* big explosion. Fortunately everything went well. We didn’t even catch anything on fire! I know… not too shabby for first timers. (Okay, there was one little incident with a paper cupcake liner but…it was teeny tiny and only happened once so we are pretending it didn’t happen. *cough cough* Sue‘s fault *cough cough*)