I do not deal with pressure well, that is fact. Sometimes I worry over the posts I do for this blog in case they are not good enough, or the pictures look weird, or I have somehow posted something substandard on here. Stupid right? I am not even one of those big bloggers with millions of followers but yet I worry about little things like this. While one day I would love to own my own URL, domain name etc. (actually if anyone can help me here, please contact me!) however I guess starting small does have its benefits.
One of things I am glad of for being a little blog is the reduced expectation. When I mean expectation I refer to the way people always expect something of certain standard from you every time you cook or bake.
This concept can be applied anywhere, whether you are a chef, an artist, a fashion designer; once you have become big shot you develop a reputation or some quirk you are known for. Now I am still finding my feet here, so I would post things I thought were particularly delicious or looks pretty but for other it must be more than that.
I was watching an old episode of Master chef Australia from 2011, normally watch the master class ones to get tips. Anyway this was elimination episode were the contestants had to cook a signature dish from a big chef. In this case it was Heston Blumenthal. There no other name that is more associated with molecular gastronomy than him. Even Spell check on word has his name in the system (really it changed it for me).
One of things I noted was the constant expectation of each contestant’s expectations for the mystery dish. It had to have SOMETHING secret to it. Either the dish was a dessert but look savoury, or had some chemical added to it or it was about to explode on them.
This got me thinking, does Heston ever really just want to cook something normal but can’t because of his reputation? Imagine going over to dinner at Heston’s place, god the pressure on him to create something out of this world.
We all know the feeling when you just want to sit down with a simple sandwich of ham and mustard; even fore go cooking and just get take out, microwave a packet or eat chips and dip for dinner. I am sure all those big chefs and bloggers are not so super human that they never have craving for things like this.
How hard must it be to go shopping as one of them too? Everyone would be looking to see what you bought. Of course this goes into a whole another topic of how “virtuous” are the foods and it reflection on the character, so I will stop here. None the less, think about it. Being a small time baker does have its perks.
Hershey kisses are a rare treat here, so I actually go my hands on some of the mini baking chips after some very good internet shopping. While I never normally eat milk chocolate plain, I would happy down a packet of these milk kisses or bar of Hershey milk. There is something special about them.
Based on the high hat cupcake, you follow the same instructions on the Martha’s website. However ever you need to change the chocolate coat you do on them. I tempered my chocolate here. It does make it easier when you have the wrap up the top in foil. Either way, whether you sick to normal method or my recipe, they still look and taste like those choc mellows in the stores. Hard to beat chocolate and sugar right?
The base is a Hershey chocolate chip studded vanilla cupcake which is the one I use to provide a great cupcake, not too risen and even crumbed. I do use only yolks in this cake, mainly for the texture factor but I does give it a lovely yellow glow. While the cake is delicious it is more about the look here; yep posting this because I think it looks pretty. Sue me.
For the candy lover in all of us, have a bit of fun by making you cupcake look like a giant kiss. I am sure your sweet heart would love one!
High hat Hershey cupcake
Inspired and adapted from High hat cupcakes by Martha Stewart
125g unsalted soft butter
180g caster sugar
4 egg yolks
140g plain flour
50g corn flour
10g baking powder
5g baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
190ml milk and then whisk 2tsp vinegar in to it. Stand for 5 minutes
170g mini chocolate chips
Pre heat oven to 180C
In large bowl cream the butter and sugar together until pale yellow and fluffy. Use a stand mixer here, and I left it for 7 minutes.
Shift flour, corn flour, baking soda, baking powder together in another bowl.
Add the egg yolks one by one, whisking well after each addition. Add salt and vanilla here and beat till fluffy again.
Alternating between flour mix and milk mix, beat these into the butter. So one flour, then beat, one milk then beat etc… until you combined all the mixes.
Using an ice cream scoop, potion out your batter into your lined cupcake tray.
Bake in the oven for 18 minutes or until the wooden tooth pick comes out clean.
Cool in tray for 10 minutes then remove to wire cooling rack.
Prepare your meringue
250g caster sugar
4 egg whites
2g cream of tartar
Combine sugar and 200ml water in a small pan and bring to the boil. DO not stir but swirl the pan to even cook the sugar. Place in your thermometer.
Cook until syrup reaches 115C about 10-15 minutes
On a stand mixer whisking eggwhites with cream of tartar to soft peaks
Meanwhile, bring sugar syrup to 121C.
Increase speed to high and with motor running, gradually pour syrup into meringue. Once all the syrup is added turn down to medium speed until cooled to room temperature and meringue is thick and glossy.
Place in a piping bag with a 1cm round tip.
Pipe in a high swirl on to your cupcakes. Shape it into a rough kiss shape
Place in the freezer for 1 hour.
Temper your chocolate
500g milk chocolate, finely chopped
On a pan of simmering water place 2/3 your finely chopped up chocolate in a glass bowl. Melt the chocolate, stirring constantly until smooth. Heat the chocolate to 45C or 112F. Remove
Place the rest of chocolate in the melt bowl. Stirring constantly bring down the temperature to 26C or 78F.
Place back on the simmering water and bring it up 29C or 86F. Now it is ready to use. Place in high sided narrow cup
Remove your cupcakes from fridge.
Dip them in the chocolate mix and allow for the rest to dip off.
Place back in to fridge. Repeat with all cupcakes.
With a piece of foil, cut it to about 27cm to 10cm.
Print out piece of paper with the kiss logo.
Glue the paper to the end of the foil. Allow to dry.
Carefully wrap and fold the foil around the kiss and tuck the end, so it remains stable. NOTE: You may also need to trim it to make it easier to handle
NOTE: Make sure you do not crush the paper logo too much.
Transfer to fridge. After it is cold again you can shape it better.