Monday, January 31, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling.

Remember these? 
These were the cupcakes I made last Valentines' Day... an assortment of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla, all from boxed cake mixes. 
... I really like sprinkles.

And until today they were the only cupcakes I've ever made. I'm more of a cookies girl. But I wanted to make something special for my dad's retirement and since he just bought me a really cute, spiraly white cupcake stand, I figured... cupcakes. 
Real cupcakes. No cake mixes.
Since my dad's favorite cake is a chocolate cake with white frosting, I picked a rich chocolate cupcake filled with a chocolate ganache and, instead of topping them with an overdose of chocolate frosting, went with my favorite vanilla buttercream instead.
And edible silver glitter stars!

And remember how I got decorating tips for Christmas? I got to practice! My first attempt... I was really excited...
I got a little carried away on some.
But for the most part, they came out really pretty.
These really are the ultimate chocolate cupcakes. 
Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling

Printable Recipe

Ganache Filling
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

Chocolate Cupcakes
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
3/4 cup hot, strong-brewed coffee
3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2-4 tablespoons milk

For the ganache filling, place chocolate, cream, and confectioners' sugar in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high power until mixture is warm to the touch, 20-30 seconds. Whisk until smooth and transfer to the refrigerator. Let stand until just chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.

For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Place chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl and pour hot coffee over the mixture. Whisk until smooth and transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, 20-30 minutes.

Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk oil, eggs, vanilla, and vinegar into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until batter is smooth.

Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups, filling each 3/4 full. Place one slightly rounded teaspoon of the ganache filling on top of each cupcake.
Bake until cupcakes are set and firm to the touch, 17-19 minutes. Allow to cool in pans 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, in a large bowl beat butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt. Beat in confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time, scraping down sides of bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of milk; beat at high speed until light and fluffy. Add additonal milk for desired spreading consistency.
Makes 12 cupcakes.

Source: Cupcakes from Pink Parsley, originally from Cook's Illustrated, May/June 2010. Frosting from Pillsbury Fall Baking, #93.