Bake It in a Cake

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Chocolate Ombre Cupcakes

I’m breaking the rules here. There is nothing baked into this cupcake. I KNOW, I’M SORRY! But there doesn’t have to be when the cupcake is as gorgeous as this! I have had a lot of fun making hi-hat cupcakes, and then I started thinking… “Why does there only have to be one layer of chocolate? What if there were MORE?”

Voila! An ombre(ish) hi-hat cupcake comprised of a layer of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, butterscotch, and white chocolate. HOLY MOLY, THEY’RE DELICIOUS. Messy, but delicious.

Here’s how you make them.

You’ll need: 

12 chocolate cupcakes
1 batch of Martha Stewart’s hi-hat frosting
1 cup of dark chocolate chips
1 cup of milk chocolate cups
3/4 cups of butterscotch chips
1/2 cup of white chocolate chips
about four tablespoons of vegetable oil 

First, make your favorite chocolate cupcakes. My recipe is here. Bake ‘em, let ‘em cool, you know the drill. 

Then, make a batch of Martha Stewart’s hi-hat frosting. It’s super easy and really delicious—like a sweet meringue-y marshmallow fluff cloud. Pile the frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes with a pastry bag and desired pastry tip, then put the cupcakes in the freezer so they get good and set.

It’ll look kind of boring, like this: 

While the cupcakes get cold, make your first two chocolate layers. 

Take about a cup of dark chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips and put ‘em in two small, deep bowls or teacups. Add about a tablespoon of vegetable oil. This will help keep the chocolate from solidifying completely once it’s cooled.

Melt the chocolate, one bowl at a time, for 15-30 second increments, stirring in between. It should only take a minute and a half or two. Take care not to burn it! And only heat it just until it’s melted. You don’t need it to be HOT, just melted.

Let the melted chocolate cool back down to room temperature (it won’t get hard, I promise—remember the oil?). 

When the chocolate is cool and the cupcakes are good and cold, dip the mound of frosting into the melted dark chocolate, all the way to the base of the frosting. Carefully lift the cupcake out of the chocolate and, before inverting it, let the excess chocolate drip off for a few seconds.

Put the cupcakes back into the freezer so the chocolate gets hard. Leave ‘em in there for at least 10 minutes, more is even better. 

Once the first layer of dark chocolate is solid and cold, repeat the process with the milk chocolate, dipping the top of the cupcake into the milk chocolate until about a 1/2 inch of dark chocolate is still showing.

Bake into the freezer again!

Now, while you wait, melt the butterscotch chips and the white chocolate, same as you did with the milk and dark chocolate.

When the butterscotch sauce is at room temperature, dip! So a little of the milk chocolate is still showing, remember. Let the excess drip off and place back into the freezer. Then do the white chocolate! But you knew that. You’re a pro by now.

The finished product will look like this: 


Here’s what they look like after you take a big ol’ bite: 

Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator until ready to serve. (And be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand.)

My cookbook Bake it in a Cupcake: 50 Treats With a Surprise Inside is out now on Andrews McMeel Publishing and available at your favorite local bookstore as well as, Barnes & Noble, and!

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