Before you get worried, there are no grasshoppers in this cupcake. Matt asked me to do a cupcake this week based on a grasshopper, the cocktail, pie or cake. The one thing he specified was the mint part had to be really green.
This cupcake features my favorite dark chocolate cake, a creamy mint filling & dark chocolate buttercream. If you've followed my baking exploits at all you know of my off & on success with buttercream. Strangely enough, I've had better luck with the harder Italian & Swiss buttercreams than the relatively easy American buttercream. This time though I think I've got the American buttercream down. The frosting came out creamy yet stiff enough to pipe (not that my piping skills are anything to write home about.). As Matt was licking the beaters (he likes cupcake baking day) he said this version was what he thinks of when he thinks of buttercream so I'll be sticking with it.
I used mint extract to flavor my filling because I didn't want to buy a whole bottle of creme de menthe just for 5 cupcakes though it would be more traditional. I was afraid the mint wouldn't be strong enough to stand up the the dark chocolate but it really came through & the flavors blended together perfectly.
(I think that filling is green enough!)
Dark Chocolate Grasshopper Cupcake
Dark Chocolate Cupcake
1/4 c unsalted butter
1/8 c Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder
3 T water
1/2 c granulated sugar
2 T well beaten egg
1/8 c plain yogurt or buttermilk
1/2 T vanilla
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/8 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare muffin tins.
Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, then whisk in cocoa. Add water and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk in separately sugar, egg, yogurt, and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the cocoa mixture and whisk until just combined (it will be a little bit lumpy).
Fill muffin tins to about 2/3 full for rounded cupcakes. Bake for 20 minutes until a skewer or toothpick comes out clean. It's a moist cake, so don't worry if a few crumbs stick to your tester.
Allow cupcakes to cool.
Makes 4 - 6 cupcakes. (I got 5)
Mint Cream Filling
1/4 c heavy cream
1/2 t confectioners sugar
1/2 t mint extract (or creme de menthe)
1/2 t cold water
1/8 t unflavored gelatin
food coloring (I used neon green with a dash of neon blue)
Whip the cream, sugar & mint extract together just until soft peaks form. Set aside.
Mix the water & gelatin together in a small bowl and microwave briefly, about 10-20 seconds, until the gelatin is dissolved. Allow to cool slightly but not get hard. Add the gelatin & food coloring to the cream & continue whipping until stiff peaks are formed. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Makes enough to fill 6 cupcakes.
Dark Chocolate Buttercream
2 T shortening
2 T unsalted butter
1/4 t vanilla
1 c powdered sugar, sifted
3 T Hersey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder
1 T milk
3/4 T light corn syrup
Cream the shortening, butter & vanilla together. Sifted in the powdered sugar & cocoa, beat until well blended. Beat in the milk & corn syrup until light & fluffy.
Makes enough to frost 5 - 6 cupcakes.
After the cupcakes have cooled completely, fill a piping bag with a large star tip attached with the mint cream filling. Insert the tip into the center of the cupcake about 3/4 - 1 inch. Squeeze the bag to fill the cupcake with filling as you slowly pull the bag up & out. I like to let the cupcakes chill a few minutes in the refrigerator before frosting to allow the filling to set a little.
Frost with the dark chocolate buttercream & garnish with a fresh mint leaf.