Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chocolate Spider Webs

With Halloween creeping up on us, here’s a delicious treat that’s not at all tricky to make. Mini devil’s food cakes topped with chocolate spider webs are a fun project that you won’t mind getting tangled up in.

Chocolate lovers, these devil’s food cakes are for you! With lots of cocoa powder and coffee in the batter, they are dense, rich and super chocolaty. If you’re not a huge fan of rich chocolate desserts or have another favorite chocolate cake recipe, by all means use it. I won’t tell anyone if you use a box mix. ;-)

The cakes are topped with smooth cream cheese icing that drips down the sides, giving them a look that is not only temptingly luscious but spooky in a melting candle wax kind of way. I used orange juice to loosen the icing and make it drippy, which imparts a nice citrus note as well. Though it doesn’t really show up too well in the photos, I also mixed in a little orange food coloring to make the cakes look more “Halloweeny.”

For the chocolate spider webs, all you need is one cup of melted semisweet chocolate morsels, a piping bag, parchment paper, and a tiny bit of artistic flare to freehand the spider web shapes. See instructions and photos below:

 1) Cut out a piece of parchment paper large enough to fit a whole or half sheet tray. Place the parchment paper over the open end of a muffin pan and trace the circles with a pencil.
 2) Draw a spider web inside of each circle. It’s easy: just create several spiky concentric circles and connect them with straight lines.
 3) Place the parchment paper on a sheet tray. Trace the chocolate over the pencil lines using a piping bag with a small tip or a small hole cut off the end.
 4) Refrigerate until the chocolate is completely set. Carefully peel the chocolate spider webs from the parchment paper to remove.

Once the spider webs are ready, top the fully cooled and iced cakes with your creepy creations and watch them come to life. I hope that you enjoy this fun technique!

If you’re interested in more Halloween treats, don’t forget to check out my Spooky Skull Cookies. Happy Halloween!

Chocolate Spider Web Cakes:
Mini Devil’s Food Cakes with Cream Cheese Icing & Chocolate Spider Webs
Yield: 1 dozen mini cakes
Dry Ingredients (measure by weight):
- 10 ounces granulated sugar
- 4 ½ ounces cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3 ounces cocoa powder
Wet Ingredients (measure by volume):
- 3 eggs
- 4 ounces vegetable oil
- 4 ounces buttermilk (to make your own, combine 1 tablespoon lemon juice with 1 cup milk and let stand for 5 minutes
- 4 ounces coffee
- 1, 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
- ¼ cup orange juice
- Orange food coloring (optional)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12 cup muffin-tin with cupcake liners.
2) In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the dry ingredients. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix on medium speed until well-blended. Add the batter to the prepared muffin cups.
3) Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cakes completely. While the cakes are cooling, prepare the icing.
4) For the icing, combine the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in an electric mixer and mix on medium speed until well-blended and smooth. Add the orange juice to thin. Add food coloring if desired.
5) Remove cupcake liners from the cakes, if desired. Spoon the icing over the cooled cakes, allowing it drip decoratively over the sides. Top with chocolate spider webs (instructions above). 

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