Sunday, August 14, 2011
Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes + Special Dedication
I recently came across this quote – “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” By Diane Ackerman. My personal motto - Live each day to the fullest and be grateful for this day.
A curve ball was thrown to me along with numerous other people this last week. My wonderful friend Carole from work lost her battle. It came as a shock to many, especially since knowing Carole, she was strong, courageous and believed she would beat the ugly beast, called cancer.
To know Carole is to love her. Over the last week, many conversations centered on all of the wonderful memories we have of Carole and how she touched each of us. Carole was kind, funny, smart and always grateful. She was my friend and confidant. I will miss her terribly.
Yesterday was the celebration of Carole’s life. The owners of our company were gracious enough to host the event at their wonderful home for both family members and co-workers to honor this very special lady. Carole loved all things food and especially loved baking. When I sent my RSVP for the celebration, I inquired if I could help by bringing something. A response quickly followed with a dessert would be wonderful. I knew exactly what I would bring and it was my way of honoring my dear friend Carole.
An all employee email went out on Monday morning informing everyone about Carole’s passing. Included in the email was a beautiful quote about Carole that I wanted to share, since it so eloquently tells you about who this special human being was.
“Carole epitomized the tenets on which our company is based. A true and genuine empathy for every person with whom she interacted, uncompromising excellence in the level of service she provided day in and day out, unquestionable integrity in thought and action. Carole’s work ethic, in combination with her pure heart, gentle persistence, effortless grace and unparalleled kindness made an impact on everyone she touched. An impact that translated to unbridled success of the business, and a posse of hearts which surrounded her, thriving in the light of her humanness.
Carole never, for a single moment, lost sight of the most important principles of what has made us successful: care, compassion and service carefully combined with savvy business smarts and hard work. Through her leadership by example, many came to know and understand the company way. Her legacy, built upon the endless moments where her light added joy to our days, is without end.
And not to go unsaid, Carole was not one who had to be noticed, who had to get the credit. She was a presence the result of which, people around her did the right thing because they wanted to, because they felt it right, because they felt good about themselves.” - Anna N.
Carole my dear friend, I will miss you terribly, but I am so blessed that I have known you over the last almost 13 years. I am dedicating this post to you. Love you.
Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes
(makes 24-27 standard sized cupcakes)
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup boiling water
Line muffin tin with paper liners. Heat oven to 350*F.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for one minute.
Stir in boiling water (the batter will be thin, don't worry, this is right).
Fill liners 2/3 full with batter.
Bake cupcakes for approximately 19 to 22 minutes.
Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.
2 (large) egg whites
1 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large heatproof bowl (the metal bowl of your electric mixer), combine the egg whites, sugar, water, corn syrup, cream of tartar and salt.
Set the bowl over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan and heat mixture, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch (about 160*F), about 3 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed, about 2 minutes.
In a small bowl, microwave 1 cup mini marshmallows 30 seconds to 1 minute, until puffed, and starting to melt.
Add marshmallows to mixture in electric mixer, reduce speed to low and add vanilla. Continue beating (on low) until the marshmallows are melted and frosting is completely smooth (about 3-4 minutes). Use frosting right away.
Frost cooled Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow frosting. I used a large french tip. If desired, use a kitchen torch to brown the frosting. Top frosted cupcakes with a piece of Hersheys chocolate, and a piece of graham cracker.
Note: The graham cracker gets a bit soft from the frosting. If it's important to you that it be nice and crisp, bake the graham crackers (in a single layer on a baking sheet) about 5 minutes in a 325*F oven to dry them out a bit.
*Recipe from Glorious Treats