There were many comments from other people on how their cupcakes collapsed after taking them out from the oven, but I was undeterred. Somehow rather naively, being the new baker as I am, I believed that cupcakes would turn out otherwise. As I did not have mini cupcake holders then, I made normal sized cupcakes. Everything went about rather smoothly, the mixing, the folding, etc. but lo and behold, after I took the cupcakes out, the tops collapsed after a few minutes! I experienced the same fate as the rest of the people.
The next day, I went out to buy mini cupcake baking trays and holders. I think the size of the cupcakes must have been crucial in the baking process. But I didn't try baking a new batch immediately. In fact, the trays were left sitting in the cupboard for weeks, until I watched an episode of Nigella on youtube on Sunday. She mentioned that her mantra was "feel the fear and cook it anyway". I have to listen to the domestic goddess isn't it?
I had plans to meet up a friend today, and decided that I should try my hand at baking these little cupcakes again. This time, I did a few things different. I left the cupcakes to cool in the oven for a while as I thought the sudden change in temperature could be the cause of the crackling tops. In the end, the cupcakes turned out pretty good. They didn't collapse! And they tasted great! Flakey tops with gooey chocolate centres. However, I learnt another lesson. These cupcakes are not easily transported.. They crumble and fall apart rather easily, therefore any slight knock would leave them 'bruising'. Should you want to try your hand at these cupcakes, it's best to invite your friends over, or make sure you have a proper carrier should you want to bring them out!
Mini Chocolate Meringue Cupcakes (adapted from Giada, Foodnetwork)
Website link here
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup sugar (I reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup & it was sweet enough)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I left out the cinammon)
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1/4 cup cake flour
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
(I read from the reviews that many people had problems with the icing setting, therefore I used melted chocolate, without the oil)
A (24-count) mini-muffin pan, 18 to 20 (1.25-inch diameter) paper mini-muffin cup liners
- For the cupcakes: arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 24-count mini-muffin pan with 1.25-inch diameter paper liners and set aside.- In a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the egg yolks, vegetable oil, 1/3 cup of the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt, at high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Mix in the melted chocolate chips and stir until smooth (mixture will be thick).
- In a separate bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites at high speed until they hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes. With the machine running, gradually add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks, about 2 minutes. Stir 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula, fold the remaining egg white mixture. In batches, sift the flour over the batter and fold it in using a spatula. Fill each paper liner to the top with batter and bake for 12 minutes until puffed. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
- For the topping: In a small bowl, combine the melted chocolate chips and oil. Stir until smooth.
Using a fork, drizzle the chocolate mixture over the cupcakes. Allow the topping to harden for at least 1 1/2 hours at room temperature before serving. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
(I baked my cupcakes at 170*C for 9 mins, then reduced the temperature to 160*C for the next 3 mins. I also left the cupcakes in the oven to cool with the door slightly ajar for around 10 mins)