Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cthulhu Cupcakes: Chocolate-Kraut Cake with Nutty Frosting

Secret words. Secret book. Secret cult. Secret creature. Secret . . . ingredient?

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The world of H. P. Lovecraft has become quite the muse for nerdkind. He (and his mythos) has inspired board games, bands, and even a romp-roaring get together. It is now time for dear ol' Lovecraft to inspire baked goods. More importantly, Cthulhu cupcakes.

For those of you not familiar, Cthulhu is central in the Lovecraftian works. It is a gargantuan, hideous, unspeakable terror who's very name drives men to the edges of sanity. And, for those of you who are not giant nerds, Cthulhu is a giant icky octopus thing. All and all, he's pretty gross. So how do we take such a slimy monstrosity and turn it into a baked good? By adding an equally slimy monstrosity into the cake. Enter sauerkraut.

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Right about now you're probably thinking that I've finally gone off my rocker. We've done some crazy cupcakes before, but we've never mucked about with fermented cabbage. I was totally with you while I was preparing this recipe. As I was washing and draining the sauerkraut, the pungent smell made me second guess. But, like any quality evil scientist, I ignored my conscience and tossed it into the batter. Then, something magical happened. The kraut bonded with the chocolate to make a deep, rich, multi-leveled deliciousness I haven't experienced before. The texture was similar to coconut. Top this terror with the supernaturally amazing Nutty Frosting, and you've got a real monster on your hands. Something so good had to be pure evil.

These cupcakes were created for two reasons: The Second Level Wizard's Cthulhupalooza (more about that later on) and this month's Mystery Box Challenge. This time around The Sweetest Kitchen asked bakers to create a lovely chocolate cake . . . . with a twist. The winner receives some fantabulous prizes:
Now, brace yourself for the cupcake which has, until now, only existed inside the pages of the Necronomicon. Do not be afraid, younglings - embrace the pure evil!

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Cthulhu Cupcakes: Chocolate-Kraut Cake with Nutty Frosting
Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes
3/4 cup of chopped sauerkraut, washed and drained
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of butter
3 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup of water + 1/2 cup of milk
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1) Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the sauerkraut in a sieve and rinse with cold water. Let it drain in the sink until you're ready to use it. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.

2) In a large bowl, whip together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then vanilla, mixing well after every addition.

3) Add the dry ingredients and the milk/water mixture, alternating between the two and stirring with a wooden spoon until everything is incorporated. Add the sauerkraut and the chocolate chips into the batter, until it is evenly distributed.

4) Spoon into cupcake liners to bake. Leave in the oven for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until your cake tester comes out clean. Set out to cool before icing.

Nutty Frosting
2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
green colour gel, optional

1) Beat the heavy cream until it's reached soft peaks. Set aside.

2) Place the peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt together in a large bowl. Whip with an electric mixer until everything is evenly distributed. Add the confectioners sugar, a little at a time, until completely mixed in.

3) Fold the peanut butter mixture into the whipped cream with a wooden spoon until fully combined. If you wish, separate 1/3 of the frosting and dye it green. Then, place the icing in a piping bag and pipe over cooled cupcakes. Enjoy the horror.


The Chic Geekess said...

My family has a recipe for a chocolate sour kraut cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting. We actually dice up the kraut so it disappears in the finished product. It just adds a lovely richness and moistness! I'm so glad to see someone else doing it! Beautiful job!

Lina Thomlinson said...

You had me at "Cthulhu." These would go nicely with my stuffed Cthulhus and my Cthulhu Christmas stocking. All hail the mighty Cthulhu! Not only do I adore your decorations but you win hands down for creativity with the Sweetest Kitchen's theme. No one else even came close. Sometimes it pays to be an evil genius.

Carine said...

Love your cupcakes! Very bold and daring twist to the challenge! I agree with Sourkraut - noone can beat your creativity! I tried to rack my brain to come up with something original, but failed miserably and ended up with a very nice-tasting white chocolate hi hat cupcake. You definitely got my vote!

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