Sunday, 20 February 2011

Mystery Box Cupcake Challenge & Hi Hat Cupcakes

I have had cupcakes on my brain lately. Nothing new there. When looking for insipiration I keep finding these great food (and more to the point - cupcake)blogs and was really intrigued when I saw the headline "Mystery Box Cupcake Challenge" on a blog called Sweetest Kitchen.

Every month Sweetest Kitchen arranges a worldwide cupcake challenge where there is one ingredient which has to be used in the cupcakes and then write a post about it. From what I can see, there are some fantastic prizes for the winner of the challenge (see links below) and I decided that for once I will try to enter a cupcake competition! Scary!

The rules aren't very complicated - you can read more about them here: Cupcake Mystery Box Rules

This month the challenge is to bake a chocolate cupcake WITH A TWIST. That is, the base of the cupcake has to be chocolate (not very hard as I love chocolate), but the twist is to add an ingredient/flavour to the cake (or the frosting - maybe something one doesn't usually see paired up with chocolate.

What a great challenge! I started brainstorming straight away and my first thought was bacon. I have seen a lot of cupcake recipes paired with maple syrup and bacon and thought "why not a chocolate cupcake with bacon?" Then for the fun of it I checked the recipes of Sweetest Kitchen and what did I see? She has already baked a chocolate cupcake with bacon! So that idea goes out the window.

As I live in Greece there is one ingredient that is very local to this country - mastiha (mastixa)from the island of Chios, also known as mastic gum - which is the sap taken from lentisk trees. Mastiha is being used in many things, also sweets, so I thought it would make an interesting flavour to my chocolate cupcake for an international competition. I bought the mastiha, but somehow it still remains intact in my kitchen cupboard...

So what did I actually bake? Hi(gh) Hat Cupcakes! I saw a post from Bakerella a few months ago about Hi Hat Cucpakes and always wanted to make them, but didn't get around it until now.

Here are the normal-sized Hi Hat Cupcakes I baked

But they look like normal cupcakes dipped in dark chocolate, I hear you say. Where's the twist? I hear you! There are two twists to mine - firstly, I didn't use the traditionally marshmallowy frosting the Hi Hat cupcakes usually use - I used a yummy raspberry mousse frosting and secondly - after having dipped them in dark chocolate I decided to bake some mini cupcakes dipped in white chocolate too! Oh yes, still chocolate, but a twist to the original ones. When I image google for white chocolate hi hat cupcakes there is almost impossible to find a hi hat cupcake using white chocolate, so surely that is an important twist to mine? Humour me and let's say you agree :)

So there it is, my contribution to the Mystery Box Cupcake Challenge hosted by Sweetest Kitchen: WHITE CHOCOLATE HI HAT CUPCAKES!

I also added a bit of banana to the base to these ones - it worked splendidly together with the raspberry mouse and the white chocolate.

Cross your fingers for me - maybe I'm the lucky one to win the fanastic prizes from:

li>Angela's Images; a selection of handmade crafts
  • Bake It Pretty; a $5 electronic gift card

  • Beanilla; 3 Indian, 3 Tahitian & 3 Tonga vanilla beans

  • Hello Hanna; a pack of Sweet Stands cupcake stands

  • Miss Kitty Creations; a handmade cupcake charm of your choice

  • Simply Caked; 600 brown greaseproof cupcake liners

  • Sweet Cuppin Cakes; a prize pack worth $25

  • Tundra Books; a selection 3 very sweet children's books

  • In the meantime I leave you with one last photo of 3 white chocolate hi hat cupcakes - can you tell I unsuccessfully experimented with the lighting? Got to learn how to take better photos of my cupcakes!