Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Mint Ganache Filled Cupcakes
Doesn't the word "ganache" just make you swoon? It evokes an image of something deep, dark, rich, and utterly indulgent. There's something so "ultimate" about it and you feel so luxurious eating it, whether it's in truffle form, topping a cake, or on a spoon in your hand. Ahh, if only things like "calories" and "pounds" didn't exist. Still, if there's one day of the year in which it's okay to go chocolate-crazy, I'd say it's Valentine's Day. Which makes these ganache stuffed cupcakes the perfect dessert.
I used my go-to Chocolate Cupcake recipe as the starting point. And, I made not one, but two dozen of them. No, it's not because I love them so much, though I certainly do. It's because I messed up on batch #1. In copying down the recipe, I mistakenly wrote baking powder instead of baking soda. Then, I found out that the two are NOT interchangeable. The cupcakes made with baking powder did not rise and were totally gummy. The cupcakes made with baking soda rose up high, were soft and fluffy and everything a cupcake should be. Lesson learned.
Once I had my good batch of cupcakes, I whipped up some super fudgy, creamy, mint chocolate ganache to fill them and then made some mint buttercream frosting to pipe on top. Once again, I opted to let the filling show and just piped the frosting around it. As much as I loved the caramel cupcakes I posted earlier this week, I gotta say that these really take the cake! I guess I'm just a chocolate girl at heart after all.
So, go ahead, give yourself a little chocolate love, and indulge this Valentine's Day. You're worth it!
Mint Ganache Filled Cupcakes
Chocolate Cupcakes (adapted from Recipegirl)
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c. sugar (I used 1/2 c. white sugar and 1/2 c. brown sugar)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. hot water
1/2 c. vegetable or canola oil (I used melted butter)
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Mint Chocolate Ganache (from Mel's Kitchen Cafe)
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. heavy cream
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1/3 c. powdered sugar
Mint Buttercream Frosting (by Sweet as Sugar Cookies)
1 stick salted butter, softened
1 1/2 - 2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. mint extract
1 Tbsp. cream
For the cupcakes: Line a muffin tin with 12 liners. Combine the melted butter with the sugars. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Mix in the cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add 1/2 cup of the flour and beat well to combine. Add in 1/2 cup of hot water and mix well. Add in the rest of the flour, then the rest of the hot water and mix well. Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full with the batter.
Bake at 350F for 20 min. or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 min.
For the ganache: Place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a small microwafe safe bowl and heat for 1 minute at 50% power. Stir. Repeat the process until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the peppermint extract and powdered sugar, whisking till smooth. Let the mixture cool to room temperature and then fill your cupcakes.
For the frosting: Beat the butter with the powdered sugar until soft and fluffy. Stir in the mint extract. Add the cream until the frosting is at your desired consistency.
To assemble the cupcakes: Cut out a small cone from the middle of each cupcake. Fill with the ganache. Pipe the cupcakes with the mint frosting.