Monday, February 18, 2008

Chocolate Cupcakes For Visitors.


My cousins Jenny and Fred are in town for a few days from Michigan. I guess I'd like to say I'm known as the family baker, so whenever we have get-togethers I like to make sure to bring something for everyone to enjoy after dinner, with coffee or just with good conversation.

I woke up this morning, baked a batch of chocolate cupcakes, made some ganache while they were baking, then took the cupcakes out of the oven after they tested done. Then guess what happened? The cupcakes SANK. They CAVED IN. Needless to say I was pissed.

Then I remembered this recipe I made about a year ago from Dorie Greenspan's most recent book that I loved. They don't sink, they rise a bit in the oven, but then when you take them out they go flat, PERFECT for my ganache frosting. Thank you Dorie Greenspaaaan.

These cupcakes would be absolutely fine plain, but I adore sprinkles, dragees, anything shiny on top of my chocolate cupcakes. I just bought some pastel coloured ones at the store yesterday, so this was my opportunity to show them off.

Chocolate-Chocolate Cupcakes From Dorie Greenspan's "Baking, From My Home to Yours"

1 cup AP flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Natural)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk (I didn't have any so I used 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup half+half whisked together)
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (I love Ghirardelli! Not expensive and delicious.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt onto a piece of wax paper.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl on medium until they are combined and smooth. Add the egg and the egg yolk, beating for 1 minute after each go in, and then add the vanilla. Add half the dry ingredients, then the buttermilk (or whatever), and then the other half of the dry ingredients until it's just combined. Then stir in the melted chocolate.

Divide the batter among the cupcake cups (I love my ice cream scoop for this!), place in the oven and bake for about 22 to 25 minutes, until the tops are springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.


I just used a basic ganache for the frosting:
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate

I melt these all together in the microwave for about a minute, stir, and then melt in 10 second increments until it's all smooth and mixed together. I then placed this in the freezer for about 20 minutes, whisked it, and used it as a thicker consistency.

When the cupcakes are completely cool, use an icing spatula to swirl on the ganache, and while it's still soft, sprinkle on the toppings of your choice.


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