Monday, January 11, 2010

Double Chocolate Cupcakes

This is my friend Javi.
Javi is the real deal. We run on the same marathon team, and during my very first 8-mile run when I had to stop and pee, Javi waited for me so I wouldn't have to run alone. More importantly, Javi is on a mission. He has already raised tens of thousands of dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and he's not stopping until they find a cure. To do this, he is training for the Lavaman Olympic Triathlon, and you can support his mission here.

When Javi wants chocolate cupcakes, Javi gets chocolate cupcakes. And these are some serious, gooey, hardcore chocolate cupcakes. My go-to chocolate cake recipe had always been the one on the back of the Hershey's cocoa powder box, but then my office-mate Faith brought these bad boys to our Halloween potluck and the clouds parted and the angels came down from the sky and I thought I had died and gone to heaven right then and there. This is no hyperbole, they are that good.




Start by brewing some coffee.

And chopping some chocolate.  I used my jazzy new digital kitchen scale, but 3 oz is about the size of a regular chocolate bar.  I used Callebaut semisweet chocolate that I bought at Surfas in LA.  To melt the chocolate, pour the hot coffee over the chocolate.  Mochalicious!


 Now we're going to sift some dry ingredients.  I used to think sifting was a huge pain in the ass, but it will make your cake light and fluffy and delicous.

Flour...

Along with cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Meanwhile, beat a few eggs in your mixer.


Next, measure out some buttermilk and vegetable oil.

Now that everything is measured and ready, you can combine it all in your pink mixer.

This batter is rich and velvety, and it took tremendous self control not to park it on the couch with a cup of coffee and a big bowl of it.

But I pressed on.  Check out my cute zebra cupcake papers!


Fill the cupcake papers, and try to fill them to the same height so they all cook evenly.  Bake for about 12-15 minutes at 325.  You'll know they're done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

They are beauties!  But every cupcake needs a topping, and these go from tasty to decadent with a rich chocolate ganache.

Mix some heavy cream with sugar and corn syrup, and let the mixture come to a boil.

Chop a pound of chocolate.  You heard me.  A pound.  Of chocolate.

And pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and stir!


Don't worry, this ganache has no calories at all.

Now, to get a perfect looking cupcake, simply dip the top into the ganache.

 
My New Year's resolution is to eat as much ganache as possible.  I'm off to a great start.


I transport my cupcakes in a cupcake courier.  If you are a cupcake enthusiast, this is a great investment that I highly recommend.

Happy Birthday Javi!  Keep on kickin' ass!

Double Chocolate Cupcakes
Adapted from Gourmet March 1999

The recipe is for a layer cake, which I'm sure is amazing, but for a large group of people outdoors, cupcakes were more practical.  If you're doing a layer cake, use two 10" round cake pans (or 3 8" round pans) reduce the temp to 300, and bake for about an hour (less if you're using the 8" pans).

For cupcakes:
 3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut (Surfas sells Callebaut by the pound.  It's killer)
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

For ganache frosting:
1 pound fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

Make cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 325°F. and line two cupcake tins with papers.

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well. Fill cupcake papers evenly, a bit more than 3/4 full.  Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool cupcakes completely on racks. Cupcakes may be made 1 day ahead and kept in a tupperware or a large ziploc.

Make frosting:
Finely chop chocolate. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth.

Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable (depending on chocolate used, it may be necessary to chill frosting to spreadable consistency).
 Dunk the top of the cupcakes into the bowl of ganache.  Cupcakes keep, covered and chilled, 3 days. Bring cupcakes to room temperature before serving.



4 comments:

  1. I was really worried about trying these until you said that the ganache has no calories. Now I'm all in!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know, what a relief right??

    ReplyDelete
  3. 1) your nails look great 2) these cupcakes look Ah-mazing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Do you think Essie would want to be a sponsor of the blog? PS that's my green Fruit a Bu jacket :-)

    ReplyDelete

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