Cupcakes have become quite the trendy treat, complete with a trendy price tag upwards of $3 each. With some help from a boxed mix (plus a secret addition) and a few simple ingredients for the icing and decoration, you can make glossy, gorgeous cupcakes at home. The icing is a simple ganache–it sounds fancy, but if you can boil water, you can make ganache.
Chocolate Spider Web Cupcakes
1 boxed chocolate cake mix
1 T. instant coffee powder
1 c. milk chocolate morsels
2 T. butter
½ c. heavy cream
1 egg white
3 c. confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; line 24 muffin tins with paper liners. Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box, adding the coffee powder to the dry mix. Allow the baked cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
Place the morsels and the butter in a small mixing bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it’s just boiling. Pour over the morsels and whisk until well blended. Frost the cooled cupcakes by dipping and swirling just the tops of the cupcakes in the ganache. Place on baking sheet.
To make the spider web design, make royal icing: whisk together the egg white and the confectioners’ sugar in a small mixing bowl. If needed, add water, 1 t. at a time, to achieve a smooth, workable semi-thick icing. Transfer about half of the royal icing to a quart-sized zipper top plastic bag. Snip a 1/8 inch corner from the bag and pipe a spiral of icing onto the cupcakes. Using a toothpick, lightly drag the icing from the center to the edge to achieve a web effect. These keep best covered in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before serving. Yield: 24
Notes and hints:
- For perfectly sized cupcakes, fill the muffin tins ½ full.
- Royal icing can set up quickly, so work in small batches, spiraling and dragging 2 or 3 cupcakes at a time.
- Change or wipe off the toothpick often for a clean design.
- To make your own dessert stand (see below), place a small drinking glass on a dinner plate, then place small dessert-sized plate on the glass. Voila! A two-tiered cupcake display!
The best part is, the cost of 24 of these cupcakes is about the same as 1 or 2 cupcakes from a specialty bakery. These are sure to please every witch, ghoul and goblin in your life!