Chocolate Mint “Frango” Cupcakes

Mint Chocolate Frango Cupcakes by JavaCupcake

During the holiday season, my parents would take me and my brother and sister to Frederick and Nelson to get our picture taken with Santa.  While we were there, Mom and Dad would pick up a couple boxes of Frango chocolates, the mint ones.  If we were good with Santa,  we’d get to have a few of these super yummy chocolates on the drive home.  Of course, we were always good and always got to get a chocolate treat!

Now, Frederick and Nelson has long closed and when I’m in Seattle, I take my kids to Nordstrom to see Santa.  BUT… the chocolates can be found at Macy’s! My dad surprised me with two boxes of chocolates in a care package yesterday! I was so excited to see them!

Mint Chocolate Frango Cupcakes by JavaCupcake

These chocolates are bite size… perfect for popping one in your mouth when you want a hit of smooth, creamy mint chocolate goodness.  Seriously, they are one of my favorites.  I wondered though, could I melt down these chocolates and put them in a cupcake?

So this morning, I did just that!  I took one of my most favorite recipes for chocolate cake and adapted it to include the Frango Mint Chocolates! YUM!  Since I’ve done a chocolate mint cupcake before that was topped with a green mint buttercream, I wanted to do something different with these and top them with a chocolate frosting that had more of the Frangos melted and added to the butter and sugar.  Soooooo good.

I’m sure if you can’t find any of these chocolates, you could just a good bar of your favorite mint chocolate.  I’m pretty certain Lindt has a 4oz bar that would be perfect!

See those pretty green liners I’m using? I was given those by Shannon Harvey, owner of Sweets & Treats Boutique to test out! Sweets & Treats makes greaseproof liners that are supposed to stand up to the discoloration that often happens when baking cupcakes, especially chocolate and other dark colored cake. Shannon sent me 4 sleeves of liners in all kinds of patterns and colors.  For these cupcakes, I chose the solid green liners to bring out the mint aspect of the cupcake.  Since I was baking chocolate cupcakes, I wasn’t too sure how much color these liners would hold… but, I was happily surprised!  They held their color really well and stuck to the cupcake nicely!  Especially with this dark cake, I was happy that I could still see a lot of green in these liners!  I would definitely use them again!  Thanks Shannon for sending them to me!

Enjoy!

Chocolate Mint “Frango” Cupcakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Rich chocolate mint cupcake made with Mint Chocolate Frangos!
Serves: 12-15 cupcakes
Ingredients
Chocolate Mint "Frango" Cupcakes
  • 4oz Frango Mint Chocolates (about 14 pieces), roughly chopped
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup brewed coffee
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp mint extract
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
Chocolate Mint Buttercream
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • ⅓ heaping cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp mint extract
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 12-15 Frango Mint Chocolates
  • chocolate jimmies
  • green sugar crystals
Instructions
Chocolate Mint "Frango" Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, and the vanilla & mint extracts.
  4. Using a double boiler, melt together the Frango chopped chocolates and butter.
  5. Once the chocolate is smooth, whisk in the cocoa powder and brewed coffee completely incorporated.
  6. Slowly, add a few tablespoons of the hot chocolate mixture to the sour cream/egg and whisk until combined. This is going to temper the egg so it doesn't cook. Add the remaining chocolate and whisk until smooth.
  7. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the chocolate. Mix with the whisk until just combined. Do not over mix.
  8. Pour into cupcake liners ¾ full.
  9. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Chocolate Mint Buttercream
  1. Cream together the salt and shortening.
  2. Add the cocoa powder and powdered sugar and mix until incorporated.
  3. Add the extracts and mix to combine. The mixture will be clumpy at this point.
  4. Add enough cream until you reach the consistency of frosting you desire.
  5. Beat on high for 4-5 minutes or until the frosting lightens in color and becomes light and fluffy.
  6. Using a star tip, frost each cupcake. Top with chocolate jimmies, green sugar crystals and a Chocolate Mint Frango.

Thin Mint Cupcakes

It’s totally that time of year… GIRL SCOUT COOKIE TIME!

I can’t resist.  I bought 10 boxes.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  10 boxes.

2 to eat (with in the first 24  hours).

8 to bake with.

Yeah… you read that correctly.  8 boxes to bake with.

Last year I made Samoa Cupcakes and Tagalong Brownies.  This year… I started with Thin Mint Cupcakes.  These cupcakes are a super decadent chocolate cake filled with a whipped chocolate ganache topped with a mint buttercream.  Serious amounts of NOM NOM NOM.

PS…. This is my new favorite chocolate cake recipe.  I know it’s got beer in it… but I’m totally using it for every chocolate cake I make from now on!!

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes

1 bottle of Guinness Stout Beer
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.  Line cupcake pans with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter on medium-high heat.  Add the vanilla beer, whisk together and heat until it just begins to simmer.  Whisk in the cocoa powder and espresso powder and heat until it just begins to bubble up.  DO NOT BOIL.  Remove from heat and whisk until smooth.   Cool slightly.
  4. In the meantime, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sour cream.  Slowly pour in the slightly cooled chocolate mixture. NOTE:  DO THIS SLOW! You don’t want to cook the eggs, so start pouring a very small amount of the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture… DO NOT DUMP IT IN ALL AT ONCE.
  5. In three parts, add the flour mixture to the chocolate/egg mixture.  Whisk until smooth.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, making sure everything is incorporated.
  6. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter.
  7. Bake 18-20 minutes, rotating pan after 12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pan for 3-4 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before filling and frosting.

Whipped Chocolate Ganache

4 oz dark chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp corn syrup

1 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium glass bowl.
  2. In a small sauce pan, heat the heavy cream and corn syrup just until it bubbles.
  3. Pour heavy cream over chocolate and stir until smooth.  If the chocolate doesn’t melt all the way, place the bowl over a double boiler and continue to stir until smooth.
  4. Mix in the butter and extract.
  5. Allow ganache to cool to room temperature.
  6. Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the cooled ganache until fluffy.  Don’t over mix or it will get grainy.

Vanilla Bean Peppermint Buttercream

12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
4 tbsp cream cheese, room temperature
2 lbs powdered sugar
1/2 cup Madagascar Vanilla Bean Cream
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
pinch of salt
Wilton Green Food Gel

  1.  Cream together the butter and cream cheese.
  2. Add half the powdered sugar and mix on high until incorporated and smooth.
  3. Beat in half the vanilla bean cream until smooth.  Scrape the sides of the bowl, making sure all the sugar is combined.
  4. Add the remaining sugar and the peppermint extract.
  5. Mix in the food gel until it’s the color you desire.
  6. Add remaining vanilla bean cream until you get the consistency you want.  Mix on high 3-4 minutes until smooth and fluffy.

To Assemble Cupcakes:

Thin Mint Cookies
Peppermint Buttercream
Chocolate Shavings
Piping bag & large round tip
Apple corer

  1. Core each cupcake using the apple corer.
  2. Fill each cupcake with whipped ganache.  (I filled a disposable piping bag, cut off the top and filled each one with that.)
  3. Using a large round tip and a piping  bag, pipe a round swirl of buttercream on to each cupcake.
  4. Top with a Thin Mint cookie and chocolate shavings.
  5. EAT! ENJOY!

And this is what you do when you have left over peppermint buttercream.  NOM NOM NOM