And today is the last installment of my week with Candy Cupcakes! I'll be glad to focus on Easter Treats next week because - is it okay to admit this? - I'm a bit sick of candy. Yeah, I said it. ;) Reflecting on this past week I realized I used some form of M&M's in most of the cupcakes I made. Thinking about it I concluded it was because I'd never tried Mint, Raspberry, or M&M Minis before. And now I know how awesome M&M Minis are...less candy crunch to get to the chocolate taste. Yay! And as far as mini candies go, these are the cutest out there!
So, the cupcakes. I sampled a Raspberry M&M and found the berry taste was pretty powerful. I didn't want to make something that was overpoweringly Raspberry, losing the chocolate flavor. After thinking about it I settled on two different types of chocolate cupcakes.
Chocolate Raspberry M&M crunch cupcake with fresh raspberry buttercream:
For these cupcakes, I added a bit of raspberry extract to the chocolate cake batter I mixed up. Next, I crushed up Raspberry M&M's (I used a potato masher, rolling while pressing down on the M&M's. It was actually not difficult!) and added them to the batter, mixing until fully incorporated. I baked the cupcakes as directed. When they cooled completely, I topped them with awesomely delicious Fresh Raspberry Buttercream, piping them with a 1M Wilton Tip in a classic swirl:
Raspberry Vanilla Buttercream Icing
2 sticks of butter (I did use salted)
4 cups of confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon raspberry extract
1/2 cup of fresh raspberries
3-5 tablespoons half and half
Using a mixer, beat butter until it is fluffy. Add 3 cups of sugar - one cup at a time - mixing until it's completely incorporated. Add vanilla, raspberry extract, fresh raspberries (rinsed and THOROUGHLY dried) and half and half along with the last cup of sugar and mix together, adding more half and half until the icing is the desired consistency.
Chocolate Cupcakes with smashed Raspberry M&M topping iced with raspberry buttercream and Melba sauce:
These were my favorite of the two. First, I baked the chocolate cupcakes as directed, with no M&M's added. While they were still hot out of the oven, I topped them with some crushed M&M's:
When they were completely cooled, I topped them with the same icing as above, but I did not add the fresh raspberries. I piped the white raspberry icing with the same Wilton #1M tip in a classic swirl. Next, I poured Raspberry Melba sauce into a squeeze bottle using a small funnel:
After I filled the bottle, I took the cupcakes out of their wrappers since adding the sauce would be messy. (This is one cupcake I would serve with a fork and no wrapper.) I squeezed the sauce on top of the icing in a criss cross pattern. I think they looked great and they were SSOOO good! As with the previous cupcake there was a nice, unexpected crunch of the M&M's and lots of great raspberry flavor. Chocolate and raspberry together are heaven! I will definitely make these again for dessert in the near future.
That's the end of my Candy Cupcake Series. In two weeks I'm going to do a series of cupcakes based on favorite non-alcoholic drinks. Next week will be carrots, bunnies, chicks and colorful eggs! Have a great weekend. :)