Monday, September 27, 2010

S'more cupcakes - Part I Icing

This recipe turned into a serious project! Three attempts later, I finally have an amazing cupcake! First of all, I found several different versions of both cupcakes and icings. So I tried several and came up with a tweaked version for my own.

Let's start from the top - the icing (or frosting - what's the difference anyway??) I wanted to have a serious marshmallow flavor. I first tried a recipe that required a double boiler and actual marshmallows cut into bits. Since it included marshmallows, I thought it would be the best. And, I have an original Chocolate Factory double pan! Yes, "As seen on TV"! The recipe had several good reviews and sounded like exactly what I wanted. Maybe I did something wrong, I don't know but my icing turned out pretty runny. I think it would have worked great for a cake, but cupcakes need an icing that can stand on it's own. Here's a glimpse of the first draft cupcake:

Doesn't look too bad, but not the fluffy frosting look I wanted. And the taste was just okay.

Next I tried to make my own fluff and use that in a recipe. Making marshmallow fluff proved to be super easy (and tasty!!) so I would recommend it to anyone. There's several websites with recipes and they are all about the same - egg whites (or meringue powder), corn syrup and powdered sugar. The fluff was perfect, but when I tried adding extra sugar to make it more stiff, I ended up with an icing that looked like it would be perfect, but actually slowly lost all shape. Within an hour, the cupcakes were completely coated with marshmallow. I mean completely - even the paper!! So here's the second (failed) attempt at MM icing:


So after searching around and looking at different recipes, I found the one that worked for me. Of all places, it was on Rachael Ray's website. I am definitely NOT a fan of hers. I can't say why for sure, she just seems really annoying to me. But anyway, apparently she (or her staff) knows something about icing!

Simply put, this recipe is a buttercream with reduced sugar and added fluff. I changed it a bit to be a smaller batch and added a bit more marshmallow. I think adding marshmallow flavoring wouldn't hurt since marshmallow generally just tastes like sugar on it's own. Plus, it would probably be better s'more flavoring if I toasted it. I've read some people will put the frosted cupcakes into the broiler and brown the tips but I don't trust my broiler to work right. Sounds like an excuse to buy a new kitchen gadget! Anyway, here's the recipe as I did it and I liked the flavor without the aforementioned improvements:

Marshmallow Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) butter @ room temp
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1.5 cups marshmallow fluff (I made mine but you can use store bought)

beat butter until creamy
add sugar slowly, beating until creamy
add vanilla then slowly add fluff

And here's the final product:

Exactly what I was looking for! Like I said, toasting would have definitely made a great cupcake even better, but it was given the thumbs up by everyone who tried them!

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