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I finally discovered the Wilton 1M tip and I feel like I’ve missed out on more fun than a duck with a gluten allergy at a public park. I’ve also fallen in love with my Bismark tip. I now spend my days wondering what I can shove inside cupcakes, because regular cupcakes are just not good enough for me anymore. That’s right; I’ve become a cupcake snob. You can tell based on my use of a semicolon in the last sentence. Who the hell uses semicolons anymore? I do; because I’m a cupcake snob.

I love chocolate covered strawberries. Eating one is an amazing experience for me. Of course, I don’t have the same reaction as that short-haired brunette chick in the Peppermint Pattie commercials. I loathe that commercial. LOATHE. The advertising executive who thought people were dumb enough to believe York Peppermint Patties produce that kind of reaction when eaten deserves to be punched in the face.

As I was saying, I love chocolate covered strawberries, and since my last batch of cupcakes turned out pretty well I thought I’d try my hand at another batch. These are chocolate cupcakes, filled with strawberry puree, topped with strawberry meringue frosting and then dipped in semisweet chocolate.

They were delicious;

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes:
Adapted from Joy of Baking
1/2 cup (50 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup (240 ml) boiling hot water
1 1/3 cups (175 grams) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Filling Ingredients:
½ can strawberry pie filling pureed
1 cup fresh strawberries (pureed if using the Bismark tip, otherwise finely chopped is ok if you’re scooping it into the cupcakes)

Swiss Meringue Strawberry Buttercream Frosting (or SMSBF for short):
Adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries (8 oz.), rinsed, hulled and coarsely chopped
4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature

Chocolate Shell:
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
Sprinkles for garnish

Directions for Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly butter, or line 16 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a small bowl stir until smooth the boiling hot water and the cocoa powder. Let cool to room temperature.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Then in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.

Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 16 – 20 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. (Do not over bake or the cupcakes will be dry.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled fill each one with strawberry/strawberry pie puree mixture using your Bismark tip. You can also cut a cone shaped hole in the cupcake using a paring knife, fill and then put the top back on before frosting.

Directions for Frosting:

NOTE: You really should use a stand mixer to make this frosting. Mine started to curdle when I added the strawberries and I was unable to save it with my electric hand mixer. I added it to my stand mixer with the whisk attachment, cranked it up to med-high for a few minutes and the frosting whipped up beautifully. So use your stand mixer. If you don’t have one, go buy one. Or get into a fight with your significant other and guilt them into buying one as a way to apologize for being an insensitive jerk who just doesn’t appreciate your cupcakes.

Puree the strawberries in your food processor until completely smooth.  Add the egg whites and sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer (or any heatproof bowl) and set it over a pan of simmering water.  Heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and reaches 160F.

Attach the bowl to your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.   Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 10 minutes. (The bowl will be cool to the touch.)

Reduce the mixer to medium-low speed and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time.  Let each addition incorporate before adding the next.  (The frosting may look soupy or curdled once you add the butter – just keep beating and it will come together.)  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then add the strawberry puree to the bowl.  Beat until combined – the mixture will probably look curdled again when you add the strawberries, keep beating!)

Pipe the buttercream onto the filled cupcakes using a Wilton 1M tip. Make sure frosting is high enough that the tops can be dipped in chocolate. Refrigerate cupcakes for 30 minutes.

Directions for Chocolate Shell:

Place chocolate chips and shortening in a medium-large microwave safe bowl. I used a 5 inch tall, narrower rocks glass so the chocolate was deep enough to dip into.  Microwave on high, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.  Taking a few cupcakes out of the fridge at a time, dip frosting part of cupcakes in the melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off.  Immediately top with sprinkles.  Wait until chocolate is set before serving.

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