Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes

This school year has been tons of baking for me – I hope my children will grow up and fondly remember me baking my buns off.  If it’s not Bake Sales, it’s some sort of celebrations after completing huge projects, and baking cupcakes for one of my daughter’s Computer Fair display (where she showcased her computer generated dessert shop model). 

Anyway, call me weird, but I am not a huge cupcake person;  I don’t like them because most often buttercream frostings are used (yes, my dislike for buttercream continues).  Cupcakes are pretty, but for me I like the efficiency of decorating a whole cake, not 1 dozen or few dozen individual cupcake…

For my daughter’s Computer Fair display, I didn’t have any say in which cupcakes I wanted or could bake.  It was a set menu (created by my daughter and her team member).  Ofcourse, most of them had buttercream frostings, so I chose 2 cupcakes which didn’t have buttercream frostings :  Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes and Jelly Doughnut Cupcakes.  This Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes came from here (so glad someone had a good recipe!!).

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Chocolate Cupcakes
(makes 24-27 standard sized cupcakes)
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (best quality available)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (best quality available)
3/4 cup boiling water

Directions-
1. Line muffin tin with paper liners. Heat oven to 350*F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for one minute.
4. Stir in boiling water (the batter will be thin, don’t worry, this is right).
5. Fill liners 2/3 full with batter. (I usually put the batter into a large measuring cup with a pour spout, and then pour the batter into the liners.)
6. Bake cupcakes for approximately 22-24 minutes.
7. Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

Marshmallow Frosting
2 (large) egg whites
1 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions-
1. In a large heatproof bowl (the metal bowl of your electric mixer), combine the egg whites, sugar, water, corn syrup, cream of tartar and salt.
2. Set the bowl over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan and heat mixture, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch (about 160*F), about 3 minutes.
3. Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed, about 2 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, microwave 1 cup mini marshmallows 30 seconds to 1 minute, until puffed, and starting to melt.
5. Add marshmallows to mixture in electric mixer, reduce speed to low and add vanilla. Continue beating (on low) until the marshmallows are melted and frosting is completely smooth (about 3-4 minutes). Use frosting right away.

Assembly
Frost cooled Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow frosting. You used a large french tip (but I used my favorite method : put the frosting in a 1 gallon ziplock bag and snip off tiny corner piece from the bag and pipe the frosting).IMG_1035
If desired, use a kitchen torch (my husband has a propane torch so we used that instead) to brown the frosting.
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(my husband helping out by browning the frosting)

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Top frosted cupcakes with a piece of Hershey’s chocolate, and a piece of graham cracker.  You don’t have to use Hershey’s, but that’s what many people use for making real s’mores so I’m just sticking to the tradition.

*Note- The graham cracker gets a bit soft from the frosting. If it’s important to you that it be nice and crisp, I would try baking the graham crackers (in a single layer on a baking sheet) about 5 minutes in a 325*F oven to dry them out a bit.  This really works!!

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My opinion:
Both the adults and children loved this cupcake!!  The cupcake itself is very fluffy and nice.  The frosting is sweet, but not overly sweet (loved the texture of this frosting, just like soft marshmallows).  This is a fun cupcake to eat with the chocolate and graham cracker sticking out.

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