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Chocolate Mudslide Cupcakes and a Ghirardelli Festival!

It’s the most, wonderful time of the year,

With the 16th annual, Ghi-rar-delli festival,

You will delight,

It’s the most, wonderful, chocolat-ely sight!

It’s the hap-happiest season of fall,

With mini chocolate tarts,

And chocolate shaped hearts,

Chocolate lovers unite,

It’s the hap-happiest, season of all!


YES, it is that time of a year again, where chocolate fanatics, choco-holics, and just plain chocolate admirers, can finally show their love of this 4,000 year old treat by partaking in this ‘holy,’ San Francisco tradition- The Ghirardelli’s Chocolate Festival!

I attended this year’s event with three of my closest girl friends… my chocolate partners in crime if you will! It is important to note that to be able to join in the chocolate festivities, you must first buy tickets either before, or during the event. This gives you the golden ticket (literally) to unlocking and devouring as many chocolatey creations as your stomach can handle. We were each far beyond satisfied with seven samples a piece!… (Lay off… they were just samples okay!)

As we made our way through the land of hot fudge ice cream sundaes, and slid down the river of chocolate milk shakes, my deep chocolate craving had yet to be satisfied. And then, out of a cocoa haze, I saw the chocolate creation that was bound to do the trick…. It was delicate but rich, miniature, but oh so silky, what the French refer to as a tarte au chocolat, chocolate tart. Regardless of what it is called, it was amazing, and my chocolate craving had subsided… for now at least.

As far as the other chocolate delights went, there was chocolate gelato, chocolate cookies, and chocolate fudge on a stick. Even with all of the baked delights, I have to say that I was most pleasantly surprised by Zico’s chocolate coconut water. I don’t typically like the taste of plain old coconut water, but this, this tasted like a lighter, (and far healthier) version of the chocolate milk I used to drink as a kid. It was great! So great in fact, that I agreed to wear a three-day Zico ‘tattoo’ just to prove my new-found love for this product!

When it came to deciding what dangerously, chocolately recipe to add to this post, it was a very hard decision. I thought about adding my version of the chocolate tart I had tasted, but it was just too soon to add another tart recipe. (See my Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Tart below.)

That is when I remembered a cupcake that I have been conjuring up for months, (yes, months I say!). Only true chocolate lovers will be able to handle these miniature bad boys because they involve the following… Chocolate cake, nutella, Oreos, marshmallows, and Bailey’s Irish Cream! Without further ado, here is the recipe….

~ Chocolate Mudslide Cupcakes ~

Makes about 20 cupcakes… unless of course you eat too much batter.

Ingredients:

  • 1 boxed, (yes, I said boxed), chocolate cake mix (choose your favorite one!)
  • However many eggs the box mix calls for (usually 3)
  • Typically 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil (Look at the back of the box to check the correct measurement.)
  •  3 Tablespoons of Bailey’s Irish Cream liquor (Because I don’t drink this on a regular basis, I just buy a one of the mini Bailey’s Irish Cream liquor bottles… you can also leave it out… if you must!)
  • Water- What I do is add 3 tablespoons of the Bailey’s in the same measuring cup I will be measuring the water in first. Then I continue filling it with the water until I reach 1 and 1/3 cups,  so that the batter doesn’t become too thin.
  • 20 or so Oreos (crunched up)
  • 1 cup of the small size marshmallows –> they will disappear in the cupcakes!
  • 1 small jar of Nutella* (don’t worry, you won’t need to use the whole thing…or will you?)
  • non-stick spray

*Nutella is a European chocolate-hazelnut spread that is so good in fact, a close friend of mine is actually going to attempt to use it on chicken!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners AND once they are lined, spray the boarders of cupcake pan with non-stick spray, avoiding the cupcake liners as much as possible. This will prevent horrible sticking if the cupcakes should actually slide over.

2. In a large mixing bowl empty the chocolate cake mix and add the marshmallows, making sure they are fully coated in the cake mix before you add anything else. (This will prevent them from falling to the bottom of the cupcakes when you bake them.)

3. Next add the oil, eggs (one by one), and Bailey’s and water, making sure you are gently incorporating all the ingredients with a large spoon. (Wooden spoons work well here).

4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about half way full. (WARNING: Over-filling the cupcakes will lead to horrible, terrible things, because the air in the marshmallows will need room to expand. So fill them half way only!)

5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

6. While they are cooking, it is time for a little stress therapy. Fill a large plastic bag with 20 Oreo’s and begin to crunch them with the palm of your hand. (For those having an extremely stressful day, the goal here is not to pulverize the Oreos, but instead, crunch them to dime size pieces.)

8. Once the cupcakes are fully cooked and fully cooled, (I’d give them an hour or so), gently spread a healthy layer of nutella on top of each cupcake. (Remember, they are supposed to look bumpy, like a mudslide would!)

9. Pour the crunched up Oreos on a plate, and carefully take your cupcake and lightly press it, (nutella side down), into the Oreo crumbs.

Voila! You have just made a perfect mudslide cupcake!

Why I love this recipe:

Two words, chocolate and chocolate! Besides the amount of chocolate, they are also fairly easy to make, or should I say they hard to mess up. There is really nothing  fancy about them! Adding marshmallows forces the cupcakes to have a rough top, so don’t expect them to look like little darlings immediately out of the oven. As baking insurance, the Oreo tops will hide any major mishaps! 🙂

If you like this recipe or have a question, be sure to sign-up and leave me a comment below! Thanks!

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