Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ice Cream Cupcakes

Start with cupcakes. I made mine mini cupcakes in a tiny muffin pan, making 2 bite ice cream cupcakes. You can use a regular sized cupcake pan if you like! You'll just have bigger treats.

Make any sort of cupcake batter you like. I used cake mix (gasp!) because... I just did. Spray the muffin tins with nonstick spray. Fill the muffin tins only half as full as you normally would. For the mini muffin tins, this means using a little less than a teaspoon of batter. For the regular muffin tins, this means using about 1 Tablespoon of batter. Bake cupcakes at 350 degrees F and check them after 8 minutes.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven, let cool in their tins for 15 minutes. Loosen the cupcakes by running a knife along the edges of the muffin cups. Make sure that none of the cupcakes stick to the pan, but keep the cupcakes in the cupcake pan, cover with plastic wrap and put in the freezer for 3 hours, or overnight is best.

Remove the cupcakes from the freezer when you're ready to use them. If some of the cupcakes have domed up while cooking, remove them from their cup and use a small serrated knife to even out the top of the cupcake. Ideally, you'd like to have 1/2-inch little cupcake bottoms.

Remove the ice cream from the freezer to let soften before filling cupcake tins. Leave on the counter for 10minutes or defrost in the microwave. When ice cream is softened, use a quick hand to spoon and flatten ice cream on top of the cake. It's a little messy, but don't worry about that. When all of the cakes are topped with ice cream, return to the freezer to harden. I left my ice cream cupcakes in the freezer over night, but give them at least 4 hours.

Be creative and top your cupcakes with anything you like. Whipped cream, chocolate ganache or caramel would be lovely.

To remove the ice cream cupcakes from their tins, warm a small sharp knife under hot running water. Run the warm knife along the edges of the ice cream cupcake until it's easily lifted out of it's tin. This isn't too hard a process, mine practically jumped out. Place the cupcakes on a plate and return to the freezer for 15 minutes.

Remove from freezer and apply whatever topping and decoration suits your fancy. I chose chocolate ganache and colored jimmies. Apply the topping and decoration quickly and return to freezer on the dish you'd like to serve them on. When ready to serve, remove from freezer and eat promptly!

Fudgy Brownie Bottoms

■3/4 cups all purpose flour
■1 teaspoons baking powder
■1/2 teaspoon salt
■1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
■3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
■2 large eggs plus one egg yolk
■1 1/8 cups sugar
■1 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cupcake pans with foil cupcake liners. Combine first 3 ingredients in small bowl. Stir butter and chocolate in a bowl set over simmering water, creating a double boiler. Heat until melted and smooth. Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla in large bowl to blend. Stir in warm chocolate mixture, then dry ingredients. Scoop 1 Tablespoon of batter into each foil liner. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then place in the freezer for 30 minutes before scooping the ice cream on top.

Chocolate Ganache

3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips (I used chocolate chunks)
1/4 cup heavy cream

Put chocolate chips in a small bowl. Bring cream to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan. Pour cream evenly over chocolate. Let stand for one minute to soften, then stir until smooth. If frosting is too loose to spread, let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, frosting will continue to thicken as it stands. Scoop by the teaspoon full onto the ice cream cupcakes. Spread and refreeze until ready to serve.

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