On Abraham Lincoln, the top hat imbued honesty into his every word. On Fred Astaire, the hat conveys every movement as beauty and grace. Even Mr. Peanut wears a top hat when he's steppin' out in style. So, how does that tie in with cupcakes?
Enter the Hi Hat (aka High Hat) cupcake. A tender chocolate cupcake topped with over 2 inches of marshmallow icing, dipped in rich chocolate coating. How much more graceful and stylish can you get?
I've been enamored with Hi Hat cupcakes since I first saw them in Elinor Klivans' book Cupcakes!. It was one of the first cupcake books I ever purchased and her photo of hi hats played a big role in my purchase. Miles of marshmallow topping surrounded by a layer of chocolate. It looked just like a vanilla soft serve cone dipped in that magic dip that hardens in seconds. I just had to have it!
Would I bite off the tip of the chocolate and schluck out the marshmallow like a noisy anteater? Would I bite near the base, leaving smudges of chocolate on my nose and forehead? Whatever I decided, I knew the hi hat was going to be a gloriously delicious messy milestone in my cupcake lovin' like.
So who am I to withhold such a fantastic fantasy from you? Never fear, we'll hold hands and do it together. Let's make Hi Hat Cupcakes.
You'll need cupcakes to start with. I used our Deliciously Simple Chocolate cake mix. You can use standard sized cupcakes, absolutely, but I wanted to try some oversized cupcakes to use as 2 person treat. These mini round pans fit the bill to a T.
Placing the pans on a lined baking sheet will add stability, and make it easy to get the pans in and out of the oven.
It's important to fill these pans just halfway full. You'll see why in just a moment.
Bake the cuppies in the center of the oven. Standard sized cupcakes take about 15 to 18 minutes. These oversized ones take about 20 to 25 minutes.
I told you too much batter in the cups was a mistake. No worries, I found plenty of volunteers to eat the ones that volcanoed.
Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely.
After the cupcakes have cooled, you need to make the marshmallow filling.
In a measuring cup, bring 3/4 cup of water to a boil in the microwave. Stir in 1/2 cup of granulated sugar until completely dissolved. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Once the sugar water is cool, add 1/4 cup of meringue powder to the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the sugar water and whip for several minutes until very stiff peaks form. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes in a stand mixer.
The marshmallow topping should be quite firm and hold high peaks. If it is too soft, it won't hold up to the dipping process.
Fill a disposable pastry bag or zip lock kitchen bag with the marshmallow.
Cut a large opening in the bag. It should be about the size of a dime when opened. A little bit larger is fine, but don't go any smaller.
Now for the piping. Take the cupcake and brush off any extra crumbs.
Pipe a circle around the edge of the cupcake and then fill it in with marshmallow.
Repeat with a second layer, slightly smaller in diameter than the first. Think vanilla soft serve in a cone. You want a total of 4 layers, each a bit smaller than the previous.
Make a mistake? No worries, just scoop off the marshmallow and try again.
If piping isn't your thing, you can still swirl on the marshmallow, but it won't get nearly as high.
See? Swirled with a knife on the left, piping on the right. Yes, oh, yes that is a lot of marshmallow. These hi hats aren't for the faint of heart.
You can see how different cupcakes look compared to each other. Don't fret little cuppies, you are all lovely to me.
Place the piped cupcakes in the freezer for several hours to set up. It's important for the marshmallow to be cold and firm so that it can hold up to the big dip.
Smooth baby, smooooth.
Cool the chocolate mixture to room temperature. Pour the chocolate dip into a deep, narrow glass or cup. You are looking to submerge the whole top of the cupcake, so shallow bowls are out for this round.
Bombs er... cuppies away!
Dip so that the entire marshmallow crest is covered, but not so deep as to dip the cupcake. The dripping chocolate will take care of that. Hold the cupcake upside down over the glass for the excess to drip off a bit.
Set the cupcake upright on the tray to firm up.
Let's be honest, it will take a few tries to get it just right.
If the chocolate is too warm, it will melt the marshmallow and your hi hat will become a slouchy beret.
One of the few times that too much chocolate isn't a good thing. Try not to be over zealous in your dipping.
A nice smooth coating will dry by itself at room temperature. I found it very funny how they tended to dry from the bottom up. Patience is a virtue here, but you can use the freezer or fridge to speed things up.
So, how about those oversized sharing cupcakes? Web director Halley's daughters Daisy and Bella were very willing to give it a go.
Man oh man! Check out that chocolate coating holding in miles of sky high marshmallow. I think Bella has the right idea, these are going to be finger lickin' good!
And Daisy thinks so too!
Thanks for sharing, girls. Hope Mom's office didn't end up too sticky.
Hi hat cupcakes make a special treat for special occasions. A few nuts sprinkled on the soft chocolate dip would dress them up a bit, and a few bright candy decorations would turn them into a bevy of beauties for birthday parties. Just remember to bring plenty of napkins.
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