Monday, May 15, 2006

Cake Mix Doctor

The Best Birthday Cupcakes

I tested these on a group at a baby shower, and they were a hit. VERY good cupcakes!

24 paper liners (2.5" size)
1 pkg (18.5oz) plain butter recipe golden cake mix
8oz low fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C water
1/2 C vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
Chocolate syrup frosting
colored sprinkles for garnish

Place a rack in center of the oven and preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake cups with paper liners. Set pans aside. Place cake mix, cream cheese, sugar, water, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend on low speed with an electric mixer for 30 seconds, until the ingredients are well blended, then stop the machine and scrape down sides. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 1 1/2 to 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should be smooth and thickened. Spoon or scoop 1/4 C batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it two thirds of the way full. Place the pans in the oven. Bake cupcakes until they are golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 24-27 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edges of the cupcake liners, lift the cupcakes up from the bottoms of the cups using the end of the knife, and pick them out of the cups carefully with your fingertips. Place them on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before frosting.

Place a heaping tablespoon of frosting on each cupcake and swirl to spread it out with a short metal spatula or spoon, taking care to cover the tops completely. Sprinkle with sprinkles. Serve.

Little Chocolate Bar Cakes

12 foil liners for cupcake pans (2.5")
3/4 C graham cracker crumbs
1/4 C finely chopped almonds (from 2oz bag of blanched, slivered almonds)
3 Tbsp butter, melted

6 small bars (1.45oz each) Hershey's Milk Chocolate with Almonds
3 1/2 C miniature marshmallows (half a 10.5oz bag)
1/2 C milk
1 C heavy whipping cream

2-3 Tbsp toasted almonds (toast 3-4 minutes at 350)
2 Tbsp grated semisweet chocolate

Line cupcake cups with foil liners and set pan aside.

Prepare crusts: place the graham cracker crumbs, almonds, and melted butter in a mixing bowl and stir in the mixture to combine. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into each liner, pressing down with your fingers to make the crust.

Prepare the filling: break up the Hershey bars and place them in a large sauce pan over low heat with the marshmallows and milk. Heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the chocolate and marshmallows melt and the mixture thickens, 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, 5 minutes.

Place electric mixer beaters and large mixing bowl in the freezer for 1 minute. Remove both, pour cream into chilled bowl, and beat on high until stiff peaks form, 2-3 minutes.

Fold 1 cup of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until it is well combined. Place the remaining cream, covered, into the refrigerator. Top the crusts with the chocolate mixture, dividing it evenly among them. The liners should be full but not overflowing. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until firm, at least 3 hours. Remove the cupcake pan from the freezer 15 minutes before serving. To serve, place a dinner knife underneath the liners and lift out the cakes. Peel away the liners and place the cupcakes on serving plates. Dollop the top of the cakes with 1 heaping tablespoon of the reserved whipped cream and garnish with toasted almonds and grated chocolate. The cakes are ready to serve.

No comments: