Monday 16 October 2017

Monster Chiffon Cupcakes with Strawberry Jam & Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Here are some monster cupcakes for a little boy's birthday, but also in time for Halloween!

Dark chocolate ganache filled monster macarons sitting on top of the cupcakes!

These aren't my ordinary chiffon cupcakes with Swiss meringue buttercream on top. It is super soft vanilla chiffon cupcakes filled with homemade strawberry jam and topped with fresh strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream!

My elder kid took the one extra cupcake with cream and jam and said it was really yums!

The monster macarons are really simple macarons to make if you are new to piping fancy shapes. They are round macarons with either little horns on the head or a separate macaron tongue added in the mouth. I used the reduced-sugar Italian meringue recipe to make these monsters. 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.

Piped circles and tongues

The monster eyes and features are added on using royal icing. I piped the eyes on baking paper, thoroughly dry them before sticking them onto the heads.

I filled the monsters with dark chocolate ganache.

If you feel adventurous or are a seasoned macaron baker, you may attempt the 3D version of monsters made from hemispherical shells. Please refer to my monster macarons bake last year for more awesome ideas!

I had some leftover fresh strawberry puree from making strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream so I made some jam with it. It is a really nice addition to the cupcake, adding moisture and a burst of flavour! And because it was a small quantity of puree, I didn't measure the ingredients but I can tell you that it is really simple to make and makes sure that you don't end up with leftover puree that you don't know what to do with. Simply add puree, a pinch of salt, a squeeze of lemon juice and some sugar into a small saucepan. Amount of sugar added is according to your preference. Heat over low heat and stir until mixture thickens.

Homemade strawberry jam. I love the natural deep red colour!

Recipe for strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream can be found here. I changed brand of strawberry emulco so the colour is less intense.

Vanilla chiffon cupcakes
Ingredients (makes about thirty 44x35mm cupcakes):
Egg yolk batter
5 egg yolks
5g caster sugar
70g canola/vegetable oil
70g fresh milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
95g cake flour
1/8 tsp salt

7 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
95g caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 140°C with tray of water at base of oven (optional but I put it there to create steam). Set oven rack to second lowest position.

2. Prepare egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale. Add oil and whisk until well combined. Add milk, and vanilla. Whisk until well combined. Gradually sift in flour and salt.

3. Prepare meringue. In a clean metal bowl, use electric mixer to beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until firm peaks form, just before stiff peaks.

4. Fold the meringue into the egg yolk batter quickly but gently in three additions. Spoon the batter into cupcake cases until about 1cm from the top of the rim. Gently tap the cases on the table to release air bubbles.

5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting with cream.

I made about 330g strawberry smbc to frost the cupcakes. I poked a hole in the middle of the cupcake using a chopstick and filled with a little strawberry jam before topping off with strawberry smbc.

Simply top the cupcakes with a monster macaron and you are done :).

All packed and ready to party!

Thank God it was very well received in terms of looks and taste!

With love,
Phay Shing

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