Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes

Or as I decided to call them for my son’s Halloween Birthday Party… Witching Hour Cupcakes!  I think these can pretty much be summed up in one word, and that’s MMMMMMMMMM!  At least that is the sound you’ll be making as you bite into one of these indulgent little treats!  I will be the first to admit that I often use boxed cake mix for cupcakes when I am throwing a party.  Why not?  They are quick, and IMO they taste pretty good.  But this year I just wanted to do something different.  Even though I usually make my own frostings, I wanted to make the entire thing from scratch, and I wanted it to be Cupcake Wars worthy!  I’d say I accomplished that this year.

The cake is dark and delicious itself, but then you get to that ganache center and OMG.  The ganache is so melt in your mouth good, I could seriously eat it by the spoonful, and a great contrasting chocolate flavor.  Then as if that weren’t enough to send  you into a chocolate coma they are topped with the best chocolate frosting I have ever had.  I typically don’t like frosting because it is SO sweet.  Afterall you are adding a lot of powdered sugar most of the time, but I promise you this is not one of those overly sweet frostings.  It’s more like someone took a rich and decadent chocolate, whipped it into a frosting, and put it on top of the cupcake.  If you are looking for THE chocolate cupcake recipe stop now, because you have found it!

Now a couple of notes…  I actually couldn’t find dutch processed cocoa powder even though I went to three stores.  I ended up using the Hershey’s special dark which is a combo of regular and dutch cocoas.  I don’t know how different these would have been had I found the right stuff, but they were still nice and dark like the photo from the original blog.  I used Ghirardelli bittersweet 60% cocoa chocolate bars, and Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips.  For the hot coffee, I heated up some of my cold brew espresso, and as a side note to that I wanted to brag that my husband honestly couldn’t taste the coffee in this even though there was a lot.  I have mentioned in the past that he absolutely hates it and usually catches me when I try to slip it into anything.  I doubled the recipe, and even with 1 1/2 cups of coffee, he could only guess that it was in there.  Doubled this made exactly 24 cupcakes as stated, but I did have a good deal of frosting left over.  I suppose this depends on how high you like to pile your frosting, but I figured since making these for kids I better keep it under control…. at least for the parents’ sake.  That and I find it hard to store cupcakes with a mountain of frosting on top anyway.

Anyway, I doubt the pictures will do these justice because I was tired from throwing the party and my light was fading, but you will NOT regret making these!

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes : 12 cupcakes (doubles nicely)

Ingredients :

Ganache Filling :

  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 T. powdered sugar

Cupcakes :

  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup hot coffee
  • 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 6 . vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Frosting :

  • 1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 8 oz. chocolate (milk, semisweet, or dark) melted and cooled

Directions :

  1. Make the Ganache Filling: Place the chopped chocolate, heavy cream and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave on high power until the mixture is warm to the touch, 20 to 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth, then refrigerate until just barely chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.
  2. Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard-size muffin pan with liners. Place the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Pour the hot coffee over the mixture and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate mixture for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.
  4. Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla extract into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin pan cups. Place one slightly rounded teaspoon of ganache filling on top of each cupcake. Bake until the cupcakes are set and just firm to the touch, 17 to 19 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on the wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
  6. Make the Frosting: In a food processor, process the butter, sugar, cocoa powder and salt until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the corn syrup and vanilla extract and process until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the chocolate and pulse until smooth and creamy, 10 to 15 one-second pulses. Frost the cupcakes as desired. The frosted cupcakes can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Notes :

  • The frosting can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 hours before using, or refrigerated for up to 3 days. If refrigerated, let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using.
  • Regarding timing, what I did to make sure the ganache and chocolate for the cake portion were both in the fridge for the proper amount of time and not longer is I got all my chocolate chopped first, and got both bowls ready to go.  Then I put the ganache into the microwave, and heated my coffee at the same time and got them both into the fridge at about the same time that way.  That way when I took the first out after 20 minutes and finished adding the ingredients to the batter it was the perfect time to take the ganache out to finish up.

Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker

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Published in: on October 28, 2013 at 12:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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