I love teaching cooking classes on the weekends. It’s a lot of my students from the school where I used to teach. So, not only do I get to teach them how to cook, it’s also great to be able to catch up with old students!
Since Halloween is approaching fast, we made spooky themed treats. Ok, they weren’t that spooky, but they were fun to make!
Ghostly cupcakes and homemade caramel apples! I’ve been working hard on coming up with a dark chocolate cake that is not only moist and soft, but also dark in color. It seems to be so difficult to find a truly dark colored chocolate cake! I think I finally got it! After reading countless cook books and trying many recipes, I found a combination that I am happy with! These cupcakes were so soft and light and nice and dark!
We started off making mini caramel apples, but the caramel had a really hard time sticking to the apple pieces. We probably should have dried them off to make it work better! Oh, well, you live and learn! We also had a bunch of caramel left over so we made some pretty decadent salted caramels! My momma will be happy tomorrow when she gets a little box full of them!
Here’s the little ghosty! Luckily these treats weren’t too scary, I can’t handle scary. I jump and scream very easily…it doesn’t take much.
We started by making the cupcakes since we knew they would have to cool! The two ladies I had today are getting so good at measuring, mixing, and baking! They’ve been to many of my cooking classes, and I love having them!
Ok so there are a lot of steps in the cake, but it’s worth it, I promise!!!
Melt two sticks of butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk it up!
Measure out your cocoa, we used a lot…the more, the darker! It gets messy!!!
Now mix the cocoa in with the butter. Then add the boiling water.
Then set it aside, it’s ok if it cools a little.
Then melt the bittersweet chocolate. We used a double boiler, but you can also just melt it in the microwave, put it in for about 4 20 second intervals!
Oh yeah, that stuff is goooodd. Ok set that aside too, it’s ok if it cools a little too!
Now mix together the baking soda, powder, flour, and salt in one bowl.
And the buttermilk (or yogurt in our case), sugar, vanilla, and eggs in another bowl.
They’re even good at cracking eggs!! No shells in this batter!
Add the chocolate mixture to the flour mixture, sorry a lot of mixtures to keep track of.
Then mix in the egg, milk mixture and it will look nice and creamy.
We put the batter in a pancake batter dispenser to get it into the cupcake molds, but you can also use a cookie scooper, or year, a spoon works too 🙂
Fill them about 3/4 of the way full.
Ok so, we didn’t get them perfectly into the liners, but what are ya gonna do? IT happens.
Bake them for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. While they are baking, whip up the buttercream frosting!
Just beat the butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes. Then add in the heavy cream and vanilla and beat for another minute or so, it should be stiff, yet soft.
These puppies are steamin’ hot! Wait for them to cool and then they will be ready to frost!
We just put the frosting in a baggie and cut off the end, but you can of course use a pastry bag and use the largest piping hole. Start on the outer edge and circle your way in and keep circling until you have a nice peak!
Here they are!
Then we started in on the caramel apples. We made the minis by melon balling the apples, but again they didn’t hold the caramel too well sooooo, I wouldn’t recommend it if you are looking for something non fussy!
Get the sugar and corn syrup melting in a large saucepan on the stove. Make sure you use a wooden spoon and keep stirring until it melts!
When it’s all melted it should turn a nice amber color. Even darker than this.
When it looks like this add the butter and turn the heat down.
Stir in the butter and then add the heavy creamy and change to a whisk. increase to high heat and whisk a little.
Increase to high heat and insert candy thermometer, heat to about 285. Then set aside to cool for about 20 minutes before dipping your apples. You want it to be in the hard ball stage, so it will stay on the apple and form a nice coating.
Nice and thick and delicious. You can’t really go wrong with butter and caramelized sugar!
When it’s cooled, dip the apples and spin them around. You can see the reject mini ones in the back ground.
More spooky treats to come!! Hope you enjoy!
- • 4 large apples
- • 4 cups sugar
- • ¼ cup corn syrup
- • ½ cup of butter and 2 tablespoons, softened and cut into pieces
- • 2 cups heavy cream
- In a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, stir together the sugar and corn syrup until it melts.
- After a few minutes the sugar will turn a caramely color.
- When the sugar has dissolved completely and the mixture is a dark amber color, turn heat to low and add the butter.
- Then add the heavy cream and whisk until it is smooth.
- Turn the heat up to medium-high. Place candy thermometer in the pan so it is not touching the bottom of the pan. When the thermometer reaches 285 degrees remove the pan from the heat.
- Let the caramel cool for about 20 minutes. Then dip each apple into the caramel ad roll it to coat completely.
- The caramel should immediately stick to the apple, I it does not, heat the caramel again for a few more minutes.
- Repeat with the rest of the apples and place them on some parchment paper and allow them to cook completely.
- Sprinkle or dip them in toppings if you like!
- Devil’s Food Cake
- • 1 cup of butter (2 sticks)
- • ½ cup cocoa powder
- • 1 cup boiling water
- • 2 cups flour
- • 1 cup sugar
- • 1 cup dark brown sugar
- • ½ teaspoon baking powder
- • ½ teaspoon baking soda
- • ½ teaspoon salt
- • 1 teaspoon vanilla
- • 2 eggs
- • ½ cup buttermilk or ½ cup plain yogurt
- • ½ cup bittersweet chocolate
- Ghostly Frosting
- • 4 cups powdered sugar
- • 1 cup butter
- • 2 teaspoons heavy cream
- • 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Devil’s Food Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the cocoa powder and stir until it is smooth. Pour in the boiling water. Stir to combine and let simmer for a few seconds. Turn it off and set aside.
- Melt bittersweet chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler. Set aside.
- In a bowl mix together the buttermilk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
- In another mixing bowl, mix together the baking soda, baking powder, flour, and salt. Stir in the chocolate mixture very carefully. Do not over mix. Pour in the buttermilk mixture and stir until everything is combined. Gently mix in the bittersweet chocolate.
- Pour the complete batter into the cupcake liners. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before frosting.
- Ghostly Buttercream Frosting
- Beat together softened butter and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Add heavy cream and vanilla and beat for 1 minute more until it is spreading consistency.
- Assembly Instructions
- After cupcakes have cooled remove from pan.
- Place ¼ of the frosting into a piping bag or a plastic bag with the end cut off. Use a large, non-fluted edge.
- Make a circle of frosting starting on the outside edge of the cupcakes. Snake the frosting into the middle and keep snaking until it is a high peak.
- Gently place two mini chocolate chips as eyes and one for a mouth onto the front of the frosting. Enjoy!