Toasted Marshmallow Chocolate Cupcakes

About 6 years ago, when I could still remember the login for my Tumblr page, I saw a picture of a cupcake very like these, and noted below: "must find a way to veganize." It took a while, but here it is! My favourite vegan chocolate cupcake recipe (from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World) as the base, a generous swirl of crisp-on-the-outside-and-smooth-in-the-middle marshmallow fluff on top, and a secret hidden pocket of dark chocolate ganache in the middle. Y. U. M. 


Toasted Marshmallow Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes
 

  • 12 baked chocolate cupcakes of your choice - I love this recipe

    For the dark chocolate ganache filling:
  • 100ml full-fat coconut milk
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped up
  • 25g dairy-free sunflower spread

    For the marshmallow (Italian meringue) topping:
  • the liquid from 1 tin of chickpeas (unsalted!)
  • 1/4 tsp xantham gum
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
     

Method:

  • Once you have your basic chocolate cupcakes ready, make the quick ganache filling. In a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk until just boiling. Pour the hot coconut milk onto your chocolate and sunflower spread, in a small bowl or jug, and give it a really good stir - the heat of the coconut milk will melt the other ingredients, but it needs a bit of help! When you have a smooth, shiny ganache, with no lumps remaining, place it into the fridge for a few minutes until it has solidified back up a little; it should be a soft, but not runny, consistency.
     
  • While the ganache is cooling, prepare your cupcakes for their filling; using a sharp knife at an angle, cut a small cone of sponge out of the top of each cake, and set aside. 
     
  • Fill each hollowed cupcake with a generous teaspoonful of the cooled ganache, and plug the top of each cake back up with the bits of sponge you set aside earlier. 
     
  • Now it's time to make the Italian meringue marshmallow topping! Put 80ml (1/3 cup) of aquafaba along with the xantham gum in the bowl of a stand mixer, and start whisking, keeping at it until fluffy.
     
  • Meanwhile, put the sugar and 60ml (1/4 cup) of the remaining aquafaba in a saucepan, and bring to the boil. To set the meringue, this syrup needs to reach a very high temperature, and it's really useful to have a thermometer on hand to make sure that you get it hot enough - the temperature that you're looking for is between 116 and 120°C (242 - 248°F)
     
  • Turn your stand mixer back on at a slow speed and gradually drizzle in the boiling hot syrup. When it's all added, turn your mixer up to high, and give it a good whisk - it should transform into a smooth, glossy, thick meringue, the consistency of marshmallow fluff. Add your vanilla, and mix until incorporated. 
     
  • Pipe or spoon a generous helping of marshmallow topping onto each cake (I've gone neat with these, but some creative messy swirls and peaks could only improve them!), and finish with a cooks blowtorch for a toasted effect.


    Note: While the added xantham gum in this recipe should allow your meringue topping to stay stable for a good few hours, these are really best eaten as soon as possible!

    Additional safety announcement: Witness the slightly blacked edges on one of the cupcake cases pictured, and be aware that fire and paper do not mix. Careful with your blowtorch!