Thursday, 1 March 2018

Flower Pot Chocolate Chiffon Cupcakes (Cooked dough method)

I have a friend who suggested that blooming cocoa powder before baking chocolate chiffon cake would make the chocolate flavour more intense, without resorting to using the coffee trick that many bakers use. I must admit that it was the first time I came across this and I looked up Rose Levy Beranbaum's recipe book and studied the chocolate cake recipes. All of them...And I mean ALL required the cocoa powder to be mixed with boiling hot water before mixing into the cake batter. I did more research from the internet and was enlightened. Here's a good article on how, why and when you should bloom cocoa powder whenever you bake with it.

I already consistently get great reviews from recipients of my chocolate chiffon cakes in terms of taste. I have always relied on the use of some coffee liqueur, good quality vanilla bean paste and a bit of fruity alcohol to compliment the chocolate flavour from the cocoa powder. You can imagine my curiosity and excitement when I learnt about blooming cocoa powder!

I wasn't too keen on using hot water to bloom cocoa powder as I prefer to use ingredients that impart flavour to the final product. And therefore, a logical choice was to use the cooked dough method of making chiffon cakes. Hot oil can also be used to bloom cocoa powder. Cooked dough method also helps to keep the cake retain more moisture as the flour cooked with hot oil is able to absorb more water.

Sorry for the long intro 😅. I feel it is necessary. Presenting my humble looking but yummy bake! Flower pot chocolate chiffon cupcakes with dark chocolate ganache!

Flowers and ladybugs are made from macarons

Recipe for cooked dough chocolate chiffon cupcake
Ingredients (makes about twenty 35x44mm cupcakes):
3 egg yolks
42g canola oil
45g milk
1.5 tsp vanilla extract/ bean paste
1/4 tsp Kahlua coffee liqueur
20g Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
32g cake flour

4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
60g caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 140℃. Set oven rack to lowest or second lowest position. Place a tray or a few bowls of water at the base of the oven to create steam (optional).

2. Sift cocoa powder, flour, salt and baking soda into a large mixing bowl.

3. Heat oil to 70℃ in a small saucepan (or until you start seeing swirl lines in the oil but not boiling). Pour the hot oil into the flour mixture. Whisk until smooth. Let the mixture sit for 4-5 minutes for the cocoa powder to bloom.

4. Add milk, vanilla and coffee liqueur gradually. Whisk until well combined after each addition. Mixture will become thick. Use an electric mixer if you find it easier.

5. Add in one egg yolk at a time. Whisk until well combined after each addition.

6. Prepare the meringue. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks form, gradually adding in the sugar once the egg whites are foamy.

7. Quickly but gently fold the meringue into the egg yolk batter in three additions. Fill the cupcake cases until about 70-80% full. Gently tap on table to release trapped air bubbles.

8. Bake for 40min or until skewer comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting.

Recipe for dark chocolate ganache for frosting cake

Recipe for dark chocolate ganache for frosting cake has a lower ratio of chocolate to cream as it need not be as firm as the filling for macarons. I use a ratio of 3:2 for chocolate : cream.

75g dark chocolate, chopped
10g unsalted butter
50g heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/16 tsp salt

1. Combine all ingredients into a small saucepan. Heat over low heat while stirring constantly with a spatula. Do not boil. Once chocolate has melted completely and mixture is smooth, remove from heat.

2. Let the ganache stand at room temperature to cool down and firm up a little for about 30 minutes. You may refrigerate for a while to speed things up. Once the ganache is about toothpaste consistency, you may frost the cupcakes using piping bag or spatula.

3. Sprinkle with chocolate rasp if you wish.


I filled the macarons with dark chocolate ganache and raspberry white chocolate ganache. You may find the links for the macaron and filling recipe from here. I made these flowers and ladybugs concurrently with my rose macarons.

Thank God that these were very well received!

With love,
Phay Shing

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