Tim and I have been missing each other lately, so I decided to surprise him with an out-of-the-blue romantic meal last night. I made ravioli (look for the recipe later this weekend) and these little gems. Perfect, moist, delicious chocolate cupcakes with beautiful, shiny ganache. And sprinkles! And while, like always, these are not my pictures (hey, thanks Google), my cupcakes did turn out looking EXACTLY like these ones. Oh, except that my cupcake papers were pink, yellow, and blue, and these ones aren't.
P.S. Thanks, Dad, for letting me steal all your muffin tins last weekend.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache
One cup all-purpose flour
Six tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
Half a teaspoon of baking SODA
A quarter teaspoon baking POWDER
A quarter teaspoon salt
One stick softened unsalted butter
One cup sugar
Two large eggs
One large egg yolk
Half a teaspoon vanilla extract
Half a cup of water
For the Ganache
Eight ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (chocolate chips will do just fine)
Three-quarters of a cup heavy cream
Line a muffin tin with paper liners (makes 12).
Whisk the flour with the cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Beat the butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the sugar. Beat until light and smooth, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low and beat in the whole eggs and yolk, one at a time, incorporating each fully before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Bring water just to a boil in a small saucepan and remove from the heat. With the mixer at low speed, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture in 4 additions. Drizzle in the hot water, about 2 tablespoons at a time, and mix briefly to make a smooth batter. Scoop the batter into the paper liners, filling them 2/3 full.
Bake until the centers of the cupcakes spring back when pressed gently, about 20 minutes. (But start checking them at 10 minutes; mine were done after about thirteen minutes.) Cool the cupcakes in the tin on a rack for 10 minutes then remove from the tin and cool completely before frosting.
FOR THE GANACHE, put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Pour the cream over chocolate and shake the bowl gently so cream settles around the chocolate. Set mixture aside until chocolate is soft, about 5 minutes. Whisk gently until smooth, taking care not to incorporate too many air bubbles.
Dip the tops of the cooled cupcakes into the frosting. Let cakes stand on rack until frosting is completely set. Top with sprinkles, if you like.
The boring stuff:
Makes twelve cupcakes and a TON of ganache. Maybe you want to double/triple the cake recipe, or also dip fruits in the yummy chocolate. The good news is that it doesn't go hard in the fridge, so you can easily store it.
Takes about two hours, but only because you have to let the cupcakes cool before you frost them. It's maybe an hour of solid work.