I love cupcakes. Some argue that cupcakes are over, but I disagree. What’s not to like about a single serving of cake, a decadent little bit of heaven, just enough for a nice treat, or to share with a friend? There’s nothing not to like about that! And chocolate…I also love chocolate. Chocolate and cupcakes together? The perfect match!
A while back I saw a recipe on Pinterest that linked to Martha Stewart’s Hi-Hat Cupcakes (and really that should be spelled “High” instead of “Hi” so I changed it!) I’ve wanted to make them every since. But let’s be honest, as brilliant as Martha is about some things she can take something relatively simple and make it so difficult you want to just give up. This recipe? Well yes it is just like that! BUT you can make it simpler, much simpler.
First of all if you’re making this recipe read through it first. Not that I didn’t you understand. I would never do that. Seriously…
OK you caught me, I didn’t read through it. There are you happy? Now back to the recipe-o-rama.
If you follow this as written you’ll notice several things. First she has you using like 3 or 4 bowls for just the cupcake part alone…for one recipe…all of which you have to wash and that doesn’t include the bowl for the icing and the double boiler for the chocolate. That’s not my idea of a good time washing all those dishes! Not at all!
You could easily do the cupcake batter in one bowl. First melt the chocolate and then let it cool. After the chocolate is cool, add the creaming ingredients, along with the sour cream, extract and other wet ingredients in to the chocolate and mix well. Next add baking powder and salt (I used 1 teaspoon of salt instead of the recommended 1/4 teaspoon) and stir to mix that in and then add the flour and mix until batter forms. The recipe calls for all purpose flour, but I used cake flour and I baked them as directed.
And now let’s talk about the icing….
Basically you’re making an egg white icing, or as I like to call it “marshmallow” icing, because it tastes and looks a lot like marshmallows. The directions in the recipe to make this quite frankly just don’t work and the first batch just didn’t come together. I’ve never had that kind of issues with egg whites, though I know others who have. I ended up just melting the sugar in the egg whites, water and cream of tartar on a double boiler until warm to the touch and then whipped them on high. I didn’t get them stiff enough, so it sort of sagged once the cupcake had sat for a while, but despite looking wilted once the chocolate was on top, they still tasted fabulous. I also ended up drizzling the chocolate over the top of the cupcakes instead of dipping them due to the not quite stiff enough icing and the first one collapsing the cone top.
You could easily shortcut the cupcakes and just use a mix. I recommend King Arthur Flour’s cake mixes and the chocolate one is especially fabulous. You could make a stiff icing with marshmallow fluff, cream cheese and enough powdered sugar to make it firm and not have to deal with egg white drama. Also the recipe calls for corn syrup in the topping chocolate, but I used coconut oil instead. It makes a form of “magic shell” chocolate which is just perfect for this.
Again I can’t stress enough, this is a recipe you need to read and read carefully. There are mistakes in the recipe. In the cupcake portion it says 1/2 cup of water when it means sour cream and in the icing portion it wants you to add 1/4 of a cup of water to the egg white/sugar mixture, but it isn’t listed in the ingredient list. It’s confusing. This might even be a read 3 or 4 times sort of deal. Trust Martha to make it anything but simple!
No matter how you do it though, this is a really fabulous taste combination and both Alexis and I really enjoyed them even though the icing/chocolate got slipperier and flatter than the pictures above. After all isn’t the best part the taste anyway?
Yes, yes it is!