During my usual perusing of Pinterest (seriously, it’s an addiction… but it’s so inspiring!!) I came across several posts about Hi-Hat Cupcakes. My husband, who was seated next to me, said they were something he’d really like to try. You know, *cough*birthsdaysholidaysjustfornoreason*cough.* I was rather hesitant about making them as they involved a meringue frosting. As some of you might know, I have a long history of a love/hate relationship with meringues: I want to love them and they just keep hating me. Seriously, I couldn’t make a meringue to save my life. But, for the sake of this recipe, I put my doubts aside and did my best… and EPICALLY failed! In my own defense, I think the recipe was flawed from the beginning as it encouraged combining all the ingredients at once rather than first whipping your egg whites and then slowly adding the sugar. I may not know much about meringues, but I’m pretty sure that’s key.
Not wanting to walk back to the store (seriously, I live on a hill with a 15% grade) and really not wanting to epically fail with the meringue for a second time, I went with something I know: buttercream frosting. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but it turned out beautifully, and my husband loved them!
Yields 12 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 stick of butter (113 grams)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
For the frosting:
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 3/4 sticks butter (200 grams)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the chocolate coating:
1 8oz. package of chocolate chips
2 tsp. vegetable oil
Start by making your cupcakes. Begin by preheating your oven to 350* Fahrenheit (175* Celsius). In a small saucepan, melt the butter (or you can use a microwave if you prefer). While that melts, combine the water and cocoa powder in a large bowl, mixing with an electric handheld mixer until there are no more lumps. Once the butter has melted, stir in the granulated sugar. Add this along with the vanilla extract, baking soda, and baking powder to the cocoa mixture and beat until well incorporated. Next add your eggs, again beating until well combined. At this point you can add you flour and sour cream, but you want to do so in 3 increments: 1/2 cup flour, sour cream, and the final 1/2 cup of flour. Line your cupcake pan and fill 2/3 of the way full with batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
After your cupcakes have cooled, you’ll want to frost them. To make the frosting, start with cold butter. Normally you want your frosting butter to be room temperature, but since we’ll be dunking these in chocolate later, the extra bit of coolness helps. In a bowl, cream your butter on high speed with a handheld mixer until it is no longer stuck to the beaters. Add your powdered sugar and mix until the mixture returns to a creamy stage. Finish with the vanilla extract and a little more mixing and your frosting is done! It should be a little stiffer than a normal buttercream frosting, but that’s okay because we want it to hold it’s shape and be solid enough to withstand the melted chocolate. Spoon your frosting into a piping bag with a decorative tip of your choice, and pipe onto the cupcakes. For those of you who have not invested in a good piping set (which, really, you should if you plan on making many cupcakes), you can use a ziploc bag. Simply spoon your frosting into a ziploc bag and squeeze it down towards one of the sealed corners. Clip the corner and pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.
Once you finish frosting your cupcakes, place them in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate coating (this will also help insure that the frosting doesn’t melt or pull away from the cupcake as you cover it in chocolate). To make the chocolate coating, melt your chocolate in either the microwave or in a small saucepan. If you go with the saucepan option, melt it on the lowest heat setting while stirring often. To melt it in the microwave, start with 30 seconds followed by 10 second increments, stirring each time in between, until the chocolate is melted. Be careful not to over heat it as it will turn into a rather solid and unwieldy lump (seriously, experience speaking on this one). Once the chocolate is melted, add your oil to thin the consistency a little. Transfer to a narrow, deep container like a cup, and prepare for dunking!
I’ll admit I was a bit nervous for this part. I imagined my frosting coming off in one massive lump and disappearing into my cup of chocolate, never to be seen again. How pleasantly surprised I was when this did NOT happen. The dunking went off without a hitch! To coat your frosted cupcakes, simply dunk it frosting first into your cup of melted chocolate. You’ll want to dunk right up to the paper liner to make sure you cover as much frosting as possible. If you’re having troubled getting all the frosting coated, it’s okay to twist the cupcake while it’s in the chocolate. I promise the frosting won’t come off.
Cupcake recipe slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats