|Devil's Food & Dead Man's Peanut Butter Mousse |
Slathered in chocolate fudge.
We're revisiting my Dead Man's Peanut Butter Pie recipe today, with a few fun tweaks.
Today I found myself wrestling with a familiar peanut butter and chocolate craving. In such situations I have the following options:
- Go to the store and buy all the available peanut butter cups. Of course, this isn't much of an option since getting out of the house with two small children and going anywhere requires nearly as much planning and preparation as a mission to Mars.
- Eat peanut butter from jar with a spoon, dipping it into that 20lb bag of chocolate chips I have. Also not a great option, since with this method of consumption, any semblance of portion control vanishes and I just bought skinny jeans.
- Bake something with peanut butter and chocolate for the blog, while wearing said skinny jeans and pretend that they will encourage restraint while tasting and testing.
I think we all know how this worked out.
So today we're working with the base of my Dead Man's Peanut Butter Pie, which is actually a relative of my scrumptious cream cheese frosting. We're just adding peanut butter to the cream cheese, whip cream and sugar mixture, so naturally it doubles as a topping for cupcakes too. Though, I like to think of this rich and creamy concoction as more of a peanut butter mousse than a sugary-sweet frosting.
We're also taking a page from hi-hat cupcakes and dipping the peanut butter death into a fudge-y chocolate coating. Though it might seem like you're asking for trouble, inverting a cupcake into molten chocolate, the process actually works like a charm. If I can do this with a toddler clinging to one leg and a squirming six-month-old hitched under one arm without any frosting falling off, you can too.
So let's get down to it, starting with the cake.
I decided to try a new chocolate cake recipe today. Now, usually when I want a cake recipe or to be inspired, I first look to expert--i.e. baking math oriented--cake makers like Nick Malgieri, Rose Beranbaum, and Susan Purdy. Today however, I'm trying out a new recipe from one of my Thomas Keller cookbooks.
I've had my eye on an interesting cupcake from Ad Hoc at Home. It's not an oil cake or a butter cake, but something a little different. The fats in the recipe come from a generous amount of sour cream and a little melted butter. Since I adore sour cream as a tenderizer in my coffee and pound cakes, I gave it a go and you should too. You'll find the recipe quite simple to make and the texture surprisingly light and moist.
Ad Hoc At Home's Devil's Food Cupcakes
from Ad Hoc At Home
yields 24 cupcakes
1 2/3 cups (188g) cake flour
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (33g) unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder (dutch processed)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups (330g) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons (3 oz) unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350°F and prep cup cake pans with 24 paper liners.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and sugar into the bowl of your mixer. Stir in the salt and equip the paddle attachment.
In a separate bowl combine the buttermilk and sour cream, whisking until smooth.
In yet another bowl, combine the eggs and melted butter.
Now turn your mixer onto medium low and add your buttermilk mixture to the bowl in thirds, alternating with the egg-butter mixture. Scrape down the bowl, as needed to ensure everything is combined.
Divide the batter into your cupcake cups, filling each cup roughly half full. Bake for 10 minutes and then rotate the pan(s) and bake for another 10 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool completely on wire racks before continuing.
(Cupcakes are best frosted and eaten the same day they are baked but can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
|I guess I couldn't be bothered to remove the paper liner |
on the other half of the cupcake before photographing it.
Dead Man's Peanut Butter Mousse Frosting
yields enough to kill anyone
2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, (recommend 40% ultra)
1/4 cup plus two tablespoons granulated sugar
12 ounces cream cheese (none of that low fat stuff)
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
Beat the heavy cream and sugar together in the bowl of your mixer until stiff peaks form. Scrape the whipped cream into a second mixing bowl and it set aside. Now add the peanut butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar to the mixing bowl (you don't need to wash it) and equip the paddle. Beat the mixture on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Reduce speed to low and add the whipped cream, beating until just blended.
Refrigerate the peanut butter mousse mixture for a couple hours before using.
By then your cupcakes should be baked, cooled and ready to rock.
Grab your peanut butter frosting and fill a piping bag with it. We're not going to go mile-high on the cupcakes, simply because the peanut butter mousse is heavier than that marshmallow stuff typically used on hi hats. Still we're going to be pretty generous. To frost cupcakes like these, use a bag equipped with a large round tip (believe I'm using an Ateco 804). Hold tip steady just above the center of the cupcake and squeeze a large blob onto the cupcake. Now lift your tip and hold it steady again just above the blob you just piped and pipe a smaller blob. Very technical language, I know. This is why I'll never teach baking.
Once you've blobbed all your cupcakes, place them on a sheet pan and then stash them in your freezer. They need to freeze for at least 30 minutes, until they're firm to the touch before proceeding to the next step.
4 cups chocolate chips
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup chopped peanuts (optional)
Combine chocolate chips and oil in a large heat safe bowl and microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring often until smooth.
Pour this mixture into a narrow vessel, deep enough to accommodate your cupcake and the chocolate.
Now we're ready to get down to business.
After their rest in the freezer you'll find the cupcakes are now very sturdy. I wouldn't juggle them, but they'll certainly survive a dunk into your chocolate.
Slowly dip the cupcake, submerging the top completely in the chocolate. (Try to avoid coating the paper liners as it makes them pesky to peel and eat later.)
Once dunked, quickly remove and set upright. Transfer to the freezer again briefly to set the chocolate coating.
If desired, sprinkle the freshly dipped cupcakes with chopped peanuts.
Or just be a little weird and decorate these deadly-delicious cupcakes with little chocolate dead men, white chocolate skulls (piped onto parchment and allowed to set), or whatever other dark ideas you can dream up.
The cupcakes are best eaten the same day, or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Allow the cupcakes to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.
Enjoy! They're good.