But! I made some cupcakes with #2 last night (because it taught her how to make a ganache, how to temper eggs AND make a custard. YAY BAKING!) and holy moley, guys. DELISH. SEE??!?!??!?
Boston Cream Cupcakes recipe from America's Test Kitchen, minor tweaks by me
This makes one dozen (plus one loner cupcake to be devoured. I say break it into the left over amount of custard and eat, but that's just me and I'm a crazy person.) It seems complex, but I made these with a 15 year old, so. Not really.
FIRST MAKE: The custard. It needs to chill for about 2 hours.
1⅓ cups heavy cream
3 large egg yolks
⅓ cup (2⅓ ounces) sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract, seriously: use your best
In a small bowl, put yolks, pinch of salt and sugar, whisk together. Add in cornstarch and whisk for about 30 seconds, should be light yellow. Bring cream to a slow simmer in a heavy bottom pot, temper the eggs (add a splash of hot cream to the eggs while whisking briskly, slooooooowly drizzle in the rest of the hot cream while whisking briskly, add back to the pot when all mixed together. Yay, no scrambled eggs!)
STIR in pan for about 1 - 2 minutes, until it thickens and is all glossy. (Stir, don't whisk, so you don't break up the custard. That's how my Grandma taught me, and it's never failed me. *shrug*) Remove from heat, stir in butter pieces and vanilla, transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic so the plastic touches the surface (that keeps a skin from forming. Or maybe you're into that? I don't want to judge.) CHILL FOR 2 HOURS.
THE CUPCAKES (about 30 min. start to pulling out of oven. 20 minute chill time, roughly)
1¾ cups (8¾ ounces) all-purpose flour
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder (make sure you have GOOD, FRESH powder. Expired powder ends in spread/flat tops)
¾ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened (ME: CUT INTO SMALLER PIECES. trust me.)
3 large eggs, room temperature
¾ cup whole milk, room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract (why would you even use shitty vanilla?)
Oven: 350F, rack in the middle. Grease and flour a 12-cup muffin tin. BAKER'S JOY. Because it is joyful when nothing sticks.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat the butter into the flour mixture, one piece at a time, about 30 seconds. (ME: this makes the butter spread evenly throughout the base, so you have the most moist, delectable cupcakes ever. It takes a lot longer than 3 minutes if you don't have the teeniest bits of butter, though. Or do this in a food processor THEN switch? That's a lot of washing up, you know...) Continue to beat the mixture until it resembles moist crumbs, 1 to 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined, about 30 seconds. Beat in the milk and vanilla, then increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the batter until smooth, light, and fluffy, 1 to 3 minutes. (ME: when it's making pretty ribbons off the beaters, you're there.)
Grease a 1/3 C measuring cup (yay, PAM!) and portion the batter into each muffin cup - DO NOT USE PAPERS - so they're about three-quarters full. Do not overfill Save the batter to make a lonely cupcake, I promise you'll thank me when you don't have wonky-shaped cupcakes.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the tin halfway through baking. Let the cupcakes cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. BE PATIENT. It's hard, I know.
THE GLAZE/GANACHE/FOOD LUBE (5 minutes, start to finish)
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (ME: do not make the mistake of using UNSWEETENED. You will have to add in 3/4 C of corn syrup if you do.)
⅔ cup heavy cream
¼ cup light corn syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (do I even need to say it?)
Chop up them chocolates, remind your children how disgusting baking chocolate is so they'll quit bugging you for a bite, and dump in a microwave-safe bowl. Add remaining ingredients, microwave for up to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so. (This took me 1.5 minutes.) you want it to be glossy, not grainy, and pourable. Keep going if it hasn't gotten there yet (and stir stir stir!)
Set aside and get working on assembly.
CUPCAKES: ASSEMBLE! (You better hear that in Ron Burgundy's voice.)
1. Take a cupcake!
2. Use a paring knife/something sharp/not your teeth and cut out a cone, making sure you don't go all the way to the bottom of the cupcake.
3. Cut the top off the cone - that's your "topper."
4. Tell the dog no, she can't have the remaining bit.
5. Eat that bit.
6. Cut out a little more, making the sides smooth because who doesn't want more cream filling?
7. Make a pile of cut out bits.
8. Tell the dog again that no, she can't have it.
9. Spoon in some of the chilled custard, making sure to pack it in. (I mean...come on. CREAM FILLING.)
10. Put the little cupcake hat back on.
12. Give up somewhere around #5 and give the bites to your dog. Hey, you only live once, right?
13. Drizzle the glaze (read: GLOP ON) over the top of the cupcake to cover your little hat/cap and let it drip over the side. I had plenty of ganache left over (which means more baking, YAY!) so be generous.
Set them all in the fridge for about 5 - 10 min. to let the glaze set. AHAHAHAHAHA whatever, eat them sumbitches! SO SO SO GOOD. Tear them in half and eat from the bottom up, we decided. <3
This has been drunk baking with Stoney. :D (I'm not actually drunk.)