October 23, 2017
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Chocolatey and delicious chocolate cupcakes topped with an italian meringue to make cute and spooky ghost cupcakes for Halloween!
So Halloween is well an truly upon us now. It’s really not that far away any more, and its the perfect excuse to make anything ‘spooky’! Lets be honest though, its not spooky at all but they’re still mini little ghosts and I will call the cute and spooky.
After the successes of my Halloween drip cake and pumpkin spice cupcakes, I thought I should do some other Halloween baked goodies and these were too good to resist.
When searching through Pinterest, there were so many cute little bits on ghosts, I wanted to do something ghost themed! I wasn’t too sure how, but meringues seemed best. As I didn’t want to have to toast/torch the meringue so that it would stay brilliantly white, I went for an italian meringue.
This italian meringue recipe is the same as the one I used in my no-bake lemon meringue cheesecake as its just such a delicious and beautiful meringue. It is a tad complicated for some people, and it does require a sugar thermometer and some confidence, but if you pull it off its wonderful.The amazing part of using an italian meringue is that it doesn’t need to be browned off at all, as its already baked/cooked through the sugar syrup.
I went for a simple chocolate cupcake using a 100% cocoa powder and it made the cupcakes a really dark and beautiful colour. In my mind, it made it more spooky and it made them taste DELIGHTFUL! The contrast between the cupcakes and the meringue makes the ghosts seem even whiter!
Baking cups and piping tips
You can use black baking cases like I have below or you can use some Iced Jems baking cups if you would prefer. I can not recommend baking cups enough, they add perfectly to the theme of every bake but on this occasion, I really wanted the contracting colours to pop! I would recommend using large piping bags with a large round nozzle to get your desired ghost shape!
They don’t have to be perfect…
My little ghosts are what you could call unique as I was a tad rushed when baking them, and quite frankly, they still taste good whether they’re perfect looking or not. Some of my chocolate dribbled a bit, some went down right wrong. Some of my meringues look a tad funky, but I’m pretty content with the fact that you can tell they’re ghosts!
Either way, I’m happy with my version of these ghost cupcakes. These delicious beings will last 2-3 days at room temperature – thats if they aren’t snapped up sooner because just look at them!! I hope you enjoy these if you do bake them and have a wonderful Halloween! Enjoy! x
- 150 g unsalted butter
- 150 g light brown sugar
- 125 g self raising flour
- 25 g cocoa powder
- 3 medium eggs
Italian Meringue Topping
- 185 g granulated sugar
- 85 ml water
- 100 g egg whites
- Melted dark chocolate
For the Cupcakes
- Heat your oven to 180C/160 Fan/350F and line a cupcake/muffin tin with 12 large cupcakes cases/muffin cases. Or 12 Iced Jems baking cups!
- With a stand mixer – beat the butter with the light brown sugar until light and fluffy – combine the eggs, self-raising flour and cocoa powder with the butter/sugar mix until well combined. It won’t take too long to mix!
- If the mixture is too stiff you can add a little bit of milk at a time to get a smooth light consistency (full-fat will prevent the mix splitting), but a good beating will do the trick.
- Spoon the mix into the cupcake cases evenly and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer poked into one of the cakes comes out clean and they are springy to touch – leave them to cool fully on a wire rack.
For the Italian Meringue
- Pour the sugar and the water into a heavy-based saucepan and bring to boil, stir it occasionally with a wooden spoon. When the mixture starts to boil monitor the temperature until it reaches 120C (firm ball stage) with a sugar thermometer!
- When the mixture is heating up and boiling, if any sugar splashes up the side of the pan, brush the sides with a pastry brush and cold water to get rid of it – this will stop the mixture crystallising and messing up!
- Whilst the mixture is starting to get towards the temperature whisk the egg whites in your electric stand mixer! When the sugar syrup has reached the temperature and the egg whites are at stiff peaks start to pour the sugar syrup onto the egg whites at the edge of the bowl whilst still whisking – make sure you do this slowly so its a constant trickle of sugar syrup so that the egg whites stay smooth!
- Continue to whisk throughout whilst the sugar syrup is pouring in, and after its all whisked in continue to whisk the mixture fast and on a high speed for 5-7 minutes until the mixture is smooth, and has cooled down.
- To decorate the cupcakes – In a large disposable piping bag with a large round nozzle and pipe the meringue onto the cupcakes in little ghost shapes. It’s sometimes best to practice a couple separately first! I pipe the meringue on by pointing the nozzle downwards till it creates a bottom, then lift slightly. Then, I repeat again with a slightly smaller blob and lift to create a thin top! *this is very hard to describe so sorry*
- I then pipe on the tiniest little amount of dark chocolate to create eyes and a mouth but you could use fondant easily as well! Enjoy!
- If you don’t want to or don’t feel confident enough to make an Italian Meringue then you can do a normal meringue using the 4 large egg whites, and 200g of caster sugar and mix like you would a normal meringue – however, the meringue will be raw this way.
- You could also make normal meringue, and then pipe the ghost separately and bake them like you would a mini meringue – you’ll just need to stick them on with melted chocolate!
- These spooky and delightful cupcakes last for 2-3 days at room temperature!
- I recommend these large disposable piping bags with a large round nozzle!
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Hiya I am in the process of making them right now, I did the boiling of the water and sugar and I let it cool down by accident as I was looking at the wrong temperature I just reheated it but when I began to pour the mix it had crystallised at the bottom and I got some in my egg white mix. It is currently mixing now will it still work and be ok to eat?
Hi, when attempting to make these as soon as we added the sugar mixture to the egg white it turned orange/brown and was wondering how you kept it white
Just made these for Halloween, great recipe really easy to follow. I think I messed up my italian meringue though, not nearly as soft as yours more marshmallowy! Would this be if over whisked the egg whites at the start? Or can it be over whisked once it’s all combined? Love your recipes, have made some amazing things which I get a lot of high praise for so thank you!
Hey! How do you know it’s softer? This meringue if made correctly is just like any meringue and holds itself completely (such as when you hold a bowl over your head) – as long as that’s the case, then the meringue was done correctly! As you whisk the Italian meringue for quite a long time, it would be hard to over whisk it!