Cho                        Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream

Chocolate Cake (the recipe is on the can of Hershey's Cocoa) Hershey's "perfectly chocolate cake"

Fill the cupcake liners about  2/3- 3/4 full. Bake at 350 º for about 20 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pan on a wire rack. Makes about 20 cakes.

Vanilla bean swiss buttercream

2 large egg whites

1/2 C sugar

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the eggs whites and sugar and place over a pot with simmering water. Whisk the egg whites and sugar and heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is about 160 degrees. Turn off the heat. Attach the mixer bowl onto the mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk the mixture on medium until the bottom of the bowl is almost cool to the touch and the mixture has turned into a nice stiff meringue.  This will take several minutes. With the mixer on medium high, add the softened butter one tablespoon at a time and continue to mix until all the butter is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. It will go through a curdled looking stage as it mixes; but don't worry keep adding the butter and it will come together. Add in the vanilla bean paste and mix to combine.

"Cakeage Assemblage"

Once the cupcakes are cool, take an apple corer and remove a piece of the cake to creat the hole for the buttercream filling. Pipe in the buttercream filling. Pipe all the cakes at once so you have them all ready for dipping. Level off the buttercream so the mound is flat and  level with the top of the cupcake and remove any crumbs that you find on the top of the cake; this will ensure a smoother finish once you dip the cakes.

Prepare the Chocolate ganache.

Dip the cupcakes into the ganache icing and let them set up at room temperature before piping on the script.

Pipe your script with a number 3 round piping tip onto the cupcakes. Store in an airtight container at room temp.

Chocolate ganache icing

1 C semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 C heavy cream

1 Tbsp. corn syrup

In a small bowl place the chocolate. Heat the heavy cream and corn syrup until just boiling. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let the mixture sit for 2 minutes. Whisk the mixture slowly until smooth; try not to incorporate too much air as to prevent bubbles. Tap the bowl on the counter several times to release any air bubbles to the top. Poke the bubbles with a tooth pick or bamboo skewer. Let the ganache mixture sit for about 7 minutes before dipping the cakes.

Royal Icing  for script writing

2 Tablespoons meringue powder

1/4 C water

8 oz. (1/2 lb.) Confectioners sugar

1/2 tsp. clear vanilla (optional)

Whisk the meringue powder and water until mixture is foamy. Sift in the sugar in small amounts and whisk on low until you have a nice glossy meringue. Increase to medium high and whisk until stiff peaks. This will take about 5 minutes. Place the icing into a bowl and add a tsp. of water at a time; stir until the mixture is has medium stiff peaks. Place the icing in a piping bag fitted with a No. 3 round tip and pipe the script onto the cakes. Keep the end of the piping bag/tip wrapped with a damp paper towel while you are working to avoid the tip drying out and thus preventing the icing from drying in the tip. Keep the icing covered also while you are working so the icing does not dry out and crust over.