Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Hi-Hat Cupcakes

My friend/neighbor Anita works at US Bank and had a fun cupcake wars competition for a work meeting activity. They had to bring 6 cupcakes and would be judged on taste and looks. The theme of the meeting was BE REMARKABLE so I tried to make some remarkable cupcakes. I had wanted to try this chocolate dipped strawberry cupcake over at A Cupful of Cake. I like her blog, lots of great recipes and lots of pictures, but being as busy as I am I like to take some shortcuts, sometimes break out the box mix and not make tons of dishes that I have to clean up so I adjusted the recipe a bit.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cupcakes (cheaters version):

One chocolate box cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Triple Chocolate Decandent cake mix)
            I used this cake mix because the picture on the box looked amazing and like they had molten truffle
            like centers so they would taste like they had a filling even though they didn't.

I made the Italian Meringue buttercream just as described because it is the most amazing frosting every and I know frostings! I did replace the strawberry puree she made with a delicious Smuckers Low Sugar Strawberry Jam I love, but you can use any jam or throw some strawberries in a blender too. I also loved the chunks of strawberry in the frosting which gave it some extra texture.

I melted about 1 cup of chocolate chips (semi-sweet) and 1 Tblsp of shortening together in the microwave in a short skinny bowl for dipping the cupcakes. When it came to this step it is best to chill the cupcakes after they are frosted in the fridge for about 30 minutes or freezer for about 5 minutes to harden the frosting a bit so it doesn't fall off in the chocolate which happened to us on one of the cupcakes.

After they were frosted and dipped in the chocolate we attached the fondant pieces I had made ahead of time and let dry for a few days while the chocolate was still wet.

Then we refridgerated them to harden the chocolate for a few minutes. Serve these at room temperature.
Truffle like center

***We didn't win the competition a tiramisu cupcake won which I should have known coffee and early mornings/bankers. Oh well, Anita said she thought we got second place. 


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