Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Halloween creepy cobweb cupcakes
I'm so very behind on my blogging, I have a number of cookbook reviews on hold as well as some fabulous desserts but I can't resist posting a photo of these creepy cobweb cupcakes because they are timely and I am a journo and I am nothing if not timely.
After all, I have a pumpkin on my doorstep, an Elmo costume in my son's closet and a gigantic bag of teeth-rotting chocolate-coated candy in my basement. Yup, Halloween is just around the corner and you probably have a costume party or two to attend. Rather than the ubiquitous caramel apples, take these as host gifts instead and you'll seem thoughtful and gifted all at once.
I made these cupcakes using a simple vanilla recipe, but really you can use any cupcake base. The book that I got this idea from suggested using a pumpkin muffin as a base but some children may balk at that flavour, don't you agree? A white cake base is easier to work with, but it's your call.
So, how do you create these cobwebs? Star by melting some white chocolate. I should really post a specific gram amount, but I eyeballed it. Just don't start out with a lot, and melt more as you go.
You could do the double boiler method, and slowly melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a simmering pot of hot water, or you could just do what I did - melt it in a bowl in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds at a time, stirring every time you pull it out until it's just melted.
Take a teaspoon and put a dollop on top of the cupcake and spread it using a rubber spatula. Then melt some dark chocolate, or use leftover ganache icing like I did, and put some in a piping bag with a very thin piping tip.
You will need to pipe a dot in the middle of the cupcake, surrounded by three concentric circles. Then, taking a toothpick, draw about eight lines starting from the middle dot to the edge of the largest circle. Voila, creepy cobweb cupcakes.
Substitutions: You could use milk chocolate if you wanted, but the darker the chocolate, the better the contrast.
Would I make these again? Surely. Sometimes whipping up mountains of buttercream and sprinkling them with rainbow confetti can get tiresome, and predictable, and I want my decorating to be fast, easy, seamless.
Grade: Four stars out of five. Charming, cute, yes and yes. Chic? No. And if you don't have the proper piping tip, you are fresh out of luck.