Well, I did it. I finally jumped in and entered my very first cupcake war! Luckily for me, I am blessed with a good friend who gave me the encouragement that I needed to submit my registration form.
The Royal Cupcake Challenge was held at the Renaissance fair on Mother's Day. The rules were simple: Bake 3 unique cupcake flavors and decorate each with a Renaissance theme. (4 cupcakes of each flavor for a total of 1 dozen cupcakes.) Easy enough - right? I thought about it for a few days then finally decided on my three "unique" flavors to enter in the competition.
A Dark Knight cupcake - a chocolate stout cupcake filled with a dark chocolate gananche filling and topped with a layer of chocolate ganache and a swirl of chocolate buttercream.
A Pink Princess cupcake - a pink lemonade cupcake filled with a white chocolate mousse and topped with cream cheese frosting and a snickering sickerdoodle cupcake.
A Snickerdoodle cupcake - a cinnamon sugar cupcake with a cookie crumble crust and toasted meringue buttercream.
The pink lemonade and the snickerdoodle are cupcakes that I make fairly regularly. The the chocolate stout cupcake was a new one for me so I gave it a trial run a few days before the competition. I made a half recipe so my portions are going to look a little different than what is printed here.
Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
6 ounces dark stout
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
3 ounces dark chocolate
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
Line 24 cup cupcake pan with liners and spray liners with pam. Melt butter in microwave. Cool.
Whisk together eggs and yogurt.
Add beer and vanilla.
Sift together dry ingredients.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until well blended.
Whisk in melted butter.
Scoop batter into liners.
Combine ganache ingredients and microwave for 30 seconds until melted. Chill in refrigerator to thicken slightly.
Spoon a dollop of ganache in the center of each unbaked cupcake.
Bake 20 minutes at 350.
Cool on wire racks.
I could hardly wait until the cupcakes cooled to taste one.
I cut one in half to check the ganache and it was still intact (By that I mean that it didn't ooze into the cupcake during the baking process.) but it did sink to the bottom. Minor mishap.
I sampled this cupcake - the entire thing! I could taste the chocolate stout but it wasn't overpowering. It was delicious and not overly sweet. I decided that it would be even better if I added more chocolate ganache to the top of the cooled cupcakes.
Since these were sample cupcakes, I frosted a few for sampling. I used a white chocolate frosting and chocolate jimmies for these yummy treats.
I made shields and swords using black candy melts and silver dragees.
For those of you who are anxiously awaiting the results of the Renaissance Fair Cupcake War - I did not win. It was a lot of fun to participate and even though it was stressful, I would definitely do it again. These are the pictures from our day at the Renaissance festival.
Yes, that is my husband with his face in a chocolate pie. He didn't win the pie eating contest either, but - he had pie!