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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Churros and Chocolate Cupcake



Summer in San Francisco means bringing hot chocolate, puffy coats, and knitting to watch my cousin's evening soccer game at Golden Gate Park. My friend made some fantastic hot chocolate to which she added a touch of cinnamon. I had brought leftover, unfrosted lychee-coconut cupcakes for dipping, which were great, but I wished we had some churros to dip instead. From that came this week's ambitious cupcake.

Ambitious it was and most everything was great, but my frosting experiment didn't quite pan out. The flavor combination worked for me. The cinnamon cupcake was subtle, tender, and not too sweet. The chocolate filling provided a nice shot of deep chocolate flavor that again wasn't too sweet. These would dip nicely in hot chocolate, for sure.

I was experimenting with a new kind of frosting which didn't work out at all (so I will not even post the recipe, yikes). I think a simple chocolate ganache would work out just fine. The tiny churros were fun to make and tied in the inspiration of the cupcake.


Chocolate Filling

3/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. in a saucepan over medium heat, bring cream to a boil (around the edges of the pan)
2. place chopped chocolate in a stainless or glass bowl
3. pour heated cream over the chocolate and let sit for 30 or so seconds
4. stir, starting in the center, until the combined
5. add vanilla and stir until smooth
6. let sit at room temperature for one hour or refrigerate for a half of an hour, stirring occasionally, the ganache will get pretty firm


Cupcakes
24 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoon ground extra fancy Vietnamese cinnamon
pinch salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. cream butter in an electric mixer until smooth, about 1 minute
2. while beating, drizzle in sugar
3. continue to beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes
4. add one egg at a time, beating well after each, about 20 seconds
5. in a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt
6. combine milk and vanilla
7. add flour mixture and milk mixture to the electric mixer, alternating and starting and ending with flour, beat well after each addition
8. scoop into lined cupcake tins with an ice cream scooper (about 3/4 full)
9. measure out about a teaspoon of the firm ganache and form it into a ball with your fingers (this is a messy step)
10. poke the ganache ball into the center of the cupcake, repeat for all cupcakes
11. bake for ~20 minutes or until golden



chocolate center pre-baking


chocolate center post-baking


Tiny Churros adapted from this recipe
requires pastry bag with small star tip

2/3 cup water
2-2/3 ounces butter
1 pinch salt
2/3 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground extra fancy Vietnamese cinnamon
vegetable oil, for frying

1. heat 1 inch oil in a wide, deep pan to 360 degrees F
2. in a medium saucepan, heat water, butter and salt to rolling boil
3. stir in flour, stir vigorously over low heat until mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute
4. remove from heat
5. in a small bowl, beat eggs until smooth and then add to saucepan while stirring the hot mixture
6. transfer dough into a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip
7. pipe tiny churros directly into the hot oil, squeeze the bag allowing the mixture to come through, then chop it off with a butter knife when its about an inch long.
8. fry until golden brown, turning once, about 2 minutes on each side
9. transfer to paper towels to drain
10. mix sugar and cinnamon then dump onto the churros



tiny churros


Assembly

1. frost cooled cupcakes with a chocolate frosting of your choice
2. top with a tiny churro or two

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great combination. Truly delicious looking cupcake!

8/29/2005 10:47 PM  
Blogger Chubby Hubby said...

This is gorgeous. I love churros, so the idea of putting it in a cupcake is awesome. Great post and yummy looking picture.

8/29/2005 10:48 PM  
Anonymous Kookoo kake said...

I'm going to attempt to make these cupcakes this weekend. It will be my second of your recipes.
I love your photos and the icing shown looks so yummy. I'm thinking a "hot chocolate" inspired icing might be nice.
My question to you is... why Vietnamese cinnamon?
I'm sure I can find it in a speciality store, but I'm wondering what the difference is.
Love your site!

1/26/2006 8:53 AM  
Blogger chockylit said...

You should be fine without the extra-fancy... I used it simply because cinnamon figures so prominently in the recipe and Vietnamese Cinnamon is the sweetest, strongest you can get. I should do an 'America's Test Kitchen' style tasting of cinnamons to see if the difference is noticable... In the meanwhile, you should just go for it!

If you are interested, you can read more about cinnamon at Penzey's Spices.

1/26/2006 12:39 PM  
Anonymous kookoo kake said...

I made these cakes yesterday with the Vietnamese cinnamon. Your recipe was easy to follow. The cupcakes turned out so lovely I didn't want to ruin the subtle flavors with the wrong icing so I did half with chocolate ganache and the other half with mexican chocolate ganache. I used Abuela mexican chocolate.
I sprinkled the extra sugar/cinnamon mixture from the churros as a finishing touch.
After tasting very sweet cupcakes all week, this is one of the best recipes I've tried. Subtle cinnamon and vanilla cake. Very yummy. Churros were indeed fun to make and the kids got a kick out of the unusual shapes.
Thank you for this recipe. It's a keeper! And I believe that Vietnamese Cinnamon does make a difference!

2/05/2006 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this blog! I made these cupcakes this weekend (I made mini versions) and frosted with a chocolate ganache. They got RAVE reviews from everyone, although if I had to change one thing, I would make a milk chocolate ganache (rather than dark) or a chocolate buttercream. The frosting that I chose was a little too intense, overpowered the delicate flavor of the cupcake. Also, it's totally worth it to make the mini churros, it adds such a professional touch!

5/01/2006 11:44 AM  

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