Friday, August 22, 2008

Dark Chocolate Grasshopper Cucpakes

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.
Dark Chocolate Grasshopper Cupcake
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.
Dark Chocolate Grasshopper Cupcake
(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.


Dark Chocolate Grasshopper Cupcake
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.


Deborah said...

I've had the cookies, and the pie, but never in cupcake form! Love em!

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

These cupcakes look luscious! So rich and dark like that, and with that bright green in the middle. I'm in heaven just thinking about how amazing this will taste.

Thistlemoon said...

Looks great! I love grasshopper anything - mint and chocolate are a great combination!

Jen said...

Great photo-- I used to hate chocolate and mint together but now I love it!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

Mint and chocolate...yum! Always reminds me of girl scout cookies.

MrOrph said...


I'll take one on my pillow before bed please!

grace said...

yeah, this is definitely a winner! it's amazing how much difference a little color makes. heck, it might even make actual grasshoppers taste good...or maybe not. :)

Anonymous said...

I have got to try and make these TOMORROW! Thanks so much for sharing this!

Nikki @ NikSnacks said...

i really really really really like grasshoppers. The drink, cookies, and cake. I wish I were at your house having one of these.

I have more luck with Italian buttercream, too. The other one seems easy, but I feel like I have to cheat and add things to it to make it not meltor dissapate on me.

Anonymous said...

i like anything green, that's true. but i like mint even better green or not! and this mint cream is heavenly. looks fantastic and i really like the name. hope to make this soon - they're like the perfect moist pick-me-up cupcakes.

Alexa said...

The pictures are stunning and the concept is very creative.

Anonymous said... chocolate and mint. The green coloring in the filling is lovely next to the dark chocolate cake.

Rosie said...

I wish the recipe gave measurements for a full dozen cupcakes... when doubling or tripling it, the 2 tablespoons of eggs the recipe calls for can get a little confusing and/or wasteful. I'm going to try my best though because these look great, and my girlfriend is DYING for grasshopper cupcakes! I might try a light mint frosting and see how that goes over. Can't wait! Thanks for this.

kat said...

Rosie - See for two people we wish we could find more small batch recipe which is why we do this. That said you can pretty much think of 2 Tablespoon of beaten egg as about 1/2 an egg so to double the recipe use a whole egg.

Robyn said...

Holy taste explosion, batman. This is so going on my list of cupcakes to try.

the wandering fork said...

These look fantastic! love the green and almost black of the of my favorite combos!

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t = teaspoon
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