Oy. It’s been a busy week around here, and I am sorry I haven’t been able to keep up with my regular posting schedule. The end of the school year will do that. Will you forgive me if I give you a ganache-filled chocolate cupcake? With sprinkles?
These cupcakes have garnered rave reviews. They have an intense chocolate flavor (not sweet like milk chocolate) with silky smooth frosting on top and a little surprise of ganache inside. Chocolate lovers will rejoice.
As a word of warning, these are from-scratch cupcakes that are more than ordinary, so if you decide to make them, I want you to know that they do take some time and a few specialty-type ingredients. These are more like special occasion cupcakes to me. I made them last fall for a wedding, and I made them today for a graduation. I probably would not make these cupcakes for any ordinary Thursday. The frosting comes together without too much fuss if you have a food processor, so I highly recommend that you make that every day. Yes, every day. 🙂 Look how smooooooth that frosting is.
*The ingredients you may not have in your pantry include the following: bread flour, bittersweet chocolate, and Dutch-processed cocoa powder. The cocoa powder is probably the most obscure for the average baker. I have bought it from Penzey’s Spices for this and a few other specialty chocolate desserts. This past December, Dutch-processed cocoa was a seasonal item at Costco, so I was able to buy a container there also. I have not seen it at Wal-mart or regular grocery stores. This article from Serious Eats explains the difference between Dutch-processed and regular cocoa powder, but this recipe actually seems to contradict the article. The article mentions that Dutch-processed is usually paired with baking powder instead of soda, but this recipe actually pairs Dutch cocoa and baking soda. The vinegar is also a player in this combination by adding acid. The recipe works as is…I will have to do some more research in order to tell you why.
Ganache-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes
Yield: about 15 cupcakes (I always make a double batch because I usually need more than 15, and it’s a lot of work for only 15. They freeze well for later use. I get 32-33 from a double batch.)
For the ganache filling: (I found this amount to be kind of skimpy to fill all of the cupcakes, so I usually do 1 and 1/2 times the amount for each batch of cupcakes.)
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
For the cupcakes:
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup hot coffee
- 3/4 cup bread flour
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting: (This is an insane amount of frosting. I usually use this single batch of frosting to cover a double batch of cupcakes and still have extra.)
- 1 and 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 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces chocolate of your choice (milk, semi-sweet, dark), melted and cooled
- Make the ganache filling: Place the chopped chocolate, powdered sugar, and heavy cream in a small heat-proof bowl. Give the ingredients a few stirs and then heat in the microwave on high power until the mixture is warm to the touch, 20-30 seconds. Whisk until completely smooth and then refrigerate until just barely chilled, about 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- Make part 1 of the cupcakes: Place the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Pour the hot coffee over the mixture and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Make part 2 of the cupcakes: In a small bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Make part 3 of the cupcakes after the coffee mixture in part 1 has chilled for 20 minutes. Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture from part 2 and whisk until smooth.
- Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, 1/2-2/3 full. Place one slightly rounded teaspoon of ganache on the top of each filled liner. (While baking, the ganache will sink to the middle of the cupcake to make a lovely surprise for the eater.)
- Bake until the cupcakes are just firm to the touch, 17-19 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan and finish cooling on the rack.
- To make the frosting, first melt 8 ounces of the chocolate of your choice low and slow in the microwave. Set aside to cool while you do the rest of the frosting steps. (Tip: You want the chocolate cool enough to not melt the butter in the frosting, but still liquid enough that you don’t get hard bits of cold chocolate to ruin the smooth frosting.) Process the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the corn syrup and vanilla extract and process until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then add the cooled chocolate, pulsing 10-15 times until smooth and creamy. I used a Wilton 1M tip to apply the frosting to cooled cupcakes.
Source: Brown-eyed Baker