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10.13.2005

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devilish delights spooky treats for your Halloween fete by Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2 3 4
continued from page 2

cobweb cupcakes
(cinnamon mocha cupcakes with chocolate ganache)
These lack the creepy realism of some of the other featured treats, but the cupcakes are so scrumptious I couldn't resist including the recipe.

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
2 Tbsp. instant coffee granules dissolved in 2 Tbsp. boiling water
1 stick salted butter (1/2 cup), softened to room temp
2 cups flour
1 tsps. baking soda
tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup yogurt or sour cream

ganache frosting
2/3 cup whipping cream
5 oz. bittersweet chocolate
icing for web
cup confectioners' sugar, well packed
1 Tbsp. water
pastry bag

yields
about 18 cupcakes

1 Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with muffin cups.
2 Roughly chop the chocolate and slide into a small saucepan. Add the dissolved coffee and 1 Tbsp. of the butter. Over a very low heat, melt the chocolate mixture, stirring often. When the chocolate is nearly melted, remove the pot from the stove. Stir till it's smooth.
3 In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and cinnamon.
4 In a big bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and continue beating until light and fluffy. Mix in the chocolate.
5 Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture; stir until just combined. Add about 1/3 of the yogurt/sour cream, again stirring until just combined. Repeat this process until you've incorporated all the flour and sour cream/yogurt. Each time, make sure to stir just until it's smooth (in other words, don't overwork it).
6 In another bowl, beat the egg whites until they can hold their peaks. Use a rubber spatula to fold the stiffened egg whites into the batter, until the ingredients are just combined.
7 Fill each muffin cup with batter, slide into the oven and bake for about 15-18 minutes (a toothpick inserted to the center will come out with just a few crumbs, but no uncooked batter). Cool on a rack before frosting.

decorating
1 Over low heat, bring the cream to a gentle bubble. Stir in the chocolate, turn off the heat, and continue stirring until the chocolate's melted. Set the pot aside. Mix the confectioners' sugar and water in a bowl. You want the consistency to be very slightly, but not too, runny.
2 Ice each of the cupcake tops with the chocolate ganache. The easiest way to do this is to hold the cupcake by the base and dip the top into the chocolate, rotating it around to evenly coat. Let sit for about 30 min, so the chocolate begins to set slightly .
3 Give the confectioners' sugar mixture a stir if it's looking a little crusty. Transfer it into the pastry bag (yes, this will be a little messy). Hold the tip to keep the icing from dripping out. Now pipe two concentric circles around the top of each cupcake, doing your best to make the circles as even as possible. Once you've done your circles, add a good sized drop of icing in the very center. Now take a toothpick and drag it from the drop in the center out towards the edge. You'll want to make about 6-8 of these radiating lines out from the center. Voila -- you have a web! Don't stress if the web looks a little messy (especially the first couple of efforts; you'll get a better sense of how much icing to use once you've done a couple). Once the icing has set, it'll all end up looking much better.
4 Wipe up any major drips from the cupcake liners. Pop the iced and decorated cupcakes onto a plate or baking sheet that'll fit in your fridge, and refrigerate for at least two hours, until the icing has firmed up. Bring back to room temperature by removing cupcakes from the fridge about 30 minutes before party time.

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