Chocolate. Marshmallow Fluff. ‘Nuff said, amiright?

To finish out 2016 with a bang, I decided I really, reeeeaally needed a proper chocolate fix. This could only be done with a ‘death by chocolate’ cupcake, of course, because well… Cupcakes are my new thing.

Do you remember being a kid and the pure joy of digging into a Ding Dong? That chocolate-y outside with a sweet white fluff inside… Mmm, yummy. Well, my mum lovingly likened the following cuppie cakes as the adult version of a Ding Dong (although, I still think adults can enjoy those as well). Let me know if you agree or not.

So, let’s get started… A few weeks ago, I made marshmallow fluff for these kind of ‘mini cakes’ (that I unfortunately forgot to photograph) for the Christmas Eve service at our church. I hope they were loved by everyone – I took an empty plate home, so I’m guessing yes. Anyway, the marshmallow fluff I stuffed them with, was absolutely divine! I had been craving its gooey sweetness for quite a while, so it wasn’t a difficult choice for me to gather the ingredients and whip up a batch.

Surprisingly, it was easier than expected! Of course, there is the process of boiling sugar that can be daunting in the beginning, but really, it’s not too scary. If you’ve ever made homemade maple syrup by boiling water and sugar, it’s not much different than that. I used a very simple recipe of whipped egg whites and cream of tartar (thankfully still leftover from the States), in which I poured over the boiled sugar mixture. This I beat on high for quite a long time and finished off with a splash of vanilla extract. My family of taste testers couldn’t stop licking their fingers with this tasty treat. And just look at that consistency! Perfection.

 

 

After a second successful fluffy batch of marshmallow-y goodness this last week, I went for a soft and fluffy, not-too-sweet dark chocolate (and gluten free, of course!) cupcake to offset the sweetness of the fluff. I liked this choice of cake, as it was rich and chocolate-y, but not gooey and sickeningly sweet (which normally I love! But it wouldn’t work well with the fluff AND frosting). Oh! The frosting. I almost forgot about the frosting. I’ve really been into the Italian buttercream frostings lately as they are quite light and airy without that heavy, thick waxy feel of some buttercreams.

 

Chocolate Cupcakes w Fluff
I finally invested in a larger star tip for piping. Yay!

Unfortunately, it takes a certain butter to create this type of buttercream well, and careful attention to it’s temperature when whipping up a batch. Through trial and error, I am learning which brands of butter to use and which to avoid, I’ve also learnt that I do better with refrigerating the frosting for a short time after making and NOT overnight. For some reason, I cannot manage to bring buttercream to its correct temperature/consistency if I’ve left it in the fridge to cool overnight and try to pipe it the following day.

 

Chocolate Cupcakes w Fluff 2
See how the frosting curdled? No good.

Anyway, I learnt quite a few things after this batch that I will do differently in the future. Lessons = learned. Heh, still, they were incredible. Since I was taking these to my fave hairstylist (Thank you Jérémy!!) as a surprise, I simply covered up the funny-looking frosting with a dash of cocoa powder (which perfectly balanced out the uber-sweet cupcake! Will be doing that again) Aside from the fact that it looks a little bit funny, it did in fact taste incredible! The combined milk chocolate frosting and dark chocolate cake blended perfectly with its gooey centre. What a fab combination! My family couldn’t resist cutting into these almost immediately after finishing them.

 

Chocolate Cupcakes w Fluff 3
Just look at that centre. Yum.

The frosting was still cold since I didn’t let this cupcake come to room temp before cutting it open, but normally you should see a silky smooth sheen on top of your cupcake – you’ll know you’ve done it right when it’s silky smooth!

The final outcome? Deliciousness in a cupcake. I’m not sure what other adjectives I could use to describe these yummy ones. If you like chocolate and gooey fluff, then these are for you. Bam. End of story. Try ’em, eat ’em, tell me about ’em!

Also, on a completely different side note: Jérémy did an incredible job on my hair this week. Dontcha think?

 

 

He deserves more cupcakes. I should get back in the kitchen…

I’m not super big into New Years resolutions, mostly because I can never keep them, and I always feel terrible when I don’t. If I had a ‘resolution’ for this new year 2017, it would be to lean more into Jesus more than ever before, to embrace the grace He freely gives, to TRUST Him better and more fully, and to love more openly and abundantly than I have this past year. 2016 was a very difficult year for me, I fought many a mental battle and struggled with more painful experiences than I ever have before. I can’t change the future of this new year 2017, however praise God that I won’t be alone in it and He’ll be right beside me fighting and pressing forward!

I wish each of you an exciting, adventurous year full of peace and hope and love. These are more important to me than physical objects. Without peace, our hearts are in constant turmoil; without hope, we have no reason to live; without love, we are empty beings. SO. Bring it on, 2017!! I’m ready for you and with my God beside me, we will not only live this year, we will be conquerors this year!!

Oh, and I’ll certainly be upping the ante on my baking. 😉

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! xx

Ps. Message, comment, shout from the rooftops, letter by pigeon carrier, telegram… however you want to communicate, to be a taste tester for more yummy cuppies! I make 100% of mine gluten free as I’m allergic, but also getting into dairy free options in the near future. Exciting!
Pss. This was my recipe of inspiration; I’m afraid I can’t take credit for something this delicious (yet! hopefully some day… I’m in the process of creating my own, unique flavours.)

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