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Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting



Longest name ever, I know. But you know what they say about cupcakes with long names right?

They've got long flavorgasms. Oww owww. Totally just made that up, and I'm copyrighting it right now because it's genius and everyone is gonna want to use it. ©2013 Meriem. There. Now let's get on with the longer than usual post I have for you today.
  

Why is today's post going to be long, Merm? Well, for one, because I couldn't make up my mind about which pictures to use since these cupcakes were so prettiful and every shot I took was better than the last....so I decided to use them all. And for two, because these cupcakes have an interesting story behind them that I have waited to share with you all and now I can. So, let's begin.


I first made these cupcakes in November of last year. I was visiting my friend at the hospital who had just given birth and thought it would be great to bring these along with me. I baked them in cute baby themed cupcake liners, frosted them, torched them and everything was all good. But I didn't take pictures of them before I left. I figured, with extra cupcakes and frosting left over, I could just assemble some when I got back home and take pictures then. Negative.


I came home a couple of hours later and tried to pipe the frosting on the extra cupcakes and it just would NOT hold. Because, like some of you may know, marshmallow frosting is not made to use later. It's very time sensitive and you need to use it immediately or it will deflate. But I did not know that. So, I actually put it in the fridge, thinking it would harden, and it got worse.

And then I told myself okay, I'll just make another batch tomorrow and things will be fine. Negative again. My new batch of marshmallow frosting refused to inflate from the start. I whipped and whipped and whipped, and nothing. I even added more cream of tartar and still nothing. 


Do you know how frustrating it is to get something right the first time around and then completely fail at it the second time? I flipped out, big time. I slammed things. I yelled. I cried. And I didn't want to bake anything, ever again. 

Obviously, I got through that mood. I didn't want to try again though. Plus, the extra cupcakes were done anyway so it didn't matter. 

But then months later, I made homemade oatmeal creme pies. And the recipe for the cream filling turned out to be exactly like the one I used for these cupcakes. It was nerve-wracking to go at it once more, but I did, and this time, I succeeded. The frosting even turned out better than the first time I made it!


With my newfound confidence in marshmallow-frosting-making, I couldn't wait to share these cupcakes with you guys. And luckily for me, it wasn't long before an occasion came up. Of course, cupcakes as delicious as these don't technically need an occasion to be made, but I am trying this new thing called "cutting back on sweets", and I'm fairly certain two dozen s'mores cupcakes in my house wouldn't have really helped with that.


So, what makes these cupcakes so delicious? Well, I'm glad you asked. These are not your ordinary cupcakes. These cupcakes have layers upon layers of decadence. They start off with a graham cracker crust as a base, topped with a layer of chopped chocolate, followed by rich chocolate cake batter, sprinkled with more graham cracker crumbs, another layer of chopped chocolate, and finally, a sky high swirl of marshmallow frosting toasted to golden perfection. 

Between the crunchy graham cracker crust, the moist chocolate cake, and the sweet, fluffy frosting, your taste buds will be on a roller coaster ride with every bite. 

Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting

Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes
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Ingredients:

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 cup canola oil
pinch of vanilla powder (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
1 cup boiling water

9 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

For the graham cracker crust:
1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted


For the marshmallow frosting:
8 large egg whites
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch of vanilla powder (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cupcake tins with baking cups (preferably foil).

Sift sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, together into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed just to combine.

In a large measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of bowl, then beat on medium speed for an additional 2 minutes. Add boiling water, and stir on low speed until combined (Batter will be runny).

In a small bowl, using a fork, mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until well combined. 

Place 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture into each baking cup. Use the bottom of a shot glass to press the crumbs into an even layer on the bottom of each baking cup, forming a crust. (You will have some graham cracker mixture left over, save that for later).

Sprinkle two teaspoons of chopped chocolate over the graham cracker crusts in each of the baking cups. Bake crusts for about 5 minutes, until edges are slightly golden. Then, remove from the oven and fill each cup about 3/4 full with cupcake batter.

Sprinkle each cupcake with some of the remaining chopped chocolate and graham cracker mixture. Return to the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in tins for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the marshmallow frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch. Attach the bowl to the stand mixer and starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high, beat for 5-7 minutes until mixture holds stiff, glossy peaks. Mix in vanilla. 

Spoon frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large decorating tip. Pipe frosting in a swirling motion on each cupcake. Using a torch, lightly toast the frosting, being careful not to burn the cupcake liners. If you don't have a torch, you could use a handheld gas lighter, or you can even broil the cupcakes in the oven for a few minutes (but make sure to watch them closely!). 

Serve immediately or store in an airtight container, for up to 2 days.

Note: The recipe for the frosting makes A LOT; you could probably halve the recipe and still have enough to generously pipe all 24 cupcakes. Also, you may get a few extra cupcakes out of the batter.

Adapted from Tracey's Culinary Adventures

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