Monday, March 22, 2010

Chocolate Soufflé Cupcakes with Mint Cream

This recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen. These cupcakes are not your ordinary cupcakes...they are flour-less. I had never made a soufflé prior to making these, and I had a lot of fun, even though the process was a little more work than simple cake recipes. And the results? Wow! So delicious!! I recommend this recipe to everyone. I doubled the cupcake recipe and got 24. Smitten Kitchen got 9 cupcakes out of a single recipe. I also did 2 1/2 times the original recipe for the whipped topping. I omitted the coffee powder.

6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used semisweet)
6 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 large eggs, separated
6 Tbs. sugar, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

White Chocolate Mint Cream:
2 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
3 oz. heavy whipping cream
1/8 tsp. peppermint extract

1. Place the white chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Pour the cream over the white chocolate and let it sit for a minute until chocolate is melted. Whisk well. Add the peppermint extract and whisk again. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the cream. Chill until very cold, about two hours.
2. Line 12 standard-size muffin cups with paper liners. Stir chocolate and butter together in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until mostly melted. Remove from heat and whisk until it is fully melted and smooth. (Smitten Kitchen suggests putting the butter underneath the chocolate in the pan so that it protects the chocolate from the direct heat.) Cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally.
3. Using an electric mixer (a hand mixer, rather than a stand mixer, actually works best here because the volumes are so small), beat egg yolks and 3 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl until mixture is very thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Briefly beat in lukewarm chocolate mixture, then vanilla extract into yolk mixture.
4. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and all of the salt, beating until medium-firm peaks form. (I think I may have over beaten the egg whites a little bit.) Fold whites into chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Divide batter among prepared cups, filling each three-fourths of the way.
5. Bake cupcakes in oven preheated to 350 degrees until tops are puffed and dry to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with some moist crumbs attached, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in pan on a cooling rack. When the cupcakes come out of the oven, they will almost immediately start to fall. It will be all the better to put your mint cream on them.
6. Once the cream has chilled at least 2 hours, beat it with electric beaters until soft peaks form. Remove cupcakes from pan and arrange on a platter. Fill each sunken top with a healthy dollop of white chocolate mint cream. Top with shaved dark chocolate if you would like. Enjoy!!