Saturday, October 30, 2010

That Bloody Rat's Got My Cupcake! (Red Berry Chocolate Cupcakes)

That Bloody Rat Got My Cupcake!
Can you believe it's nearly Halloween? Where has the time gone to? I'd actually hoped to share a bunch of fun cupcake ideas with you all month long, but health issues and homework ended up getting the best of me. What can I say but...I'm only human after all 8). I did at least manage to churn out these fantastically creepy bloody rat cupcakes for P's Halloween party at work. I couldn't attend, but he told me they were a hit.

It's the first time I've filled cupcakes simply with jam, and I quite enjoyed the taste. The "bloody" color and oozy consistency also make any red berry jam or preserve a good topping for this time of year. To be frank, these chocolate strawberry rats take a bit of time and effort to make. So I really didn't have the time/patience left to mix up a frosting anyway ;p.

Happy Halloween XD

It takes a few tries to get used to the rat-assembly procedure, so don't worry if you feel clumsy at first. I was impressed with the results, both the appearance -- I certainly had never associated strawberries with rats before! -- and the taste -- chocolate-coated things are generally yummy.

Of course I do realize I'm posting this the day before Halloween (my bad!), and some of these ingredients may take time to track down. If you're looking for some equally impressive Halloween cupcakes with only easy-to-find ingredients, be sure to check out the creepy crawly, mummy, and owl cupcakes from my previous posts.

So do you have big plans for this Sunday? I'd love to hear all about your creative costumes and treats. Happy early Halloween, everyone!


Bloody Red Berry Chocolate Rat Cupcakes [Printable Recipe]
Adapted from VCTOTW via CHOW and Karen Tack via Redbook
Makes 12 cupcakes

XIAOLU'S NOTES: I recommend having extra sliced and slivered almonds for the rats so that you can pick the best-shaped ones.

1 cup soy milk [or regular milk]
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, or more vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, regular or Dutch-processed
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup strawberry or raspberry jam/preserves
Strawberry Chocolate Rats (Recipe below)
12 4-inch pieces of black licorice lace

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin pan with baking liners.

Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and almond extract, if using, to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are OK).

Fill liners 3/4 full with batter. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Stir berry jam well, and heat in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds. Transfer jam to a piping bag fitted with a long pointed tip OR a squeeze bottle. Insert tip into each cupcake and squeeze out a small amount of jam into the cupcake. Then pull the tip out of the frosting and squeeze a little more on top of the cupcake in several (bloody XD) blobs. Place a strawberry chocolate rat on top of each cupcake. Insert one end of a 4-inch piece of black licorice into the cupcake directly behind the rat, then insert the other end into the cupcake on one side of the rat. Lastly and most importantly, enjoy sharing your creepy creations!

Strawberry Chocolate Rats
12 large strawberries, stems removed
1 cup (6 oz.) chocolate chips
2 tsp shortening (use a brand without trans fat like Spectrum)
15 chocolate wafer cookies (1 package of Nabisco brand is 40 cookies)
24 sliced almonds
24 slivered almonds
24 red/yellow and 12 brown candy-coated chocolate-covered sunflower seeds

Place chocolate wafer cookies in a food processor fitted with steel blade, and process until cookies are finely ground. Transfer crumbs to a small bowl and set aside.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper. Trim a small piece from one side of each strawberry so they can rest horizontally on the paper. Insert 2 sliced almonds -- about 1 inch from pointed end of strawberry and about 1 inch apart -- to make the ears of the rat.

Place chocolate chips into a heatproof bowl, and microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring well after each interval, until the chocolate is completely smooth. Be careful not to burn the chocolate! Stir in the shortening and mix until smooth.

Insert a fork into the large end of a strawberry (Angle the fork upwards into the strawberry so it won't slip off when you're tapping the fork later.). Holding strawberry on the fork over the bowl of melted chocolate, spoon chocolate over strawberry to coat. Allow excess chocolate to drip off, tapping fork lightly. Sprinkle with chocolate wafer cookies crumbs to coat. Tap fork lightly again to remove excess crumbs. While still holding the strawberry up on the fork, add red/yellow candies for the eyes, slivered almonds for the teeth, and brown candies for the nose. Use another fork or spoon to transfer strawberry to prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining 11 strawberries. If the chocolate starts to solidify as you're working with it, you can microwave it again at 10-second intervals until it softens again. Refrigerate (or freeze at least 5 minutes if you're in a hurry to use them) rats until ready to serve.

54 comments:

  1. Where did you get the candy coated sunflower seed? I don't think I have every come across them before.

    As a vegetarian this may sound odd, but I wouldn't mind sinking my teeth into one of those rats :)

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  2. Haha, yea it did feel kinda weird biting into it but then I was hit by the deliciousness of chocolate-covered strawberry so I stopped thinking about the look 8). I actually ended up buying the candy-coated sunflower seeds online at www.ohnuts.com. I think some health food/vegan stores also carry them but I don't have a car and wanted to know they'd arrive on time.

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  3. Happy Halloween! I absolutely hate rats and I never thought I'd say this but I want one of those!

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  4. they are sooo terrible....i wouldn't be able to eat them :)))))) but on the other hand, amazing!!!

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  5. Good grace, you are extremely talented. I don't like rat, I do like your rat though :)

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  6. I love those cupcakes with their evil rats! Awesome. Happy Halloween!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  7. That's very creative but I don't think I can eat those with rats on them. :)

    http://spoon-and-chopsticks.blogspot.com/

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  8. That rat looks too vivid to eat....;-))

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  9. These are stunning Xiaolu! Very original. i don't think I've ever seen rat cupcakes!

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  10. These are hands down the best Halloween cupcakes I've seen. You're so creative!

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  11. These cupcakes look so cute! I bet they'd be a hit at any Halloween party!

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  12. Ewwww! These are so deliciously creepy!! You did a fantastic job and I never guessed those rats were really strawberries. So clever!

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  13. Those are seriously spooky desserts. Great work!

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  14. Halloween isn't celebrated here but that doesn't stop me from enjoying looking at all the delicious Halloween treats on blogs. These are too cool.

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  15. Ewwwwwwww! this is brilliant. Looks so creepy and I bet tastes wonderful.

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  16. So cute. I have never seen these seeds. just perfect for the eyes! wonder where u found them. I wish I had the patience to make these for my kids.

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  17. WOW! You're so talented. Happy Halloween :)

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  18. Oh my god that looks soooooooo cute and very very beautiful... awesome work. Really fantastic.

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  19. these are so incredibly awesome! Definitely perfect for the halloween spirit and so delicious as well!

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  20. Those rats are both creepy and cute all at the same time! Very creative, and masterfully decorated. Happy Halloween!

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  21. that looks so evilly disgusting and delicious!!! Happy Halloween!!

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  22. This sure looks one freakin bloody rat...what a great job...love the chocolate laden body of rat..wud be yummy...happy halloween

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  23. Brittany - what a great compliment. thx!
    Trissa - haha yea I wouldn't want to see any real rats either. these are delicious though.
    Just Cake Girl - haha but they're sooooo tasty. they're really not so scary in person 8D.
    elra - thanks so much!
    Rosa - Happy Halloween to you too!
    Spoon and Chopsticks - I hope you give them a try as they're quite good :).
    Angie - XD.
    Danielle - The rats were basically taken from Redbook so I can't take credit for the idea, but glad you like them.
    warmvanillasugar - Awesome compliment. I really appreciate it!
    Peggy - haha I'm so glad someone thinks they're cute rather than creepy :).
    oneordinaryday said... 13
    Michelle - Isn't it a great idea? Gotta give it to Karen Tack.
    El - thx!
    WizzyTheStick - aw that's a bummer. it's my favorite holiday.
    Kulsum - it really does taste wonderful. hope you'll give them a try :).
    Soma - They're from ohnuts.com though you may be able to find them at a health food or vegan foods store.
    Anncoo - you too!
    Pavithra - glad you enjoy it :).
    Joanne - thanks, girl.
    Hannah - Happy Halloween to you too!
    Yue - haha that's very alliterative. have a great one!
    sinfullyspicy - very very yummy XD.

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  24. Geez, i never would have thought thats strawberries hiding in those rats. This is such a creative post! i love it! and the pictures are perfect!

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  25. Those cupcakes look absolutely amazing!

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  26. What a neat idea! They look fantastic... now i'm thinking of all of the other things you could make with a strawberry on a cupcake!

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  27. ooo I cannot imagine myself biting into that rat! Very creative!

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  28. Wow, what fantastic cupcakes. Very inventive.

    I’d love for you to submit one of your beautiful photos, and a link to your post, to my new baking photo gallery showcasing the beautiful baking, sweets and dessert.

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  29. OMG, these are amazing! Totally awesome for halloween. :)

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  30. Happy Halloween, these evil mouse cupcakes are so cuteeeeee...

    Sawadee from Bangkok,
    Kris

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  31. these totally scare me!good job!:)

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  32. Xiaolu, this is so creative! Your menacing rats give me the creeps! Congratulations on achieving the scary factor!

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  33. aww how delightfully creepy and cute (I'm a rodent lover)! Yes, you have totally acheived the scary factor like Shirley pointed out :)

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  34. This is seriously the the cutest Halloween treat I have EVER seen. I absoutely love it.

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  35. crustabakes - glad you enjoy the cupcakes and photos :).
    Chocolate Shavings - you're so sweet thx!
    lacasitainspirada - let me know what you come up with :).
    pigpigscorner - you'd be missing out cause they're super tasty :).
    bakeolicious - thanks for the invitation. I submitted this post!
    Sara - thanks they were really fun.
    Kris - haha thx Kris. I love how the reactions from everyone have either been grooooss or cuuuute ;).
    chocolatecup - haha glad to hear it, boo!
    briarrose - XD.
    Shirley - the only time of year I'd want to hear my food gives people the creeps hehe.
    noobcook - oh wow a rodent lover, eh? apparently in the minority among my readers.
    Eliana - yay! thanks for stopping by, girl.

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  36. OMG I love these! Your rats are utter perfection! :O Bravo! :D

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  37. I can't really think of a word to describe these since calling rats "adorable" just seems wrong to me but they look fantastic! I'm so impressed! I fill chocolate birthday cakes with jam all the time. Don't know why I never thought of doing it with cupcakes!

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  38. creepy and cute at the same time--that can't be easy to pull off! well done. :)

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  39. whoa, those are impressively scary

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  40. I have to confess that Halloween food gives me the creeps, but these are just wonderful, Xiaolu!
    xx

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  41. Wow, those are amazing. Creepy and horrifying but amazing... and surely delicious. It kind of makes me wish Australia celebrated Halloween, but then again - I don't really need an occasion to make something like this. Terrifying rats on a cupcake are fine any day of the week!

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  42. EW those are seriously creepy and soooo cool!
    ~ingrid

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  43. Lorraine - haha thank ya so much!
    smalltownoven - then you were a step ahead of me. I'm glad you think they're somewhat "adorable" :).
    grace - I do love contradictions!
    Justin - thx!
    Patricia - haha I guess the creeps were the goal here.
    Jess - you should totally start a Halloween-celebrating trend in Australia! I'm so sad you guys don't have it. With all the great culinary and styling skills over there, I'd love to see what goodies you'd come up with.
    Ingrid - I think that's good. Thx, girl ;P

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  44. These look so intricate and amazing!! They are perfect!

    I partied silghtly to hard on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (ohhh they joys of Halloween on a Sunday) and I now have strep throat. I learned my lesson in my Chinese Take Out Box costume haha!

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  45. How did I miss this? Your chocolate-berry cupcakes look delicious!

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  46. wow! really cute and they still look so edible. yum ;-)

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  47. How creative! should I eat the head or the tail first? hehe

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  48. Koko - Both the costume and the partying sound so fun! Sorry you got sick though. I guess maybe something a bit warmer next year ;p.

    Indie.Tea - Thx, girl!

    cakeje van eigen deeg - definitely edible. I always place deliciousness first :).

    Quay Po Cooks - I'm actually not a huge licorice lover so I'd say the head first but it's really up to you ;).

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  49. my husband saw this post from a distance and thought these were real mice! lol! you are so creative :)

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  50. Wow amazing job with the cupcakes, as always!! Love the rat.

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  51. EEEEK! I could never eat these ... can't stand the sight of rats! But how creative and perfect for Halloween. :)

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  52. Very creepy and very cool! I love the fact that they're vegan. ^^

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I love hearing from you all! Please leave me a message if you have questions, advice, or just to let me know you stopped by. Your feedback is always very much appreciated. Thanks! <3 Xiaolu