Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dirt cupcakes

Fact: I make colorful messes.

This is what my table looks like after I am done with a very busy night.
I think my messes look pretty. I'd love to paint a canvas like this.

Beautiful disasters are what inspired my version of DIRT cake cupcakes.
I've never been one to play by the rules, call me a rebel..but honestly I believe that a mess or a mistake can turn into a masterpiece, if you let your imagination run wild.
My beautiful disaster starts with a chocolate cupcake.  I  swirl around the outside of the cupcake with chocolate frosting (using a 1M open star decorating tip) and leave a little empty hole in the center of the frosting swirl. I pour a chocolate ganache "mud" pool in the hole, and sprinkle the "dirt" on top: crushed Oreo cookies.  The bright side? Little "airhead candy" rainbows and glittery rainbow gummy worms on top.

I've also baked my dirt cupcakes inside of mini gardening pots by filling them 1/2 full and baking on a sheet pan in the oven. These can be as messy as you'd like.  Pour chocolate ganache on top and sprinkle with crushed Oreos.  These are totally fun to eat with a fork!

Recipe for your very own Bake-At-Home Beautiful Disaster (have fun!!):

Chocolate Cupcake "CANVAS":
(makes appx 24 cupcake canvases)
3 ¾ Cups flour
2 ½ Cups fine baking sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
2 ½ teaspoons salt
¾ cup cocoa
1 ¼ cup oil
2 ½ cups hot water
2 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla
2 ½ tablespoons vinegar

♥Preheat oven to 325.
♥Line cupcake pan with cupcake wrappers.
♥Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa together in bowl & set aside.
♥In stand mixer, cream oil, sugar, and vanilla together.
♥Measure hot water in liquid measuring cup, set aside.
♥Add vinegar to oil, sugar, vanilla blend in stand mixer.
♥Gradually alternate the addition of dry & liquid ingredients to the mixture in stand mixer.
♥Scrape bowl down and make sure all ingredients are evenly distributed.
♥Fill cupcake wrappers 3/4 full and bake at 325 for appx 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Chocolate Ganache "MUD":
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

♥In a saucepan on the stove, bring heavy whipping cream to an almost boil. As soon as it starts to boil, remove from heat and add 1 cup chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate chips are completely melted and you see a shiny glaze.

Chocolate Buttercream Fancy Swirl:
1 Cup butter (room temperature)
¾ Cup Cocoa
¼ teaspoon Salt
1/3 Cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 Cups powdered sugar

♥Cream butter, heavy cream, and vanilla in a stand mixer.
♥Gradually add cocoa and a dab of salt, scrape bowl down.
♥Add powdered sugar little by little until frosting forms peaks, strong enough to pipe frosting swirls on your cupcake canvas.

Oreo "DIRT" crumbles:
1 box of Oreo Cookies
Large plastic ziploc bag

♥Empty Oreo cookies into ziploc bag
♥Close ziploc bag
♥Using a large rolling pin, roll over the top of cookies until they are crumbled.  I like crumbling them until they are chunky and not finely ground. It adds texture.  If you want the oreos to be finely ground like dirt or sand, you can use a food processor for this technique.

Bonus cupcake idea:
Using the same ingredients, decorate with random candies and snacks that are in your cupboard to turn a mess into a beautiful cupcake creation!  Frost the top of your cupcake with chocolate buttercream, dip it in chocolate ganache, and sprinkle with leftover candies & snacks from your cupboard. I've made these on Halloween and called them Trick or Treat cupcakes, but they are yummy any time of the year ♥♥♥

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