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Halloween Fun and Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes!

I have always loved Halloween!

Growing up, I was totally into the scary movies, the decorating, all of the Halloween candy. But now that I have kids, I think I actually love it even more.

My kids are at such a perfect age for Halloween. They are old enough to get it – picking out their own costumes and everything. In fact, my daughter has been talking about what to dress up for Halloween since last Halloween. I think she’s changed her mind at least 10 times. They are all so excited, though. On October 1st, they all woke up cheering that October had finally come and that it was almost Halloween.

I may not dress up anymore (but maybe I need to change that this year?) and I’ve definitely moved past all of the scary movies (I’ve turned into a wimp), but I still love Halloween. I think it’s the fact that I get to see it through my kids’ eyes. And maybe it’s because I get to make fun Halloween treats.

This year, it’s all about these Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes. Truly – these are for the chocolate lover. Chocolate cupcakes, chocolate mousse, chocolate buttercream and white chocolate ganache. Oh – and the candy that I topped these with had chocolate as well.

 

I started with a tried and true base. These chocolate cupcakes are made using the famous HERSHEY’S PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE Chocolate Cake Recipe. When I was in Pennsylvania with HERSHEY a little while back, we were able to see just how versatile this recipe is – turning it into a 3 layer cake, a 2 layer cake, a bundt cake and cupcakes. And since I knew I needed really good cupcakes, I knew I had to turn to this recipe. I did have to make some high altitude adjustments, which I often have to make with cupcakes, but I have included those changes below the recipe.

Really, though, this cupcake is all about the decorations. Now, I’m not a master cake decorator, but I do love decorating cupcakes and I knew I could make these fun for Halloween. I originally thought I’d do a chocolate ganache on top, but changed it to a white chocolate ganache so that I could color the chocolate and make it perfect for Halloween. There are a few tips I’d like to share with you, though. First, the white baking chips don’t melt the same as semi-sweet baking chips will. The best way to melt the white baking chips is with a double boiler. Combine the chips with the cream, and stir, stir, stir until it is smooth. The second tip is to only use a paste food coloring. Do not try to use the liquid coloring, as it will cause the baking chips to seize up and it just won’t work. You can definitely change up the color. My husband thought I should do orange, but for some reason, I just had green stuck in my head. And I loved the way these turned out! Top them with candy or sprinkles and you have a festive cupcake that tastes incredible as well. I used some candy balls that my grocery store was selling in the bulk section, but REESE’S PIECES would be perfect here!

These Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes will be perfect for all of your Halloween parties this year!

This post has been sponsored by Hershey's, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting me and the companies I partner with.

Halloween Fun and Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • CHOCOLATE MOUSSE FILLING (recipe follows)
  • CHOCOLATE FROSTING (recipe follows)
  • GREEN GANACHE (recipe follows)
  • REESE'S MINI PIECES Candies or other holiday nonpareils or small candies (optional)

Recipe

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Line 36 muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper or foil baking cups.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large mixer bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed with electric mixer for 2 minutes. Carefully stir in the boiling water. Batter will be thin. Fill muffin cups 1/2 full with batter.
  3. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
  4. Prepare CHOCOLATE MOUSSE FILLING and CHOCOLATE FROSTING.
  5. Cut cone shape about 3/4 inch in diameter and 3/4 inch deep with sharp pairing knife from center of the top of each cupcake; set aside. Fill each cavity with about 1 teaspoon mousse. Replace cupcake tops. Place chocolate frosting in pastry bag with decorative tip; pipe frosting onto cupcakes.
  6. Prepare GREEN GANACHE. Cool until ganache is still very fluid, but thick enough to drape over frosting. Spoon about 1 measuring teaspoon ganache over top of each cupcake, allowing ganache to flow over frosting. While ganache is still soft, garnish tops with decorative candies, if desired. Cover; refrigerate leftover cupcakes. Makes 36 cupcakes.

Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons HERSHEY'S SIMPLY 5 Syrup
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons HERSHEY'S Cocoa

Recipe

  1. Beat whipping cream in small bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in syrup and cocoa. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes 2-1/3 cups mousse.

Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients

  • 6 sections (1/2 oz. each) HERSHEY'S Unsweetened Chocolate Baking Bar
  • 4-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Recipe

  1. Place chocolate pieces in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chocolate is melted and smooth when stirred. Set aside.
  2. Place butter in large mixer bowl; beat until creamy. Stir together powdered sugar and cocoa; gradually beat into butter, beating until smooth. Add melted chocolate; beat until well blended. Add cream and vanilla, beating 2 to 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Makes 5 cups frosting.

Green Ganache

Ingredients

  • 1 cup HERSHEY’S Kitchens Premier White Chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Green paste or gel food coloring

Recipe

  1. Place white chips and whipping cream in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH (100%) 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at HIGH an additional 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Add green paste food coloring to get desired shade of green. Makes 3/4 cup ganache.

Recipe created for The Hershey Company by Taste and Tell. To see the original post on Taste and Tell, click here.

Taste and Tell

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