My sister's coworker and friend, Alecia, is one of those crazy, super awesome, totally inspiring marathon runners and she'll be running in the huge Chicago 10/10/10 marathon tomorrow. It's over 20 miles long, goes through several neighborhoods around the city and will draw over a million spectators in addition to the runners, so once you're in it, a million people will see you if you stop. As her "I did it!" treat, she asked for cupcakes, and not just any cupcakes. She wanted chocolate, dulce de leche, and crunch, so after a bit of going back and forth, I came up with this:
It's a chocolate snack cake filled with creamy dulce de leche covered with a dark chocolate and whipped honey ganache frosting and topped with an almond praline shard and a sprinkle of black Hawaiian salt to cut through all the sweetness and deepen the chocolate flavor. And if anyone recognizes the colors of the box, it's from Victoria's Secret. This box has really gotten around! It's pretty, the perfect size for giving blankets, carrying birthday cakes, and to store exactly 25 cupcakes. I really hope she likes how it came out. Good luck Alecia!
Also, a quick reminder, enter the giveaway before midnight tonight for your chance to get something really cool from CSN Stores with the $45 GC that's being given away. Good luck!
Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes
Recipe from The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz
Makes 12 individual cakes
I'm including the snack cake recipe because it was the only new recipe I had tried, the frosting and the filling were variations of things I'd done in the past and I like how desserts can be a culmination of various different components that all start from the simple and can be built up as high as you like. This is the base, the level you take it to is up to you.
7 ounces (200g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (125ml) unflavored vegetable oil, divided
1/2 cup (125ml) plain, whole-milk yogurt
1 cup (200g) sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups (180g) flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with 12 indentations with paper cupcake liners, or lightly butter them.
2. In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate with 1/4 cup (60ml) of the oil. Once melted and smooth, remove from heat.
3. In another bowl, mix together the remaining 1/4 cup (65ml) of oil with the yogurt, sugar, eggs, and vanilla and almond extracts.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the yogurt mixture. Stir lightly a couple of time, then add the melted chocolate, and stir until just smooth.
5. Divide the batter into the muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes, or until they feel barely set in the middle.
6. Remove from oven and cool before serving.