Sunday, April 13, 2014

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I am not a big cupcake person.  Furthermore, I am certainly not a chocolate cake person.  Go ahead, hate me.  

In fact, I made these cupcakes kind of as an afterthought.  I was called upon to bake for a baby shower, and I was really excited about the lemon-raspberry cupcakes I was working on, it being spring and all.

But then the area of my brain responsible for overachieving started lighting up.  "Some people aren't fruit people," it said.  "You have to give them another option."  

"Ladies love chocolate."

Yes they do.

The grandmother-to-be was insistent that these had some sort of booze in them, because they were "that intoxicating".  

Honestly, I'll never need another chocolate cupcake recipe.  This one is amazine.  The cake is moist and dark, the ganache holds up in all its glory, and the icing is...unbelievable.

I may have to rethink my whole stance on chocolate cupcakes now.

Seriously.  If you need a chocolate cupcake...this is the one.  That's it.

**Let me preface the recipe by saying that usually I'm pretty liberal with substitutions, but for these...there are a few corners you can't cut if you want epic results.  You need to use Bread flour.  It is labelled "bread flour" not just "self-rising".  It has a higher gluten protein content or something.  I dunno I'm not a scientist, but it's important.  You have to find "dutch-processed" cocoa powder.  Nowadays they have it right next to the regular stuff at the grocery store.  Also, make sure your butter is soft and make sure you follow the chilling directions, or else...  Okay, I'm done nitpicking now.  Enjoy!

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling
(makes 12 cupcakes, from brown eyed baker)


For the Ganache Filling:

2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp powdered sugar

For the Cupcakes:

3 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot coffee (I used French Vanilla Dunkin Donuts brand)
3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

1.25 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature (aka 2 1/2 sticks, aka 20 Tbsp)
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled


For the 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.

For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-muffin standard size 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.

Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.  Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla extract into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

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.

For 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.

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