These spiderweb cupcakes look so impressive but require very little skill. I took them to a Halloween party/benefit this weekend and they were a huge hit.
People were shocked to find out the web was edible and white chocolate and the ganache stayed shiny and looked much more professional then a swirl of sugary-sweet frosting.
For this recipe I decided to try using special cake flour. It's supposed to be a softer, silkier flour that leaves a light and airy texture in cakes. Honestly, I didn't really see a huge difference but maybe if you were making a cake you might.
Stir together all of the dry ingredients (I'll post the recipe for those who want it in the next post).
This batter just makes me happy. So easy and yet it always turns out so well.
Next add the wet and stir. For this batch I added hot water (Don't! Stick with cold!!) and it became really soupy and lumpy and I had to really whisk the batter to get it back to a nice shiny texture. I've never had this problem when I add cold water, so maybe just stick to the cold.
They still baked up just the same though so it didn't seem to make a big difference.
Once the cupcakes are baked, start on the webs. I used this Kroger brand candy coating and broke off a few squares.
Place in a UNZIPPED sandwich bag and microwave for 45 seconds, kneading the bag halfway through. Close the bag and snip off a very very small section of the bag corner. The smaller the section, the more control you'll have when piping.
Now here comes the tricky part. I decided to use my iPad to trace these spiderwebs. I know, bad idea, but I was very careful and wrapped in completely in wax paper and then placed a second sheet of wax paper on top of that to actually pipe the spider webs. The back lighting made it so much easier to see and I'm out of printer paper so I really didn't have much choice.
Get the spiderwebs to the size you want and carefully trace the design. It won't look that good at first, but that's okay.
Use a toothpick and draw through your design from the center circle through each of the "spokes" of the web. This will create that nice pointy shape and make it look much more realistic.
It really makes a huge difference. Be careful if you are using an iPad not to touch the screen or more the template at all, it can be tricky to get it back to exactly where you had it.
Next for the ganache. Chocolate ganache is so easy and so delicious, I really should make it more often. All you need is chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream. 8oz of chocolate to 1 cup of whipping cream. (I think you're supposed to use the smaller portioned heavy cream that is half this size, I had too much and poured some out into a bowl).
Add the chocolate to a fairly large heat-safe bowl.
And bring the heavy whipping cream to a boil. I was warned about this boiling over really quickly so I turned off the heat immediately when I started getting bubbles. And thinking that since the heat was off it wouldn't bubble over, I grabbed my phone to take a quick picture (above).
And...it boiled over. Can you see all of the milk on the stove and burners? Yikes!
Pour the milk over the chocolate and let it sit for a few minutes. It'll melt all of the chocolate chips and form this nice silky chocolate. You can also add 1 T of butter if you'd like, it gives it a bit of a richer texture.
I thought this was way too much cream so I poured some out into a bowl. The more cream you have the thinner your ganache will be (you can thicken it by placing it in the fridge or thin it back out by microwaving it--very forgiving!).
Once the ganache is set to the consistency you'd like, transfer it to a piping bag, or a sandwich bag like I used here, equipped with a metal piping tip. The metal tip allows you to push it into the center of the cupcake and squeeze ganache into the center without having to create a huge hole in the cupcake. Be generous, I wish I had added more ganache to the center of mine.
Next I microwaved the ganache to thin it out just a bit (20 seconds) until it was nice and shiny and smooth.
Dip your cupcake into the ganache, swirling it around in a circle. Then, lift up and let the excess run off and quickly swirl the cupcake around and flip it back over. If you don't let the excess drip long enough the ganache will run down the sides of the cupcake wrapper.
I think ganache is so much easier than frosting (and trying to get a thick frosting without using 14 bags of powdered sugar) and looks really professional.
Next, get out your spiderwebs. I placed mine in the fridge to harden to ensure the intricate webs didn't break.
Gently peel them off of the wax paper and press them lightly onto the ganache. You'll need to do this within a few minutes of dipping the cupcakes so that the ganache is still wet and hasn't set up yet. When it sets up it will go from a thick chocolate syrup texture to a hot fudge texture.
Fairly simple, right?
And look how cute they are? I was really happy with these. Some of the webs I placed upside down in the white chocolate set up funny and had any air bubbles or didn't look right and some I left right-side up as I thought they were a bit more realistic.
None of the webs broke or didn't turn out and I was really happy with how they turned out overall. I loved making these cupcakes and will definitely be using ganache dipped cupcakes again very soon.
Happy Halloween everyone!