Monday, October 12, 2009

Tailgating with Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

So this weekend I decided to go home when my mom reminded me that it was that time of year again! Time for the Genesee Valley Hunt, a tribute to the days when fox hunting was the it thing to do, with horse races, the running of the hounds and of course, fancy tailgating! The tailgating competition is something that my mom does every year and has always come home with a ribbon, this year was no different.

Since I was tagging along I decided to contribute to the menu, and what better for a chilly fall tailgate than hot chocolate? Hot chocolate cupcakes that is, with delicious whipped cream frosting!

I cheated a little with the cupcakes because I was short on time, but it would be easy to make them from scratch!

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
1 package Vanilla Cake Mix (or vanilla cupcake recipe of your choice, enough for 24 cupcakes)
3/4 cup Rich Chocolaty Ovaltine
2 tablespoons Hot Chocolate
Hint: If you're using a cake mix, make sure to replace the amount of water called for on the box with the same measure of Buttermilk.
Mix together ingredients (This amount of Ovaltine and hot chocolate will make your cupcakes barely chocolate, you may wish to add some unsweetened coco for a more chocolate taste.) Follow baking instructions on box or as called for by your choice of recipe.

This frosting has definitely become my new favorite. I have a lot to improve on but it's a less sweet alternative to butter cream and is increadibly tasty. I need to figure out how to make it thicker and will surely try again, but for now here is how the wonderful hot chocolate topping was made.

Almond Whipped Cream Frosting
1 (8 ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar (I used more like 1/3 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (imitation is fine, the real stuff is too expensive)
2 cups heavy cream
1 package gelatin powder

Mix together cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and almond until smooth. Continue mixing at medium speed and slowly add in cream, occasionally stopping to scrape the bottom. Once all cream has been added and frosting is fluffy and holds a peek, continue to mix while adding the package of gelatin (this will help the whipped cream stiffen)
Frost and enjoy!

As for the tailgate, it looked amazing! You would never know from the pictures that this was all served out of the back of a car! My mom is genius when it comes to presentation. Now maybe you can all understand the incredible amount of pressure I feel being a tad on the uncreative side with a mother who uses pottery tools to carve designs into pumpkins in about 30 seconds flat. Maybe someday I can pull this off on my own, but for now, my mom is creative god.

Here's the Menu:
Tenderloin Sandwiches on a fresh baguette with mock boursin cheese
BLT mini quiches
Beet, pear and goats cheese tart
Mini Carrot cake cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting
Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Almond whipped cream frosting

We took home 3rd place for best overall food out of about 30 tailgaters! But we're going for 1st place next year!

I think I'm going to make some cookies or something for a water polo meeting on Wednesday so it shouldn't be too long until you hear from me again!
Until then!



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