Friday, March 22, 2013

Angry Birds Triple Chocolate Cupcakes and a Giveaway!

One of my bosses requested some Angry Birds Cupcakes for her son's birthday party.  I found a delicious recipe I really wanted to try from Annie's Eats.  They requested chocolate cupcakes and vanilla cupcakes.  I decided to triple the chocolate because....well I don't need a because.  It is obvious why I tripled the chocolate.  It would be weird if I didn't triple it.  Right?
I made cookie toppers for the cookies and used the royal icing transfer technique to make the birds.  I was short on time and couldn't wait for the icing base to dry on the cookies, so I iced the cookies and got to work on the transfers.  They dried at roughly the same time and then I assembled the best looking toppers onto the cookies.  Which is fortunate because some of them were remarkably less cute than others. 
Gorgeous!  I love this frosting technique, especially when putting a flat topper onto the cookie. 

I also made a batch of vanilla cupcakes, and I used the recipe from Glorious Treats.  She went through a huge process to find the perfect recipe, and I am happy to report, they are really good.  Very easy recipe to follow and very reliable results. 
Triple Chocolate Cupcakes barely adapted from Annie's Eats
Please note that the ingredients are separated with directions for each part of the cupcake.  I find it easier to bake when I can refer to the ingredients near the directions.  Please look at all of the ingredients before you go shopping!

Ingredients for the cupcake portion:
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder [I used Hershey's.  Annie recommends Dutch-process cocoa powder]
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt [Annie recommends coarse salt, I used Trader Joe's Sea Salt]
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter [does not need to be room temperature]
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream at room temperature
Directions for cupcakes:
Preheat oven 350.
Prepare cupcake pan with liners.
Whisk cocoa powder and hot water together in a small bowl until smooth.
Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
Combine butter and sugar over medium heat in a medium saucepan.  Stir occasionally until butter is melted.  Remove from heat and pour mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. 
Beat butter and sugar mixture on medium low for 4 to 5 minutes or until the mixture is cooled. 
Mix in eggs one at a time and beat well after each egg.  Scrape sides of bowl. 
Mix in vanilla and cocoa mixture and beat until incorporated. 
Set the mixer to low and add in half of the dry ingredients, then half of the sour cream, and then the rest of the dry ingredients, and then the rest of the sour cream until just combined.
Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
Bake 18-20 minutes or until you insert a toothpick into the center of the cupcake and it comes out clean.  [Annie recommends to rotate pans halfway through baking.  I never remember to do this, oops]
Cool cupcakes in the pan for 5-10 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack.

Ingredients for ganache filling:
  • 8 ounces semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped [Annie recommends bittersweet, but I don't like dark chocolate.  Also, I used a food processor because I'm too lazy to chop chocolate.]
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream 
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 4 pieces
Directions for ganache:
 Chop chocolate using a food processor.  Or a knife and cutting board. 
Put chocolate in a medium bowl.
Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan to boiling. 
Remove boiling cream from heat and pour over the chocolate.
Let it stand for a minute undisturbed.
Grab a whisk and stir the mixture gently.
Once smooth, add butter pieces one at a time until incorporated.
Thicken the mixture by either putting it into the refrigerator or freezer, mixing every 5-10 minutes.
Remove once no longer runny.

Assembly:
Use a cupcake corer or a knife to cut out the center portion of the cupcake.  [Annie recommends a cone shape].  Keep the top part of the cupcake center to cover up the ganache center.  Eat or discard the rest.  [I baked these with a friend and she ate the cupcake centers while I filled the cupcakes.  Kinda unfair, right?]
Spoon some ganache into the hole and cover with part of the cupcake center.
Cover the the top of the cupcake center.

Frosting Ingredients:
  • 14 ounces of semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped [Annie recommends bittersweet here too, and I prefer semi-sweet.]
  • 9 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder [Annie used dutch-process]
  • pinch of salt [according to my measuring set, that is about 1/16 teaspoon of salt]
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespooons sour cream 
Directions for frosting:
Chop chocolate using a food processor or a knife and board.
Melt chocolate in a bowl over a pot of water on the stove. 
Remove from heat and allow to cool until barely warm.
Beat cream cheese and butter on medium high in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
Mix in sugar, cocoa powder, and salt gradually. 
Beat in the melted/cooled chocolate.
Mix in sour cream.
Continue beating until smooth and well blended.
Frost cupcakes right meow. 

Top with mini cookies with adorably and painstakingly decorated Angry Birds. 

Giveaway time!  Who wants to win a slow cooker?
SlimKicker would love for you to win one!  SlimKicker is a online calorie tracker that takes all your diet + fitness goals and turns them into a level-up game. You upload a picture of something you'll reward yourself such as a new handbag, and when you reach a certain number of points, they''ll remind you to reward yourself with that. SlimKicker also has lots of coupon codes such as Oxy-Powder coupons.
The giveaway will be the same format as the last one.  Please comment, with your email address, a fitness or health challenge idea.  The challenge from the last giveaway was pretty cool, one reader suggested we eat a different colored vegetable every day for a week. 

This giveaway is open to US residents only [sorry!] and will run one week.  SlimKicker will choose their favorite comment and they will send you the slow cooker, so please do not forget to include your email address. 

Here is a link for another giveaway they have going on.  This giveaway is for a Bowflex gym, which is pretty sweet!

Good luck!


4 comments:

  1. ooh, I'd love this slow cooker! let's see.. my idea for a challenge would be to wait a few minutes before eating something impulsively like chips or cookies. rather, try being more aware and ask yourself whether u really need to eat that.

    my email is cherry (dot) hamels at gmail.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I want to start running, but am so out of shape. I walk one block, run one block....repeating. It is hard but I am not giving up. My dog loves to run, so that keeps me motivated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My email is visible in my profile....myfoxypup(at)gmail(dot)com

      Delete
  3. I'm on my feet all day at work and getting to and from work can involve anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes of commuting via public transportation. Finding both time and energy to stay fit is a challenge. Lately I've been pushing myself to walk or jog to bus stops that are further down my bus route instead of just standing and waiting at one stop, which lets me cram in 45 to 50 minutes of walking. It has certainly livened up my commute!

    Email: jelan(dot)m at gmail.

    ReplyDelete

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