Friday, March 16, 2012

Sweet 16th! Pots of Gold

Hello and welcome once again to Sweet 16th!   After much debate and struggle on what to make this month I finally decided to make little pots of gold for Saint Patrick's day tomorrow.      These are basically a black bottom cupcake topped with chocolate coins (foil removed of course).

The first step for these is to remove all the foil from your chocolate coins.  Alternately you can do them in batches like I did while painting them.  (de-foil a few, paint a few, etc.)

Now, I wanted all of the foil off of the coins for ease of edibility, but I also still wanted the coins to be gold.  Naturally I did what any sane person would and bought gold food powder which I then made into a paint by mixing it with a bit of almond extract.  (The package suggested clear vanilla, lemon juice or vodka.  I didn't have clear vanilla or vodka and thought lemon juice might have adverse reactions at such a close proximity to cream cheese.)

This was a tricky process.  It took some trial and error to get the ratio of gold powder and liquid right: too much powder and its too thick and won't spread, too much liquid and it pools up and doesn't spread well either. 

All things considered I'm pleased with the way the coins turned out.  They actually look a tad more golden in these pictures than in real life, but after baking they glisten a bit more.

Now lets get right on to the cupcakes.  The amount of time it takes to mix up the cake batter is perfect for allowing the coins to set so do make sure to do the gold painting first.

For the cupcakes:

Cream cheese filling:
1 8oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
a pinch of salt
aprox. 6 oz. chocolate chips

Mix the cream cheese, sugar, egg and salt together until well blended.  Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.   For the purposes of making it more golden, I also added some gold iridescent sugar sprinkles. (pictured above with gold pearl dust.)

In a large bowl sift together:
3 cups flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar

In another bowl combine:
2 cups water
2/3 cup salad oil (canola works great)
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla

from the top clockwise: cream cheese mix, dry ingredients, wet ingredients

Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and beat until smooth.   The batter is very thin.

Fill a muffin pan with liners (the gold foil ones would be extra pretty on these!)  and then scoop 1/4 cup of the chocolate batter into each.   Then drop 1 Tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture into each cupcake.  It will sink in as it bakes.

Decorate them with coins before baking.  I played with several different methods of coin placement and found that just setting them on top worked the best.  If you put them in at too much of an angle they sink straight in  and loose their gold finish.

Here are a few trials of coin placement, set on top, angled a little, and angled vertically which disappeared.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes.  Allow them to set in the pan for a couple minutes before removing to wire racks to cool.

As usual,  toddler approved:

Happy Saint Paddy's day and Happy Baking!

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