Devil’s food cupcakes:
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened, non-alkalized cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 large egg
1 large yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Toasted marshmallow topping:
1/3 cup water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin, about 1 tablespoon
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
18 maraschino cherries, well-drained and patted dry with paper towels
1. Make cupcakes: Position 2 racks near center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into bowl of electric mixer. Stir with wire whisk until combined. Set aside.
3. Combine buttermilk, egg, yolk and vanilla in glass measuring cup with pouring spout and beat with fork until blended.
4. Add butter to dry ingredients and attach bowl to mixer stand. Using paddle attachment, beat mixture on low speed for 2 minutes, until dry ingredients are evenly coated with butter. Add buttermilk mixture in three additions, beating for 20 seconds on medium speed and scraping down sides of bowl with rubber spatula after each addition. (To avoid splattering, turn mixer off when first pouring in liquid, then slowly increase speed to medium.)
5. Spoon batter into 18 lined muffin cups. Bake cupcakes for 18-22 minutes, or until tops of cupcakes are set and tester inserted into center of one cupcake comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on wire rack.
6. Make glaze: Place chopped chocolate and butter in heatproof bowl and melt according to directions in Chocolate Key on page 49.
7. Using small offset metal spatula, spread about 1 teaspoon melted chocolate in even layer over top of each cooled cupcake. Place cupcakes on baking sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes to set chocolate.
8. Make topping: Pour water in small, heavy saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin over water and set aside for 5 minutes to soften.
9. Add sugar to pan and place over very low heat, stirring constantly until sugar and gelatin are both melted. Do not allow mixture to boil (use flame tamer if necessary to maintain low heat).
10. In bowl of electric mixer, combine gelatin mixture with remaining ingredients. Using whisk attachment, whip on high speed until firm peaks form, about 10 minutes.
11. Assemble cupcakes: Place dollop of topping, about 3 tablespoons, onto center of chocolate layer of each cupcake (a #24 ice cream scoop does this nicely). Hold propane torch a couple of inches above surface and, using circular motion, brown marshmallow topping, being careful to avoid paper cups. Garnish center of marshmallow with maraschino cherry. If desired, serve cupcakes immediately — they will be very delicious, but a little messy. Otherwise, let stand at room temperature for about 2 hours to set both topping and chocolate layer (which may have melted slightly from heat of torch).
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