Monday, 20 January 2014

Hot Chocolate and Cupcakes

Hey guys! You might remember (or not) my Banana-Pomegranate Smoothie for summer. Here goes a hot cocoa recipe for winter!
This stuff is like Starbucks, but even better. Try it out! This is altered from a website I found on the Net.
Ya know, to me, there's nothing better than curling up next to a fire with a big, steaming mug of hot cocoa, hot chocolate, coffee or cappucino. Meh, my coffee is simple Nescafé 3 in 1 creamy mix and cappucino is the just-add-boiling-water mixes, but I'm proud of my cocoa and chocolate.
Now, our cocoa overload.

HOT CHOCOLATE

Makes 3 big, full-oh mugs, enough for you and your friends or family.

Ingredients
4 1/2 cups skimmed milk
3 tbsp white chocolate curls OR 3 chocolate hearts ;)
4 tbsp dark chocolate curls
4 tbsp Dutch-processed good-quality cocoa powder
2 tbsp milk powder

*Note: this recipe has no added sugar as the milk powder adds sweetness and creaminess to the drink.

Method
Pour the milk in a large pot. Turn the heat to low and set to boil.
Meanwhile, add the chocolate curls, cocoa and milk powder. Divide among 3 large mugs and add the milk. Serve immediately before it cools and don't forget those marshmallows or whipped cream!

HOT CHOCOLATE-PEPPERMINT CUPCAKES

Image from FieldsOfCake (my cousin ate the ones I made)
Ingredients
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp espresso powder
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 cup hot chocolate (above recipe)
Hershey’s Peppermint Kiss candies

Method
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.  Line cupcake pan with liners.
Place one unwrapped peppermint Kiss in the bottom, center of each liner.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and espresso powder.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and oil until combined.
Add the eggs and whisk until smooth.
Pour in the buttermilk or sour milk along with the peppermint extract and whisk until combined. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure everything is incorporated.
In three parts, whisk in the flour to the wet mixture.  Between each addition add half the hot chocolate.  Scrape the sides of the bowl and stir only until combined.
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with batter. Don't overfill!
Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in pans for 3 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Marshmallow Frosting-
Makes enough to frost 18 cupcakes

1 1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
7 oz of marshmallow fluff or a batch of homade unset marshmallows
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp peppermint extract
2 2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp of heavy cream (if needed)
1/8 tsp salt
mini marshmallows
mini chocolate chips
crushed peppermint candies or a mini candy cane

Method
Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and marshmallow fluff until smooth.
Mix in the vanilla and peppermint extract.
In three parts, add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.  Make sure to scrape the sides/bottom of the bowl frequently.
If necessary, add cream until you reach your desired consistency.
Add salt and mix on high for 1-2 minutes until color whitens and frosting is fluffy.
Frost and decorate as desired. Eat five when no one is looking!


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