Monday, August 30, 2010

Vampire Cupcakes

I don't know what it says about me that the first thing I think of when I see a blood bank is vampires. Fortunately I also have an altruistic bone conveniently located right next to my morbid bone so my next thought is usually, "I should go and donate blood."

It's been a while since I last donated blood, which is something I feel guilty about since I think it's an important and easy thing to do for others. Who knows when I or one of my loved ones will need blood? It will only be available if others are generous and donate theirs. When I saw that a local ice cream shop was hosting a mobile blood bank last Sunday with the offer of "a pint for a pint" I knew I had to go. And not just for the free ice cream, although that was a lovely bonus. Surely I could spare an hour of my time and a few days of recovery to help out others.

You may be wondering what a post about donating blood has to do with Hoosier Homemade's theme of "summertime fun." Maybe I don't get out of the house often enough or maybe that pint of raspberry truffle ice cream went straight to my head, but I actually had fun there. The folks working the blood drive were great, they were fun to hang out with, and they made the process easy and relatively painless. I went home feeling good about myself and with a free pint of ice cream to boot. Ice cream and bloodletting - is there a better summertime combination?

I found some fun ad campaigns online from the Red Cross featuring vampires, so I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who makes that connection. My "blood"-filled cupcakes are a tribute to anyone who shares my morbid sense of humor and I've included little printouts of some of those ad posters to help get the word out about donating blood. The chocolate vampire bats are made from chili chocolate melted and piped into bat shapes.

The cupcakes themselves are a chili-spiced cake with white chocolate chips, a "bloody" cherry pie filling, and cinnamon whipped white chocolate ganache on top.

White Chocolate Chili Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from 125 Best Cupcake Recipes by Julie Hasson

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup white chocolate chips

1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 12 cupcake wells with paper liners.
2) In a small bowl, mix together flour, chili powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
3) In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, melted butter, and egg until smooth.
4) Alternately whisk flour mixture and buttermilk into the sugar mixture, making three additions of flour mixture and two of buttermilk, beating until smooth. Mix in chocolate chips.
5) Scoop into prepared pan and bake for 22 to 27 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack.

Whipped White Chocolate Ganache
Recipe adapted from Vanilla Garlic

12 ounces white chocolate (good quality)
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt

1) Chop chocolate and transfer to a heat proof bowl.
2) Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Pour cream over the chocolate.
3) Let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.
4) Add butter and vanilla to the chocolate and stir until combined.
5) Whisk together sugar, cinnamon, and salt in another bowl until combined.
6) Pour the sugar mixture onto the chocolate mixture, then stir until combined and smooth.
7) Let sit at room temperature until thickened, about 2 hours.
8) Beat with an electric mixer until fluffy.

Note: Keep close watch as this can suddenly separate.

To Assemble

3/4 cup cherry pie filling

1) In a blender, pulse cherry pie filling a few seconds until large cherries are broken up.
2) Using the cone method, cut out cones and fill cavity with cherry pie filling. Replace top of cone and pipe on white chocolate ganache.


the cape on the corner said...

that's genius! love the bloody center. that just sounds wrong, lol!

Anonymous said...

They look tasty! I was expecting this sort of thing: I love the bats, though!

Alas, I'm not allowed to give blood for... I think another two years. Damn you, Malaria!

Sourkraut said...

I made vampire cupcakes in the past from that Baking Bites recipe and they were good. Really fun too. Wanted to try something different this time and while these do have an oozing bloody filling it didn't photograph well in my kitchen at night. Stupid crappy lighting.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness I am in love with the "Starve a Vampire. Donate Blood." sign. My halloween party this year is going to be a vampire theme and these would be perfect!

Susieqtpies said...

I think I want to make these for my twins #16 birthday party. They theme is zombies. The only problem is that one of the twins can't eat anything cherry. Do you have a suggestion on subsitution? TU!

Susieqtpies said...

I've never filled a cupcake! This "Cone method" you mentioned... is it just cutting out the top center? LMK! I'm making these on Saturday for my Teens Zombie Murder Mystery Party!! TUTUTU

Sourkraut said...

Here's a helpful tutorial that I used when I first started filling my cupcakes. Pretty simple:

Only I don't bother to pipe the filling in. I usually plonk it in with a spoon, which is actually easier if you're using a runny filling like the one called for in this recipe.

Susieqtpies said...

I've linked your post here: THANKS!