Cupcakes are just about the most fun dessert to bake. I love the small surface that is so much more forgiving than a big cake. Can you really improve upon the basic cupcake and frosting combo? I think so!
I decided to try a chocolate shell cupcake to make this year for Valentine's Day. I debated back and forth whether or not I should frost them first, but decided to for-go frosting completely in lieu of the chocolate. And I'm so glad I did. The kids sampled and my 9 year old, who isn't big on desserts, said that they were "GOOOOOOD". Soft, moist, red velvet cake with a smooth chocolate shell. It is just perfect! And heck, I dip everything else in chocolate, why not cupcakes too?
I used Ghirardhelli melting chocolate bars (Wilton and Almond Bark work too, but I like the flavor of Ghirardhelli best) and simply dipped the cupcake, swirled it around to remove some of the excess, added a small heart candy, and let them set. In the refrigerator is best. They harden quickly and are perfect for transporting to school or wherever they need to go. I love that I don't have to worry about the frosting getting messed up in the box or having cupcakes touch each other.
I made a few chocolate ones and a few white chocolate ones too. I can't wait to try this technique on other flavors of cake. White chocolate on top of lemon cake or carrot cake, chocolate on top of cherry chip. The combinations are endless! And Wilton sells all sorts of fun flavors, including mint chocolate melting chocolates too.
I found some darling gift boxes at Walmart during the holidays. 5 of them for $3. I stocked up on them. They are the perfect size to hold 2 jumbo cupcakes.
Just for fun...The one on the left is the size we gave the teachers. The one on the right is a standard cupcake. One holds 4 scoops of batter, the other holds 2. I think the jumbo ones are just fun! I bake them at 325 for 30 minutes and they come out right every time. I can't wait to try making these in mini cupcake pans too. Bite size chocolate covered cupcakes would be absolutely perfect!