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?
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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 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.
- Whisk remaining dry ingredients together and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Melt the chocolate. Mix cream, corn syrup and vanilla and bring to a roiling boil. Stir into melted chocolate. Cool to room temperature.
- 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.