Monday, February 4, 2013

Macaroon Filled Chocolate Cupcake with a Meringue Top


Macaroon Filled Chocolate Cupcake with a Meringue Top, chocolate heart garnish

Do you like chocolate cake…coconut macaroon… meringue? If the answer is "yes", "yes", and "yes", here is something for you. It’s a tasty little cupcake with all three components, ready to eat straight from the oven.

Macaroon Filled Chocolate Cupcake with a Meringue Top

First, let me assure you, just because I host a food blog, I am not above using cake mixes. They are a staple in my pantry. Besides, not all made from scratch sweets are better than their prepackaged cousins. 

I learned that lesson last summer when I visited family in Colorado. We spent an afternoon sightseeing in a quaint little tourist town. The sweet aroma from a bakery lured me in, whereupon I purchased a cupcake for my sweet tooth. Because it was a bakery item, expectations were high. Imagine my disappointment when the first bite tasted like Betty Crocker’s…and the second bite…and the third bite. What? I paid $4.50 for a tiny Betty Crocker cupcake?   

Don’t get me wrong, I love Betty. She has a designated spot on my shelf, but for $4.50 I was expecting more. I could make 24 cupcakes (including frosting) for $4.50!  

The one thing the cupcake had going for it was the frosting. It was silky smooth and vanilla-ry. Maybe I paid $4.50 for the vanilla beans? Who knows? Luckily, I quickly got over the ordeal when we moved on to the ice cream shop. 

Macaroon Filled Chocolate Cupcake, half eaten

Here are my cupcakes, inexpensive, adorable, delicious, and made with a little help from the box. Start by making the meringuewhip egg whites and cream of tartar, until foamy.  

egg white in a metal bowl
  
Gradually beat in sugar until smooth and glossy. Meringue is done when it makes soft peaks.

whipped egg whites with peak

Combine all of the macaroon ingredients.

macaroon mixture in a bowl

Prep cake batter according to package directions.

cake batter in a bowl

Fill lined and greased muffin tins halfway with batter then add a dollop of macaroon. As you can see, I didn’t follow my own directions here and didn’t add enough batter. My bad.

chocolate cake batter in a bowl
Pardon the condition of the muffin tins. Looks as if someone
could use some prettier looking ones.


Add enough batter to fill compartments 3/4 full. Bake for 10 minutes.

partially filled cupcakes

Remove cupcakes and frost with meringue. Then, it's back in the oven they go!

filled cupcakes in cupcake tins

Cute as a button! Makes you want to go to the pantry to get your favorite cake mix, doesn’t it?

Macaroon Filled Chocolate Cupcake with a Meringue Top


Macaroon Filled Chocolate Cupcake with a Meringue Top:

Chocolate Cake Layer:
1 (15.25 oz.) package chocolate cake mix, prepared according to package directions

Macaroon Layer:
2 1/4 cups sweetened coconut flakes
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Meringue Topping:
5 egg whites, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. cream of tartar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy, using an electric mixer on medium speed. Gradually add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating until the eggs become glossy and form soft peaks (meringue has a curved tip, but stays vertical when the beater is pulled up). This will take about 5 minutes. Refrigerate.

Tips for meringue: Use metal, glass or ceramic bowl, no plastic. It is important to keep all equipment grease free in order for the egg whites to whip up.

To make the cake layer, follow the package directions including adding all the necessary ingredients to make the cake batter. Set aside. Line muffin tins with paper liners and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine all macaroon ingredients, stirring until well incorporated. Set aside.

Fill each muffin tin compartment halfway with the cake batter. Place a heaping teaspoon of macaroon on top being careful not to touch the sides of the liner. Add enough batter to fill compartments 3/4 full.  Bake for 10 minutes.

Gently remove cupcakes from oven as they have are not completely set.  Frost each with meringue. Avoid pressing down hard on the cupcake.  Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 – 12 minutes. Allow to cool. Add decorative topping, optional. Makes about 30 cupcakes.


Note:
To make the chocolate hearts, place 2 ounces of semi sweet chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon of butter in a small microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. If still chunky, microwave 15 seconds longer. 

Place melted chocolate in a small plastic bag, twist closed. Cut 1/8” opening in one corner. Pipe heart shapes onto parchment lined surface. Freeze until ready to use.



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