Friday, March 28, 2008
Too much of a good thing is never enough. The Cupcake Hero challenge for March got my brain ticking over but good, and I wound up with a whole host of cupcake ideas I wanted to try out. The Hot Cocoa cupcakes turned out pretty darn well, but I couldn't stop there - there was too much possibility for playing with marshmallow.
I got to thinking about what marshmallows are normally used with, and the obvious conclusion (after hot cocoa, of course) was s'mores. There's not much better to do with marshmallows than melt them alongside chocolate between some graham crackers, unless it's to make a fluffernutter - and believe me, I contemplated the fluffernutter cupcake. I eventually decided to go with the one I had all the ingredients for, though, and thus the s'mores cupcake was born.
This recipe would probably work quite well with whole-wheat flour in place of the AP, and it'd be fabulous if you had actual graham flour around. Both would create a heavier cupcake, rather than a light and tender one, but I think that texture change might work well here, since it's already a "toothier" cake.
Instead of repeating the disastrous results of last time's homemade marshmallow cream frosting experiment, I decided to go the lazy route (ninjas always prefer the path of least resistance) and top this batch with premade marshmallow fluff. If you do this, make sure you either serve the cupcakes right away or get them into the fridge ASAP - the marshmallow fluff slumps a bit at room temperature, then starts dripping down the cupcake. It's delicious, but it can quickly become a sticky mess and makes peeling the cupcake paper off something of a challenge.
In the future, I'm going to play with a version of this that involves a layered ganache-and-marshmallow filling, but for now, the simple "buried chips and marshmallows" technique works nicely.
makes 12-15 cupcakes
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 cup AP flour
1 cup crushed* graham crackers (about 8 whole - not squares/sticks - graham crackers)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
Marshmallow cream (homemade or store-bought) for frosting
1. Preheat oven to 350F; prepare a cupcake/muffin pan with paper or silicone liners.
2. Whisk together oil, eggs, sugar, and milk until smooth. Beat in flour and crushed graham crackers.
3. Fill cupcake liners no more than 2/3 full. Pop into the oven.
4. After 5 minutes, pull the pan out of the oven. Drop 3-5 mini marshmallows onto the top of each cupcake and push them down slightly into the batter. Then drop 3-5 chocolate chips on top of the marshmallows and push THOSE down, using either your fingers (if you have ninja hands of asbestos) or the back of a spoon. Make sure the chocolate goes on top of the marshmallows - it'll help keep the marshmallows from floating back up to the surface of the cupcakes.
5. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 15-20min, or until a tester comes out clean.
6. Cool and frost with marshmallow cream. Top with chocolate chips and any leftover graham crumbs you might have.
*Ninja's Note: You can blitz the graham crackers in a food processor to crush them, but I find it's much more satisfying to put them in a plastic bag and whack the bejeezus out of them with a rolling pin. You tend to get a more even crumb that way, too, although some larger pieces in the batter make the texture interesting and really drive home the "s'mores" point.