I jump, you jump, we all jump for cupcakes! Okay, so maybe that’s not really how the rhyme goes but today we were doing just that. A special thanks to the Galvond’s for inviting us to daughter Savannah’s birthday party at their newly opened Jump Highway in Fairfield. What a cool place! Wall to wall trampoline. Finally-a place where kids can literally bounce off the walls! There were also spacious birthday party rooms, which we enjoyed. If you are looking for something fun to do indoors this winter with the kids, check them out at www.jumphighway.com.
I was in charge of cake today so I inquired as to the birthday girl’s favorite flavors, colors, etc. It turned out she likes chocolate cupcakes, vanilla ice cream, vanilla, chocolate chip cookies and that she doesn’t really care for frosting that much. It immediately occurred to me-I would do a chocolate cupcake, filled with vanilla ice cream, topped with whipped cream as a frosting and put a couple of tiny homemade chocolate chip cookies on top.
6.5 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips or finely chopped up bars (Today I used a 50/50 mixture of Cadbury Royal Dark and Cost Plus 99% dark chocolate, which has no emulsifiers.)
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick softened, unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (and vanilla bean if you have it on hand)
3 eggs (I used fresh ones procured from the Galvond farm, of course)
2 cups flour (I usually use organic, unbleached flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat milk until just hot (do not boil), remove from heat, whisk in chocolate until melted smoothly and let cool.
In a small bowl, sift together flour and baking soda.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and salt then mix in vanilla. Add in eggs, one at a time, thoroughly mixing and scraping down sides of bowl after each addition. Mix in flour mixture and cooled milk mixture in three parts, alternating dry and liquid, and beating and scraping bowl between additions like this: 1/3 dry, 1/2 flour, 1/3 dry, 1/2 liquid and final 1/3 dry. Beat for 2-3 minutes on medium speed.
Line cupcake pans with cupcake papers. Fill cupcake papers 2/3 full. Bake 18-20 minutes. Cupcakes are done once a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or has just a couple of yummy looking crumbs on it.
Let cupcakes cool 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Once cupcakes are completely cooled, place them in the freezer and let freeze at least one hour. Using a melon baller, form a cavity in the center of each cupcake. Return to freezer for an hour more. Spoon vanilla ice cream into the cavity of the cupcakes, being sure to press down to help fill the cavity completely. Return cupcakes to the freezer for 2 hours.
And while all of this freezing is occurring, time to get the garnish ready. First the whipped cream ‘icing”:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
A splash of vanilla extract
With your mixer on high speed, whip all ingredients together until nice peaks form. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.
Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sorry, folks, I can’t take ANY credit on this recipe. I used the Nestle Toll House recipe and just used mini chip for my mini cookies. These cookies were made by spooning ½ teaspoon fulls of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet and baking them for 6 minutes at 375 degrees.
Using a piping bag or a Ziploc bag, pip the whipped cream onto the top of the cupcakes in any design you desire. Position a couple of fully cooled mini cookies on the top of each cupcake and return cupcakes to the freezer. Freeze 2 hours or, ideally, overnight. Let frozen cupcakes rest at room temperature around 30 minutes before serving.
Happy Birthday, Savannah!