Chocolate Cupcakes with Candied Walnut Cream Cheese
Source: Kara Lind, Kara's Cupcakes
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA's Market to Table program on November 19, 2011.
8 ounces butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour
1 cup buttermilk
6 ounces chocolate, melted in a bowl set over a saucepan filled with water on medium-heat
Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below)
Candied Walnuts (see recipe below)
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line standard muffin tin with paper liners.
2. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one, then beat in the salt, baking soda, and vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour in batches, alternating with the buttermilk, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed until everything is completely incorporated. Finally, mix in the chocolate.
3. Pour batter into the paper-lined muffin tin, filling each cup ¾ full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean.
4. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before forsting.
5. To assemble, spread the cream cheese frosting over each cupcake and roll the cupcake tops in the candied walnut mixture to coat.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces unsalted butter
8 ounces cream cheese
1 pound powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Refrigerate until ready to use.
1 cup sugar
½ cup walnuts, toasted
1. Heat the sugar on moderately high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2- or 3-quart saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want, from this point on. Let the sugar caramelize in the pan until it takes on a deep amber color.
2. Add the walnuts to the sugar, stir to coat, and then pour out into a single layer on a silpat or parchment paper. Let cool completely, then crush in a food processor. Set aside until ready to use.