Saturday, May 13, 2017

Triple Threat Chocolate Cupcakes.

 These are the best chocolate cupcakes I've ever eaten.
Bar none.
But wait.
They get better.

 Slice down the center and take a look.
That's pure ganache in the middle.

Now, just drink in the pretty.
Imagine that chocolate.
And it's triple chocolate.
There's the chocolate cake itself.
There's chocolate buttercream frosting.
And wait!
There's chocolate ganache.
This is truly decadent.

Oh, what?
You want the recipe?

You can't have it.

Just kidding!
Stop crying.

But you'll have to bear with me.
The cupcake comes with a story.

I have a dear friend - Maxine.
And Maxine loves chocolate.
Every year for her birthday,
I send Maxine chocolate fudge brownies.
Here they are:
But this year,
I decided to go with something different.
Something even more chocolateyer.
I found the recipe for the "Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes"
in my well-worn issue of 
"Cook's Illustrated All-Time BEST Recipes."
I saw the picture on the cover,
read the recipe,
and knew I had to make these.
Caution:  Once you make these, there's no going back.

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes

Ganache Filling
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 TB confectioner's sugar

For the filling:  Microwave chocolate, cream, and sugar in small bowl about 30 seconds.  Whisk until creamy, then transfer bowl to refrigerator and let sit until just chilled - no longer than 30 minutes.

3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
3/4 cup brewed coffee, hot
3/4 cup (4 1/8 oz.) bread flour
 3/4 cup (5 1/4 oz.) sugar
 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 TB vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Cupcakes:
 Heat oven to 350°.
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or foil lines.
Place chocolate and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl.
Pour coffee over mixture and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
Whisk mixture until smooth, then transfer to refrigerator to cool completely, about 20 minutes.

Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and soda together in medium bowl.
Whisk oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla into cooled chocolate mixture until smooth.
Add flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups and place 1 slightly rounded teaspoon of ganache on top of each portion of batter.  Bake about 17-19 minutes, until set and just firm.  Cool in muffin tin on wire rack about 10 minutes.  Lift cupcakes from tin, set on wire rack, and cool completely before frosting, about 1 hour.

Generously slather chocolate frosting over each cupcake.

Chocolate Frosting
 1/2 cup (2 1/3 Oz.) sugar
2 large egg whites
pinch salt
12 TB unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces, softened
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine sugar, egg whites, and salt in bowl of stand mixer and set bowl over saucepan filled with 1 inch barely simmering water.  Whisking gently and constantly, heat mixture until slightly thickened and foamy and it registers 150°. 

Fit stand mixer with whisk and whip mixture on medium speed until consistency of shaving cream and slightly cooled, about 2 minutes.  Add butter,1 piece at a time, until smooth and creamy. After all butter is added, add cooled melted chocolate and vanilla.  Mix until combined.  Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light, fluffy, and thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down beater and sides of bowl.
Here are my cooling cupcakes.
With the ganache settling down inside.

I have discovered that the instructions to chill both the ganache filling and the cupcake batter need to be followed.  The first time I made these, I somehow overlooked the chilling part.  Not all the cupcakes had that plume of creamy ganache going through the center.  So, you need to chill.  For best results.

I just wanna stick my finger in there and lick the chocolate.

You should make some for your Mama for Mother's Day.
Don't you just want to dive into that sea of chocolate?

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