Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pumpkin S'mores Cupcakes

I realize that Minnesota didn't get much of a summer. It was cool and rainy for the first half of the summer and only the last two weeks of August had heat (and it was plenty, especially since I'm now living in a dorm.) I also know that summer is Minnesota's chance to really enjoy the weather. I'm aware that it's not fall yet (we still have two more days until it's official), but I am ready for fall... These cupcakes just made me a little more excited.

I've only recently discovered the amazingness of all things pumpkin. As a picky eater, pumpkin had always scared me- especially pumpkin pie because let's be honest... That just doesn't look natural. In the past few years I've been a little more brave in my cuisine ventures (which really isn't saying much. I sorta started eating vegetables. I'm awful, I know). But now that I've been introduced to pumpkin, I don't think my love for it will ever end... Especially if chocolate and marshmallow can be involved. 

I found this recipe on my favorite food blogger's website. If you haven't checked her out yet, you really should. Everything she makes is just kinda amazing. Plus this idea of pumpkin and s'mores is just too amazing. 
 These cupcakes made me excited for the prospect of fall. It's my favorite season, and the Minnesotans who still want it to be summer can suck it. I mean. I don't know. Fall is all about nostalgia for me. I used to spend a lot of time on my grandparent's farm when I was younger. My grandma did quite a bit of baking whenever we visited and my grandpa sometimes let us have a fire and grandma would let us make s'mores. It's just all about nostalgia and I'm apparently in a very rambly mood today.

Just look at them. They're even filled with chocolate. Don't even tell me that you don't start drooling at the sight of them. 

Cupcakes (I doubled the recipe from the original website so these will yield 24 cupcakes)-

What you'll need:
  • 2 2/3 cups lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup milk
Fudge ganache frosting:
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
Marshmallow frosting:
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the cupcakes:
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 12 piece muffin tins with liners. 
- Mix eggs and sugar together in a bowl until smooth. Add in vanilla, butter, then the pumpkin puree. Add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, then pumpkin pie spice. Mix in milk until smooth. Fill liners and bake for 16-18 minutes. 
-Allow cupcakes to cool then core the cupcakes or make a dent in the center of the cupcakes.

To make the ganache:
-Melt cream and chocolate over a double boiler and mix until smooth. Allow to cool slightly then fill the middle of the cupcakes with the ganache. 

To make the frosting:
- Combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a heat proof bowl and place over a double boiler. Mix constantly for 3-4 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and the eggs whites are slightly warm. 
-Remove from heat, add vanilla, then beat mixture for 6-7 minutes until the frosting stiffens and is glossy.
-Top cupcakes with frosting and feel free to torch them if you'd like.