So as it turns out, the incipient, who at this point I may need to refer to as bacon girl the elder, has informed me that I will be making all the cupcakes for her bat mitzvah party. Yes, I see the problem with bacon and bat mitzvah in the same sentence. These are the weaknesses and failures of parental character that I share with all of you each week. We don’t judge here. Except about the garlic press.
So anyway you should expect to see some cupcake recipe testing here and there for the next few months, except where is everyone? There just are not enough cupcake options that do not involve carrots on the site. Step it up people, Jenny has to make cupcakes for 70 unruly teenagers in inappropriate evening wear. She doesn’t have all year!
Up first: Chocolate Souffle Cupcakes with Mint Cream was a pick by bacon girl the original. She loves the mix of mint and chocolate, and I was deeply intrigued by the idea of a flourless cupcake, which I confess I had never seen before; so we’ve got the gluten free-ers covered here. This is multiple step but all of them are fast, so I do consider this a weeknight treat, one you can start before work.
You’re starting of course with very good chocolate, because it is the Ginger of this show, matched by some nice fatty butter, the Maryann of all cakes.
Long before you need these cupcakes, melt your white chocolate down as instructed (I pause to absorb the scorn some of you feel for white chocolate, which of course contains no cocoa solids, but it is not the central flavor here and it’s kind of fun so hang in here with me) and drop your mint in. In my case, that is peppermint oil and remember a little of that goes a loooong way.
Fridge as instructed and go to work or watch a movie or go for a run. Or do what you want. Why am I bossing you? The point is, you can’t frost for a few hours.
Move on to the chocolate stage, which is another melting process, while you whip up your egg yolk mixture and remove to a bowl, so you can whip the whites. (Unless you are using a hand mixer, which means you simply move to yet the next bowl.) Fold your whites in – don’t you love that part – and then fill your muffin tins, taking care not to overfill them.
Ours did collapse. No problem, because you are next whipping up your frosting and applying as instructed. Bacon girl (the original) and I decided these taste like giant Junior Mints. They are a serious crowd pleaser, rich and complex, a total adult treat. Take the leftovers to work, and watch as people start doing you favors.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 teaspoon espresso or instant coffee powder
3 eggs, separated
6 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
3 ounces heavy whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract (or more to taste)
See the full recipe on Smitten Kitchen.
By day, Jennifer Steinhauer, aka Jenny, covers Congress for The New York Times. By night, she is an obsessive cook.
Photo by Jennifer Causey