Like many wonderful foods and treats, I had never so much as heard of Hi-Hats, let alone had one, until we were living in New York City. There, everyone not only knows what they are, but has a strong opinion about them. Never heard of a Hi-Hat? Well, hang on to your “spanties” (Ellen cracks me up!), cause this:
…is a Hi-Hat. A rich chocolate cupcake piled high with fluffy marshmallow frosting and covered with a delicious chocolate coating. Yes, you heard me correctly. Those East coasters have wisely kept these babies to themselves for far too long, but not anymore!
First and foremost, you need chocolate cupcakes. I think you could really use any recipe you like here, but the one I’m including is nice and sturdy to hold up those chocolate-marshmallow hats. For them, you need, unsweetened chocolate, baking powder, salt, baking soda, butter (don’t be deceived by the half stick here…you need a whole stick), flour, sugar, eggs, water, vanilla, and sour cream.
First, chop the unsweetened chocolate up, put it in the top of a double boiler, or in a microwave safe bowl, and melt it completely. Set it aside to cool a bit. Next sift together your flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the melted chocolate until thoroughly combined. Scrape the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing completely between each one. Next, stir in the vanilla and sour cream; mix well, scrape the bowl, and mix for an extra minute or two. Finally add half of the flour mixture. Allow to mix well, then add the water and mix. Finish up with the remainder of the flour, making sure to scrape the bowl one more time to get everything completely combined.
Line a muffin pan with paper liners and fill each cup with about three tablespoons of batter. This will make them really full, causing them to overflow while baking. I’m not used to doing this. I normally do everything in my power to avoid this. Most cupcake recipes will mound beautifully when you do this, but then fall slightly in the centers once they cool. Like so:
I hate when this happens. Really. But, in this case, it’s important to have that “rim” of cupcake around the edge, so resist the urge to leave the cups only three-quarters full and fill until they only have about a quarter of an inch of the liners showing. Bake them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
When they come out of the oven, let them cool int he pans for five to ten minutes before gently removing them to a cooling rack. Use a paring knife to unstick any cupcakes from the pan. Because these are a little fragile around the edges, place a cooling rack upside down on top of these, hold the rack and the pan together, and flip them over to release the cupcakes. Flip the cupcakes right side up and allow to cool completely before frosting.
For the marshmallow topping, you only need a few ingredients: vanilla, cream of tartar, sugar, egg whites, and water (which I forgot in this photo…again).
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and place it over a pan filled with an inch or two of simmering water. If you have a hand mixer, whisk the mixture on high for 10 to 12 minutes or until stiff peaks form and the mixture reaches 160 degrees. Remove the bowl from the heat and beat the mixture for two more minutes.
I, for some unknown and mind boggling reason, do not own a hand mixer. If you also don’t own one, then when you place the mixture over the simmering water, whisk as vigorously, and constantly, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the mixture reaches 160 degrees. This is going to be tiring, but that’s the price we pay for giving away our hand mixers when we buy standing mixers. Once the mixture reaches 160 degrees, transfer it to the bowl of a standing mixer and whisk on high until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes.
Fill a decorating bag fitted with a large, circular decorating tip, or zip top bag with a half inch hole cut in one corner, with the marshmallow frosting.
Swirl the frosting onto each cupcake, leaving about a quarter inch rim on the outside, until it is about two inches high, using a half cup or so of frosting on each cupcake. When you get to the top, stop squeezing the bag, then gently pull up and slightly to the right to get a little swoop on top.
For the coating, you just need semi-sweet chocolate chips and vegetable or canola oil. Combine the two ingredients in the top part of a double boiler or a bowl set over a pan of a little simmering water. Stir the mixture until it melts completely, then remove it from the heat and set aside to cool for 15 to 20 minutes.
Okay, confession time. I called these chocolate dipped, but they’re not actually dipped at all. The first time i ever tried dipping one of these lovelies, it lost its hat. I no longer dip. Instead, using a large spoon, I drizzle. Starting at the center of each cupcake, drizzle them with enough chocolate to completely cover the marshmallow, leaving none of the frosting showing. Like so:
Allow these to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes to set the coating a bit. Now transfer them back to a clean baking sheet (or platter, just make sure they aren’t touching), and refrigerate for 30 minutes to finish hardening the coating. At this point, you can certainly dig in, but the marshmallow is still going to be very, very soft, so they will be messy. To avoid this, cover the cupcakes and continue chilling them for at least another two hours, or overnight.
Chocolate Dipped High Hats
FOR THE CUPCAKES
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
FOR THE MARSHMALLOW FROSTING
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
FOR THE COATING
12 ounces (1 bag) semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the melted chocolate until thoroughly combined and scrape the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing completely between each one. Stir in the vanilla and sour cream; mix well, scrape the bowl, and mix for another minute.
Add half of the flour mixture and mix well. Stir in the water completely, then add the remainder of the flour and mix thoroughly. Scrape the bowl a final time to get everything completely combined.
Line a muffin pan with paper liners and fill each cup with about three tablespoons of batter.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted int he center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
To make the marshmallow frosting: In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients.
Place the bowl over a pan filled with about 2 inches of simmering water. With a hand mixer, whisk the mixture on high for 10 to 12 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. The mixture should be at 160 degrees. Remove the bowl from the heat and beat on high for another 2 minutes.
To mix by hand, whisk the mixture, over the simmering water, constantly, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the mixture reaches 160 degrees. Once the mixture reaches 160 degrees, transfer it to the bowl of a standing mixer and whisk on high until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes.
To make the coating: Combine the chocolate and oil in the top part of a double boiler or a bowl set over a pan filled with 2 inches of simmering water. Stir the mixture until it melts completely. Remove it from the heat and set aside to cool for 15 to 20 minutes.
Pipe about 1/2 cup of frosting on each cooled cupcake and coat with chocolate. Allow to stand at room temperature for 20 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Cover and continue chilling the cupcakes for 2 more hours.
adapted from Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans and France Ruffenach