Valentine Cupcake Treat


mint chocolate cupcake

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes with Candied Mint Leaves

Try my refreshing cupcakes for your after dinner Valentine treat. The cool mint keeps your breath kissable sweet!
(finalist in The Morning Call’s 2009 Cupcake Contest )
Mint Condition Chocolate Cupcakes
(makes approximately 2 dozen cupcakes)
Cake Ingredients
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup half and half
1 cup water
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon mint extract
1 teaspoon Godiva liqueur

In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together half and half, water, oil, eggs and extracts. Pour liquid mixture into the dry ingredients. Blend with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes or until batter is smooth and light air bubbles appear on the surface.
Pour 1/3 cup portions of batter into individual paper-lined cupcake tins. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven approximately 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Filling
1 cup half and half
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup Crisco
6 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Godiva liqueur
2 teaspoons cocoa
Cook half and half and flour together over medium heat, whisking constantly until thick and resembles whipped potatoes. Cool. Whip cooled mixture in an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 10 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add Crisco and butter. Beat. Add remaining ingredients and beat until light and fluffy.

Refreshingly Minty Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoon mint extract
Cream together sugar, butter and extract. Add water one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Candied Mint Leaves
24 fresh mint leaves
1 egg white slightly beaten
1/4 cup super fine granulated sugar
3 to 4 drops mint extract
Rinse leaves and pat dry. Brush both sides of leaf with egg white. Cover completely. Dip leaf into sugar and shake off excess or dust egg-coated leaves with sugar.
Lay leaves in a single layer on waxed paper. Allow leaves to air dry in a warm place. Flip leaves if necessary to dry thoroughly.
Leaves are ready to use when completely dry. Store unused leaves in the refrigerator.

Use a pastry bag with a star or border tip to insert filling through the top of each cooled cupcake. Frost. Decorate with fresh mint sprig or candied mint leaves.

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