There are a few "firsts" for me for this bake. It is my first time attempting to make this design of cupcakes so it was a challenge to think of the design that is manageable for me. After all, I had to assemble 40 of these in a sitting. It's the first time I decided to explore an alternative type of sponge cake recipe instead of the usual chiffon, because I am thoroughly impressed with the taste and texture of the cake. I have also deviated from what everyone else does to make the sole of the shoes. You can do a Google search and you will find that Graham crackers are recommended for the sole part. I decided to bake macaron shells instead. You may use the crackers if you don't wish to face the challenge of baking macarons.
The sponge cake recipe is adapted from a chocolate lava cake recipe. When the chocolate lava cake is "overbaked" or cooked through until the center is no longer runny, it becomes a very soft, moist and dense but melts in your mouth cake. The recipe I use is so full of flavour that chocolate lovers will be in heaven with a mouthful of the cake! I took the challenge of adapting this chocolate cake recipe to make a Matcha version which uses white chocolate instead of dark chocolate. I am so happy that I got the desired texture and taste as well :). Do give the recipe a try if you prefer rich, moist cakes that still melt in your mouth because I know not everyone likes soft fluffy chiffon cakes.
Note: adjust baking time if you are making bigger cupcakes. I made mini ones.
Dark Chocolate Cake recipe
Ingredients (makes about twenty-four 3cm cupcakes):
180g dark chocolate couverture (or good quality dark chocolate, chopped)
150g unsalted butter
90g dark brown sugar (may replace with caster sugar but brown sugar adds more flavour)
3 large eggs
54g cake flour
6g Dutch processed cocoa powder (regular cocoa powder will do too)
1 tbs Kahlua coffee liqueur (optional but adds that extra oomph)
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1. Sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Preheat oven to 170℃ and set the rack to middle position.
2. Place chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Melt on medium power for a minute. Stir until smooth. Return to heat again for another 20 seconds if not fully melted and stir. Repeat as necessary until no lumps of chocolate is seen. Add coffee liqueur and mix well. Set aside.
3. Beat eggs and sugar on medium high speed for about 10 minutes using an electric mixer until ribbon stage. The mixture should have increased in volume by about 3 times.
Beaten eggs with brown sugar
4. Drizzle about 2 tbs of melted chocolate mixture over the beaten eggs and gently fold in with a spatula, taking care not to deflate the eggs if possible. Even if you do, the cake will still be delicious but more dense. Continue adding the melted chocolate and folding in until all is used up.
5. Gradually add in sifted flour mixture and fold in gently.
6. Spoon the batter into cupcake cases until about 80% full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Even if it is underbaked, it will still be delicious and it will be your lava chocolate cake. Do note that I use a lower oven temperature than traditional lava cakes as I want the outside and insides to bake more evenly. Cool completely before decorating. Typical chocolate lava cake baking temperature is about 190-200℃.
Here's a peek at the insides of the sinfully rich chocolate cake! It looks dense but the texture is soft and melts in your mouth because of the low flour : liquid ratio. Using whole beaten eggs helps to make the cake softer.
Recipe for Matcha white chocolate cake
Ingredients (makes about sixteen 3cm cupcakes):
120g white chocolate couverture (or your favourite white chocolate for eating, chopped)
100g unsalted butter
20g caster sugar
2 large eggs
34g cake flour
10g Matcha powder (use bakeable one if you prefer the cake to retain it's green colour)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
Same as above except that you melt the white chocolate and butter differently. Use shorter bursts of 10-20 seconds of heating at medium power and stirring frequently to prevent the white chocolate from overheating. If your mixture turns hard and remains separated, you have overheated it.
I used much less sugar for the Matcha version as white chocolate is sweet by nature.
Here's a peek at the insides! Looks really moist! Exact same texture as the dark chocolate version but Matcha lovers will love this!
I baked some shells for the sole of the high heels using reduced sugar macaron recipe. Both regular and reduced sugar recipes can be found here. You may refer to my Creative Baking: Macarons book for a systematic presentation of the basics and complex shaped macarons. You may refer to my video tutorials for macaron basics and piping of complex shapes on the blog too.
Just to share some photos...
Freshly baked shells. Checkout the awesome feet!
I used some cylindrical shaped cream filled biscuits for the heels (Redondo). I used royal icing to glue the heels on. You may use melted chocolate or candy melts too.
Assembly of the cupcakes involve piping on vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream and decorating with sprinkles and some royal icing. Simply stick the end of the macaron into the cream. I used natural food colouring for pink colour.
- I mounted the cupcakes onto small cakeboard for ease of handling.
- I used a little royal icing to stick the cupcake cases to the cakeboard.
- You may wish to use another empty cupcake case to encase the one you baked the cake in if the oil from the cake seeped through the first layer of cupcake case.
Here's a peek of the setup at the event!
You can guess from the picture what's the other item I baked for the event ;)
Thank God the cupcakes were well received!
Checkout my other bake for the event! A massage station macaron carousel!