Things like this make me smile. Giggle, even. I love that mustaches are trending and lately I have been browsing for a mustache themed piece of jewelry to wear. Wouldn't you know it! The notion has made it's way into my baked goods -and just in time for Father's day!
The mustaches are made out of homemade chocolate modeling clay and the recipe could not be easier. Just two ingredients and you're set to make just about anything you care to try!
The cake recipe has been bookmarked for over a year in an old "church lady" cookbook (the best cookbooks on earth!). There was no secret ingredient or special technique that piqued my interest, but rather the footnote at the end of the recipe that says: "This Cake Is VERY MOIST........Men Really Like It." The lady who submitted this recipe obviously thought this was a valuable piece of information. I had to find out for myself if it was true. Do men like it? And what about women? Do we like it too?
(Scratch the mustache pattern into the clay with the back of a knife then cut-out with scissors.)
The chocolate modeling clay is really neat. The two components used are 10 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate chips (melted in the microwave) and 1/3 cup light corn syrup. After combining the two, the mixture will need to set up between two pieces of wax paper for a couple of hours. Having a 2D agenda, I evened my mixture out with a rolling pin (before it set) so the mustaches would be as uniform as possible. A mustache cookie cutter is ideal for this project, but if you don't have one (like me) you can make your own template or maybe download a free one. You can use a knife or scissors to cut the clay, but make sure you have a cutting board underneath if you plan to use a knife. Decorative "hair" striations can be made by pressing fork tines or the back of a knife into the clay.
The mustache will need to be reinforced across the middle where it is thinnest. Gently press a small piece of clay to the back of your mustache horizontally. Then press your sucker stick in the middle of the reinforcement and apply another piece of clay horizontally to adhere the sucker stick to the mustache.
See how pretty and even the lines are when you use a cookie cutter? (This is a deer head if you couldn't tell!)
You could certainly make 3D mustaches with this. Gently knead the clay until it becomes soft and forms a putty-like consistency. Then you can make whatever your heart desires - seriously!
An easy chocolate glaze is used instead of the frosting recipe suggested in the cookbook. I like to use cupcake liners that are double (one paper, one foil) when I have to dip or glaze. You can remove the cupcake along with the baked-on paper liner and replace it in the foil without getting both liners messy. This recipe makes 24 cakes, and if possible bake both pans together. I noticed that my first dozen had perfectly rounded tops, and my second batch that I let stand for 20 minutes was less perfect. They still rose and tasted good but the tops were a little bumpy. So, if striving for perfection bake both pans at once.
I couldn't find a suitable model to demonstrate my mustaches yesterday...
So what's the cake verdict? Do men like it? That church lady is on to something for sure. My husband LOVED the moistness and light chocolate flavor along with the hint of cinnamon. The cupcakes taste like Hot Fudge Cake when served with a little ice cream on the side.
And if I may speak for womankind........I (we?) think they're pretty darn good too!
Chocolate Modeling Clay [click for printable recipe]
1- 10 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup light corn syrup
Heat chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl at 30 second intervals, stirring thoroughly between each heating. When chips are completely melted add corn syrup and stir until mixture becomes thick; the chocolate will lose it's shiny appearance.
Spread mixture on a large piece of wax paper with a spatula and top with another piece of wax paper. Gently even out with a rolling pin or by pressing to 1/2" thickness. Let dry 2-3 hours. Cut with cookie cutters, or break off pieces and knead until pliable and putty-like. Chocolate sculptures will harden when left out to dry. Place unused clay in an air-tight container. Discard after 3 months.
Please forgive the strange format of the recipe below - this is how it is best explained and how it is written in the cookbook.
Moist Chocolate-Glazed Cupcakes [click for printable recipe]
(a.k.a. "Men Really Like It" cake)
Yield: 24 cupcakes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
Mix above ingredients and set aside.
1/2 cup buttermilk
Combine these two ingredients in your stand mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed for 1 minute.
1 stick of butter
4 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup canola (or veg) oil
1 cup water
Bring above ingredients to a boil in a saucepan.
Beginning and ending with flour, alternate flour mixture with boiled hot cocoa (tempering gently) into the egg mixture until a thin batter is formed. Pour batter into a liquid measure and fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool completely before glazing.
**NOTE: Bake all 24 cupcakes at once if possible for perfectly rounded cupcake tops. Batter will deflate over time.
2/3 cup heavy cream
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
Place cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until very hot but not boiling. Place chocolate and corn syrup in a small bowl then pour hot cream over mixture and stir until smooth.
Quickly dip cooled cupcake tops into glaze and allow the excess to drizzle back into the bowl. Allow glazed cupcakes to dry, about 40 minutes. Chocolate glaze will darken in color as it cools.