El's Ultimate Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Frosting


What does the perfect chocolate cupcake taste like to you? My version of good chocolate is a divine symphony of dark moist chocolate cake topped with a lustrous, glossy, silky smooth icing, one that straddles the hemispheres of celestial lofty whipped cream and the full-bodied lushness of melted bittersweet chocolate.




Admittedly perfection is hard to conceptualize until you experience it. But here are some ways to diagnose it:
  • Was it a revelation?
  • Was it provocative?
  • Did it make you want to punctuate every sentence with exclamation points?
An ultimate chocolate cupcake may in fact make you feel deprived. It may persuade you to think that you can never go back to that old recipe. Yes, you may even think: where has this recipe been all of my life? What have I been doing eating those other chocolate cupcakes?



Since we probably agree that perfection is better experienced than conceptualized, I am sharing El's Ultimate Chocolate Ganache Cupcake recipe here. If you haven't visited El's blog, Fresh New England, you should. It contains some of the most beautiful desserts and thought-provoking conversations in the food blogosphere. I enjoy reading comments on her blog, because the questions El poses often spark many insightful and thoughtful answers.


El's Ultimate Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache
from Fresh New England
It's best to make the chocolate ganache icing before baking the cupcakes, so that you have everything ready to go when the cake has cooled.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons cocoa powder (El recommends Barry Cacao)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix milk and cocoa powder together in pan. Heat gently until well blended. Mixture should be warm but not hot. Turn off heat. Add vanilla and stir.
  3. Whisk remaining dry ingredients together and set aside.
  4. Beat butter in bowl fitted with paddle at medium high speed about 35 seconds. Scrape down bowl. Gradually sprinkle in sugar; beat until white and fluffy 3-5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time beating a full minute after each addition. Scape down bowl.
  5. With mixer on lowest speed add 1/3 dry ingredients mix until almost incorporated. Add 1/3 chocolate mixture mix until almost incorporated. Repeat process until ingredients are added. Be sure to scrape down bowl. Beat until mixture looks satiny about 15 seconds.
  6. Line cupcake tin. Fill 3/4 full of batter. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting
  • 10 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Method
  1. Melt the chocolate. Mix cream, corn syrup and vanilla and bring to a roiling boil. Stir into melted chocolate. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Beat butter on high with paddle attachment for 1 minute until creamy. On low speed add powdered sugar and blend. Add the melted chocolate mixture and beat with whisk attachment until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until spreadable about 45 minutes. Frost cupcakes.
Good desserts are meant to be shared. This recipe makes about 12 regular cupcakes or 48 mini cupcakes, so share widely. The cupcake and frosting freezes well too. 

55 comments:

alison said...

oh,these are perfect!and very tempting!:)

Megan said...

I love chocolate frosting like that too... very light textured with rich chocolate flavor. I'm craving some of these now.

sally said...

I already feel deprived that I don't have one of these to eat right now!

Simply Life said...

oh. my. gosh. I NEED that!

nancy at good food matters said...

I think that I've been deprived of El's blog up to now!
Oh, the many nuances of the chocolate cupcake---the balance of butter and cream, not too much sugar, silky texture paired with deep bold layers of flavor....
you are right with the question: what it a revelation?
celestial indeed!

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

All of these photos look gorgeous and that frosting looks divine!

Belinda @zomppa said...

This one looks pretty perfect to me...seriously, I can't have one??

Mari said...

Absolutely delicious!! Looks great! I can't wait to try this ganache recipe.

Have a great week :)

La Table De Nana said...

Perfect cupcakes..and copper:)

Nisrine|Dinners and Dreams said...

I have seen these on El's blog and thought they were delicious. Your version of them looks gorgeous too. The frosting is to die for!!

Kitchen M said...

Did you mix two kinds of cocoa powder? That's an interesting thought. This is great for Valentine's Day!

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

Beautiful!! I would LOVE one right about now... :)

high low said...

I love El's blog too - like yours, her photos make me feel so warm inside! =) That chocolate cupcake looks so decadent, I'm leaving fingerprints on my computer screen trying to grab it! =)

Claudia said...

What an opening paragraph. I didn't neerd to see the recipe to know that I wanted it. And those deep chocolatey photos - this is definitely worth the calories - and more. Thanks for heads-up about El's blog!

El said...

I'm so glad they worked out for you. I have to say, I find them painfully addictive. The good news is that you can freeze the cupcakes and the frosting separately. Can I get an Amen? Thank you for including me in this lovely post! I'm honored!!

Lori said...

Absolutely stunning! If I didn't have a chocolate craving before, I definitely do now. I've become a bit of a chocolate snob in recent years. Chocolate must involve a bit of an experience for me now. You've done a great job of explaining it here.

Fresh Local and Best said...

Kitchen M - I actually only used one cocoa powder - Extra Brutte from Barry Cacao, which is a high quality brand.

A Canadian Foodie said...

I have made her ganache frosting recipe, too... and it was perfection. I have my own cake recipe that I have no need to change, but was enchanted by her description of the recipe she developed, and it was really lovely.
:)
Valerie

Kay Heritage said...

And here it is! The long awaited recipe! It looks wonderful, Christine!

lucy said...

un pieno di dolcezza cioccolatosa che conquista!

bellini valli said...

These decadent treats would be perfect for Valentine's Day coming up. Their dimunitive size allowws us to share the love around.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I'd add one more qualification for "perfection" - "Is it the most beautiful thing you've ever seen?" I'd say that gorgeous dollop of glossy icing certainly qualifies!

Betty Ray said...

Mmmmm, these I could definitely use today!

Emily said...

definitely craving a chocolate cupcake now...beautiful!

tasteofbeirut said...

The photo really does justice to the cupcake! wonderful, rich and totally irresistible!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I so enjoy reading El's blog with her gorgeous photography. This recipe looks amazing and that frosting - oh my!

lostpastremembered said...

Oh my, that frosting shot is just the hottest thing ever. Great photo... I would love to try these cakes... I do try to be good but cupcakes are a real treat for me.

Heavenly Housewife said...

Wow, that looks so rich and decadent! This would be an awesome Valentine's treat!
*kisses* HH

Stella said...

Ooh, that does look 'ultimate' in appearance, doesn't it?! Yum, Christine. Oh, and I totally relate to you asking yourself what you've been doing eating those good cupcakes (or whatever food), when you could eat this one. The ultimate one!!! Yes (smile)...
I'm running over to El's place now.
p.s. That top photo is wonderful:)

Chiara said...

Absolutely delicious Christine! great photos, Brava!

Gulmohar said...

Fabulous..and the ganache looks so wonderful :-)

5 Star Foodie said...

Your cupcakes with that incredible looking ganache frosting are just picture perfect! Excellent!

bunkycooks said...

You had me at the ganache frosting! These are incredibly decadent!

sweetlife said...

i love El's site, stunning, a perfect sweet to indulge with on these cold days!!

sweetlife

Joanne said...

Good chocolate cupcakes are actually harder to find than one would think. But these sound absolutely decadent and luscious. Perfect for when that craving hits.

Diana Bauman said...

Oh my word Christine, you've outdone yourself here! I have yet to find a perfect homemade chocolate cake so I'm for sure going to try this one.

Beth said...

Just gorgeous. There's nothing like finding your "perfect" recipe, is there?

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I have fallen madly in love with dark chocolate and there's no looking back. Your photos are really spectacular.
Sam

Deb in Hawaii said...

These are gorgeous! They look so decadent too--the ultimate in chocolate and I could just eat a bowl of the ganache.

Cathy said...

There is nothing more decadent and luscious than a dark, rich chocolate cake covered in chocolate ganache. Perfect.

Victoria said...

You're right, these cupcakes look sinful!! I will definitely have to check out El's blog for more recipes like this one :)

Magic of Spice said...

Heavenly! They look perfect :)

Magic of Spice said...

Heavenly! They look perfect :)

Sally - My Custard Pie said...

I must be one of a small minority that doesn't immediately start swooning over chocolate. I like yeah...but frankly give me custard any day. However, the contrast of the dark crumb and glossy ganache did get provoke a little involuntary salivary activity!

Prerna@IndianSimmer said...

I just CANNOT tell u how good that ganache looks! Its midnight and I'm hungry as a hog now :-)
Also thanks for introducing me to Fresh. That's another wonderful blog I just got to know!
Hope u r taking care of urself n the li'l one:-)

Lizzy said...

I'm overdue to visit your beautiful blog...and I'm so glad I stopped in this AM! What gorgeous cupcakes!!! Mouth watering wonders!!!

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

The cupcakes look and sound amazing!!! I wish I could reach into my laptop and take a bit of that ganache... :) Beautiful photos!

Ingrid de Villiers said...

Dear Christine, Oh one of my most favorite things in the world....CHOCOLATE!!! The cupcakes look delicious and I am going to try it! I browsed through your other posts as well and it looks wonderful and delicious with excellent photographs! Hope the pregnancy is going well! All of the best!
Ixx

Mary said...

These are beautiful and the perfect size to enjoy without guilt. I'm new here and based on this recipe began to poke through others on your site. I really love the food and recipes you feature here and I plan to be back often. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Barbara said...

The darker the better, Cristine! Copying now. I'm not the biggest chocolate fiend in blogland, but I sure make enough chocolate desserts for friends, family and company.
I love minis...I don't feel nearly so bad.
Thanks for introducing me to a new blog!

OysterCulture said...

Thank you Christine and thank you El, this looks stunning!!!! (note the exclamation points) I cannot wait to try this and may have to play hooky in order to do so.

Michelle @ Find Your Balance said...

Funny I should read this JUST as I was biting into a super fudgy chocolate cookie...and cursing my husband for making said cookies because now they're in the house and I can't stay away :-)

Nina | Salt said...

These look heavenly. Your photos are gorgeous. Wonderful post!

Jamie said...

I am normally not a cupcake person, but wow I could eat one of these! Chocolate on chocolate! That frosting looks heavenly and the cupcake is a recipe I will most definitely try! Gorgeous!

LoyoyaNL said...

These cupcakes look stunning :). Love the color of the cocoa.