I recently decided to make some cupcakes for my husband to take to work as a thank you for a belated wedding gift we received from his co-workers. As I was sitting at home trying to come up with a flavor I thought they would all like, I found myself thinking about the typical Norwegian candy bars and chocolates I see people eating, and marzipan kept popping into my head. Granted I’d seen people in the US eat marzipan, but not like they do here in Norway. I swear every other candy bar here has marzipan in it! And with Christmas being right around the corner, the traditional chocolate covered marzipan logs are out in full force! Knowing how much my husband loves the Christmas marzipan chocolates, I decided to recreate them in cupcake form.
Norwegian Christmas Marzipan Cupcakes
Yields 12 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 stick butter (113 grams)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
For the filling:
1 package marzipan
For the whipped chocolate ganache frosting:
3 1/2 bars dark chocolate (12 oz./350 grams)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
For the marzipan buttercream frosting:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 sticks butter (226 grams), at room temperature
1 tsp. almond extract
Start by making your chocolate cupcakes. I’ve detailed the making of these cupcakes in another blog entry which I’ll link in just a moment. However, there is one slight difference I’d like to mention before you click away. These marzipan cupcakes have a marzipan center that is set BEFORE the cupcakes are baked. To make the marzipan filling, simply take your store bought marzipan, roll it into balls about 1 inch across, and press it into the center of each cupcake before setting them in the oven to bake. Now, instructions for making these chocolate cupcakes can be found here.
Proportional to the cupcake, this is the size the marzipan should be
While your cupcakes bake, it’s time to start the frosting. I like to start with the chocolate ganache as it needs a little time to cool in the refrigerator before it’s whipped. Start by heating the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently. While the cream heats up, break your bars of chocolate into a bowl. Once the cream reaches the point right before a low boil, remove it from the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted, and set in the refrigerator to cool. It’ll need to cool for about 15 minutes, or until it’s the consistency of a set pudding. Once the frosting reaches that point, remove it from the refrigerator and whip on high until frosting is stiff.
While the chocolate frosting cools in the refrigerator, you can start putting together the marzipan buttercream. In a bowl, cream butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and whip until it returns to the same smooth consistency. Finish by adding the almond extract and whipping one last time until all ingredients are well mixed.
Once both frostings are ready and the cupcakes have cooled, it’s time to pipe your frosting. To get your frostings to swirl, you’ll want to set both in the same piping bag. To make this a little easier, you can set your frosting in plastic wrap and then lay them side by side in your piping bag. For detailed instructions on how to do this, check out Chef Mommy’s blog! Be careful not to over-fill your bag. I did that the first time and it made it near impossible to get the frosting to swirl, let alone pipe.
This is too full! Don’t make this same mistake!
Once your frosting is in the bag and ready to pipe, simply pipe the way you normally would (the frosting will swirl by itself). For those of you who haven’t had a lot of experience frosting, I find it looks best if you hold your frosting bag straight up and down while you pipe, and to start at the outside of the cupcake and work your way in, layering until you get the cone shape you want.
The finished cupcakes!
Chocolate ganache frosting from Savory Sweet Life