Witch Hat Chocolate Meringue Pumpkin Cupcakes

Halloween is just around the corner and its one of the best times of year to dress up your dessert!

I must say I have never liked overtly gruesome Halloween treats (think bleeding eye cake balls, or "bloody" éclair fingers…) I prefer my Halloween desserts to still look edible and not make my stomach churn! So these little cupcake do just the trick!

An added bonus with this recipe is that it can be made all throughout autumn and doesn't necessarily need to be Halloween themed. To do so, simply make regular shaped meringues as opposed to witch hats.

CHOCOLATE MERINGUE PUMPKIN CUPCAKES

You will need...

1/2 cup gluten free flour of choice (I used white rice flour) 1/2 heaping tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp xanthan gum 1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice 1 tsp chai tea loose leaves 1 XL eggs, at room temperature 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup light brown sugar 1/4 cup yoghurt (*to make dairy free use soy) 1/8 cup canola oil (any oil with a light flavour) To do...

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 24 mini muffin tins.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, chai spice, and pumpkin spice. In an electric mixer, or large bowl, beat the pumpkin puree, sugars, and eggs (added one at a time) together. Then add the oil, then the yoghurt. Slowly add the flour mixture and stir until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins (to the top), and bake for 20-25mins or until a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

Makes 24 mini cupcakes, 12 regular sized cupcakes.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

2/3 cup chocolate powder

3 c powdered sugar

2 sticks soft butter

1-2 Tblsp milk

1.5 tsp vanilla

In a large bowl, or stand mixer, beat the butter while slowly adding the powdered sugar. Add the chocolate powder, then vanilla. Your frosting will start to clump and look dry. Add the milk until you get a smooth, creamy consistency.

Spoon the frosting in a piping bag with a round tip attachment, or a half inch cut at the edge to form a round hole. Pipe the frosting onto each cupcake in one circular motion, along the edges.

Chocolate Meringue Witch Hats:

3 XL egg whites

pinch of salt

1/8 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2/3 cup sugar

2 Tblsp cocoa powder

50g dark chocolate, melted

Preheat the oven to 300F/150C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. These chocolate meringues are to top the mini cupcakes, so they will be mini too! Using a pencil, draw small circles about an inch in diameter on the parchment paper evenly spaced.

In a stand mixer, or with electric beaters, whisk the eggs on high until they begin to form stiff peaks. Add a pinch of salt, cream of tartar. Continue to whisk.

When the egg whites have stiffened even more, add the vanilla, and slowly add the sugar one tablespoon at a time. You should now have thick stiff peaks that have formed.

Turn off the whisk/beaters and fold in the cocoa powder without mixing too much or flattening the meringue.

Spoon the meringue into a piping bag either with a round tip attachment, or half inch cut at the tip to form a round opening. Pipe the meringue into each circle on the parchment paper in one circular motion, pulling up at the top to form witch hat tips.

Bake for approx. 25mins. Turn off the oven and allow them to cool off inside (this will prevent cracking.

Prepare the chocolate drizzle topping…

Chop 50g of dark chocolate into small pieces and melt in the microwave for approx 30 secs, stirring every 10 seconds. Allow the chocolate to cool for 5mins. Cut just the very tip of a ziplock bag so that you get a small hole. Spoon the melted chocolate into the bag. Drizzle over the cooled meringues in a circular motion.

Makes 24 mini witch hats or 12 regular sized witch hats.

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