Monday, February 6, 2017

Neapolitan Cupcakes With Bonbon Toppings

Compliments of Heather Baird

Hi Friends,

Fancy chocolates make a festive topping for these Neapolitan cupcakes. For an extra-special gift, use your sweetheart's favorite variety to finish off these treats. Here's the recipe.

For the chocolate cupcakes:
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola or other vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the vanilla and strawberry frosting:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar, the finest you can find (usually 10 x)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • few drops of liquid red food coloring
  • strawberry flavoring or strawberry extract, to taste
  • milk or heavy cream, optional
  • 9 or 10 assorted filled bonbon-type chocolates

For the chocolate cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line muffin tin with cupcake papers. Set aside.
  3. Sift together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
  4. Add eggs, water, heavy cream, oil and vanilla. Mix with a hand-held mixer until smooth.
  5. Divide batter among cupcake papers, filling each 3/4 full.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool before frosting (Image 1).
For the frostings:
  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together the butter and confectioners' sugar.
  2. Begin mixing on low speed until crumbly, then increase to high and beat for 3 minutes.
  3. Add vanilla extract and beat again for another minute until light and fluffy. Note: If you find the buttercream is too stiff, you may add milk or heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is spreading consistency.
  4. Transfer 1/3 of the vanilla frosting to a piping bag fitted with flower decorating tip.
  5. Beat the remaining frosting on medium speed, adding the red food coloring in a little at a time until the desired pink color intensity is achieved.
  6. Add strawberry extract or strawberry flavoring oil.
  7. Transfer pink icing to a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip (Image 2).
  8. Pipe small stars of icing around the outside edge of the cupcakes with the white vanilla frosting (Image 3).
  9. Pipe a large swirl of pink frosting in the middle of the cupcake, making two passes with the piping bag (Image 4).
  10. Top each cupcake with a chocolate bonbon (Image 5).

These cupcakes are rich and decadent from their bonbon tops to their chocolate cake bottoms.

Bon App├ętit...

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