Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sweet Tormint

Before Bathory,
before Mayhem,
Celtic Frost,
there was Hellhammer.

The story of Hellhammer starts like any other tale of a band: A few crazy kids, big fans of metal (especially Venom), who decided to start their own band as a "fuck you" to the conservative society surrounding them.
These kids however, changed the course of metal.
The main thing about Hellhammer is how different they were from everything else. The biggest metal band in Switzerland at the time was Krokus.
Hellhammer are crude, and primitive in a good way. Maybe they weren't the best musicians, but that doesn't matter. Tom G Warrior's raw, growling vocals make him sound like he's just clawed his way out of the depths of hell, and he's here to tell you all about it.
I myself generally prefer music that isn't polished or "produced," especially metal. Fuck everything, strip it down to the bone, and only give me what counts.

Hellhammer were only around from 1982-1984, but to this day, their music and legend are extremely influential in the metal underground. They weren't appreciated in their own time (of course), and Tom G Warrior even felt that Hellhammer hindered Celtic Frost's success at first.

The fact remains that there would be no extreme metal, no Black Metal, and no Death Metal without Hellhammer. They opened the gates to a new hell for our ear holes, and for that I am eternally grateful.

This recipe was inspired by the song "Sweet Torment." It features hi-hat cupcakes with chocolate cake, broken Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies, mint frosting, and a chocolate shell. Yes the frosting is mint, even though it's red. Green doesn't match the album cover, and it's just not brutal enough. Besides, right now it's St. Patrick's Day weekend in Chicago, and I'm fucking sick of the color green.
Also, if you can't find Thin Mints near you, feel free to substitute with Grasshoppers or even Creme De Menthe cookies.

Hellhammer and Girl Scout Cookies- Why the fuck not? They're both extremely awesome!

Hellhammer- Sweet Tormint

Makes 18

 Metal Constituents:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 sleeve Thin Mint cookies (16 cookies), broken into large chunks

For the frosting:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • red food coloring

For the chocolate coating:
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Merciless Instructions:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, start melting the butter.
  2. Once your butter is almost completely melted, stir in cocoa powder, salt, and water.
  3. Continue to heat, stirring constantly, until everything is mixed together- about another minute.
  4. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with baking cups, and set aside.
  6. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together flour, sugar, and baking soda.
  7. Add butter/cocoa mixture in 2 additions, mixing well after each addition.
  8. Add egg and continue to whisk.
  9. Add yogurt and vanilla, and whisk until combined.
  10. Using a spatula, fold in broken Thin Mints.
  11. Fill each baking cup about 2/3 full.
  12. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean.
  13. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  14. To make the frosting: Beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  15. Add salt and mint extract, continue to beat.
  16. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, continue to beat.
  17. Add cream one Tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
  18. Add enough red food coloring to create a dark, blood red shade.
  19. Frost completely cooled cupcakes.
  20. Place frosted cupcakes in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  21. To make the chocolate coating: While your cupcakes are freezing, combine chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a microwave-safe tall glass. I used a pint glass, and it worked perfectly.
  22. Microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until all the chocolate is melted, but not too liquidy (about 1 1/2 minutes all together).
  23. Remove a few cupcakes from the freezer.
  24. Holding one frosted cupcake upside-down, dip it into the chocolate, all the way down to the wrapper, and completely coat the frosting.
  25. With a twisting motion, lift it out of the chocolate, and allow excess to drip off. (Bakerella has a tutorial with lovely photos for this technique here.)
  26. Transfer to a wire rack with paper towels underneath to catch any still dripping chocolate.
  27. If there is any frosting that didn't get covered with chocolate, you can use a toothpick to cover it with more chocolate.
  28. Repeat with remaining cupcakes.
  29. Once all cupcakes have been dipped in chocolate, place into the fridge for another 30-45 minutes, to allow the chocolate to harden.
  30. Serve cold.
  31. Sweet but cruel.

I was unable to find any live footage of Hellhammer (I'm not even sure it exists), but here's "Sweet Torment" to listen to while you're baking. Enjoy!