Hi-Hat Cupcakes

I don’t know if I even have words for this one.  I think this is hands-down my favorite cupcake I’ve ever made.  It’s beyond amazing.  For me, it’s the perfect combination of moist chocolate cake and fluffy, gooey marshmallow frosting.  They are definitely best served cold, and I’m finding that they are practically irresistible when they come right out of the freezer.  My willpower around desserts is usually very, very high – especially considering the number of deserts that come out of my kitchen.  But these?  They don’t stand a chance.  In fact, I’m considering going to bed early tonight so I won’t be alone with them. 

But can you blame me?  I mean, LOOK AT THEM.  The marshmallow frosting stays soft and creamy and they chocolate topping hardens and gives it a little bit of a shell, not unlike a dipped ice cream cone.  I personally don’t find them overwhelmingly rich, either.  They’re definitely a sweet-treat, but the fluffy frosting is much lighter than buttercream. 

As far as the difficultly level goes?  I’m not going to lie, they aren’t the easiest thing I’ve ever whipped up.  But really, if you are patient and follow directions they aren’t too bad.  The basic components are pretty simple:  a chocolate cupcake, chocolate dipping ganache, and a variation of a 7-minute frosting.  And again, it’s not that the steps are difficult, but they do require some serious patience. 
The cupcakes need to be completely cool before you frost them.  And make sure you have plenty of room in your freezer, because they will need a good two-hours to harden and prepare for dipping.  I would recommend using a piping bag with a large, round pastry tip so you can get the pretty swirls.  And as far as dipping goes, you will need a wide-mouthed, narrow container so the chocolate is deep enough to submerge the whole mound of frosting in chocolate.  I used a tall plastic drinking cup and it worked perfectly. 

The frosting is very similar to a 7-minute frosting, although it took about 20 minutes to complete.  If you follow the directions exactly, you should have no trouble.  If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below and I’ll help you through it!  I never did get mine up to the 160 degree mark and it still turned out fine.  Also, keep in mind that these are intended to be served cold, but we’ve had them both ways and they’re fine at room temperature, too – just a little messier. 

Please do yourself a favor and make these soon.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Hi-Hat Cupcakes

Yield:  12 cupcakes
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup water
1 and 3/4 cups sugar
3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Dipping Chocolate:
2 cups chopped (about 12 ounces) semisweet chocolate *I would increase this by 50% for easier dipping, but you will have leftover chocolate
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
Prepare the cupcakes:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center.  Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl, and set it over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water; stir chocolate until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from heat, and set aside to cool slightly. (I melted my chocolate in the microwave for about 45 seconds instead.)
Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed, scraping sides of bowl as needed, until light and fluffy. On low speed, mix in melted
chocolate. Increase speed to medium, and add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla, and beat until mixture is creamy and color has lightened slightly, about 1 minute. Mix in sour cream. On low speed, add half of reserved flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Mix in 1/2 cup water. Add remaining flour mixture, and mix until just incorporated.
Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Fill each liner with enough batter to come 1/8 inch from top, about 1/3 cup. (I filled mine slightly less than that, about 2/3 full.) Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool in pan for 10 minutes.
Use a small knife to loosen any tops stuck to the pan. Carefully invert cupcakes onto the wire rack. Turn cupcakes right side up, and let cool completely.
Prepare the frosting: In a large heatproof bowl, combine 1/4 cup water and egg whites and beat until foamy.  Add sugar and cream of tartar. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat on high speed until foamy again, about 1 minute. Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Beat on high speed until frosting forms stiff peaks, about 12 minutes; frosting should register 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. (Mine never reached 160 degrees.  Just beat until the sugar is no longer gritty and the mixture feels warm to the touch.) Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and almond extracts, and beat for 2 minutes more or until frosting thickens. (A tip from another site recommended putting frosting into a stand mixer at this point and whisking until the proper consistency is reached.  I found this to be helpful and a great rest for my arm.  It took about 7 minutes to reach the stiff peaks consistency I was going for.)
Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain pastry tip. Leaving a 1/8-inch border on each cupcake, pipe a spiral of frosting into a 2-inch-high cone shape, using about 1/2 cup of frosting per cupcake. Transfer cupcakes to a baking sheet, and freeze for approximately 2 hours before preparing the chocolate coating.
Prepare the chocolate coating: Combine chocolate and oil in a medium heat-proof bowl set over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water (or microwave in increments of 30 seconds); stir/whisk until melted and smooth. Transfer to a deep container (as tall as your cupcakes/frosting at least), and let cool about 15 minutes.
Holding each cupcake by its bottom, dip cupcake in the chocolate to coat frosting, allowing excess to drip off. Transfer to a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack. Spoon more coating around edge of cupcake and any exposed frosting; none of the frosting should show.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes to let coating set. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours more. Serve cold. Cupcakes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

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  • http://mnlewis.blogspot.com Melissa L

    These look amazing, hoping to try and make them this weekend!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09307606271629505833 Kitten

    I would love to try making these some time – they look fantastic and hi-hats are something I’ve always wanted to try making!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17500913684395209404 Cat M.

    These look sooo good, I am afraid mine would not turn out nearly as pretty but someday I will have to try! Love your pictures also!

  • http://www.thewhimsicalcupcake.wordpress.com Jeannette

    these are the COOLEST cuppies ever. i’ve seen these all over the blogosphere and have been too chicken to make them. they look so superb!!

  • Mikki

    These are sooo cool! I’m going to try this for sure!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14527696096497742251 Susie

    These look amazing!! adding to my list to try…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18377154919529056919 Tree

    I have always wanted to attempt hi-hats! I might just have to do this. YUMMO.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00295635918782494860 Lauren

    awesome hi-hats! it seems that you like peanut butter as well, can I direct you to these delicious peanut butter hi-hats? http://fredellicious.blogspot.com/2011/05/mini-chocolate-peanut-butter-hi-hats.html I’d love it if you checked them out

  • Megan A

    These look AMAZING! I want one right now!

  • http://www.facebook.com/LauraLJCunningham LauraC

    MUST make these SOON!!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03868492862192800277 pamela

    Wow these look so fun and yummy. I can just see my little grandson;s eyes if I set one of these in front of him.Frosting is his favorite part. cant wait to try them.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03868492862192800277 pamela

    commented. shared, pinned, recommend.

  • http://www.aislinndesigns.com aislinn

    OMG-oodness! these look so delish! Can’t wait to try these!

  • Angelique

    These are ADORABLE!! Cute for a Harry Potter themed party,they look like wizzard hats. I think I just might do that for my sons birthday

  • jackie

    Well, I know what I’ll be dreaming about tonight…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00199846860173244287 Rachel

    These were DELISH at Melissa and Beth’s open house!! :)

  • http://bethmichelle.com Beth Michelle

    These look amazing. You did such an awesome job. I have always wanted to try to make these but I just envision a total disaster with frosting and chocolate flung everywhere from frustration and some crying.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09980175254839520775 Anatomy of A Dinner Party

    I am so excited to try these! They are gorgeous!

  • http://www.tabbydollhouses.com/Kids_Dollhouse.php Dolls Kids

    I just love the frosting on those wonderful cupcakes! Thank you for the recipe! I think I could put it to good use in the nearly future!

  • http://www.tabbyplush.com/store/Plush_Lamb_Stuffed_Animal.php Tabby Lamb

    You just made my mouth crave for chocolate! Thanks to you my daughters, who are sweet tooth’s, are getting excited about this recipe. Thanks!

  • http://www.thefatlossauthority.com/fat_loss_tips/ Chloe

    These look heavenly! I want to make them right now! I will be making these soon and I know my family will love them too – maybe a little too much? lol

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  • Ammi Hall

    This is my favorite lemon sugar recipe. Easy enough but people love it everytime.

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  • Pamela Lloyd

    I love these cupcakes! next on my list to take as surprise to friends! you make it hard to choose! love your sight!

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  • xox_bobute_xox

    how do i get the frosting to peak more? and the gar melt completely?!

  • Mickey

    After the last step…refrigerate for 3 hours….does the icing get like a magic shell coating and stay that way or does it soften??

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  • Stacy Adams

    So far so good, I just put them in the freezer! I ended up with 16 full size and 24 mini’s ( I think the minis are going to be super cute!) Your recipe/directions are so simple, and even those these will “WOW” people, they have been pretty easy! The cupcake it’s self was really fantastic! Cant wait to get them all finished up! They are my “HOLY CRAP!!” Dessert for Vday this year :) Thank you!!

  • sally

    Hi there
    Just wanted to say what a well written recipe this is! My boyfriend asked for cupcakes instead of a cake for his birthday, so I wanted to make something with ‘Wow!’ factor – these certainly delivered! I was a bit nervous as I’m not the most amazing cook, but the tips you included along the way were really helpful! I didn’t have cream of tartar for the frosting, so I substituted half a teaspoon of lemon juice and it was fine.
    Will definitely be making more of your recipes!
    Thanks and keep up the excellent work!

  • Chelle

    I seem to be the only one with trouble… my frosting never stiffens. I’ve done this three times! It gets quite expensive. .. I bought gelatin to throw in to help myself but I could use some tips. It took 15 minutes to get rid of the grit.

    • lemonsugar

      Hi Chelle – you can try using bakers sugar (superfine) – that will reduce the amount of time needed to dissolve the sugar. I’ve made these before and only had to beat for 9 minutes, and sometimes it takes 15-20 – I think it depends on humidity, sugar, etc. Good luck!!