HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!! Talk about independence and freedom, I'm out of the hospital!! Just for a few days though, we finally have a surgery date, on Tuesday. Until then I get to be at home, hooray!! To celebrate this wonderful holiday, I am posting a recipe that we have dubbed, "Chocolate Puppies". They are the richest, deepest, darkest, most chocolate-y chocolate cupcakes you can possibly imagine. How did they get such an odd name, you may ask?? Well, the first time my Mom made these, she took them to an office party with my dad, and one of the guests said "Wow...it's like biting into a warm, chocolate... PUPPY!!" So of course, we just had to hang on to that. Like the Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, this is a bit time-consuming, (from Cooks Illustrated, darn them!!) but Stephen made them for the first time and would like to say that it isn't HARD, just a lot of melting, whisking, and waiting for things to cool. So don't be intimidated! Just log this one away in your recipe box for a special occasion. It's worth it. Our special occasion is my hubby's birthday on Friday!! What with all the drama lately, he decided to skip his birthday this year, but demanded these cupcakes. Unfortunately he had to make them himself... but Mom helped!
MAKES 12 CUPCAKES
Use a high quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate for this recipe, such as one of the test kitchen's favorite baking chocolates, Callebaut Intense Dark Chocolate L-60-40NV or Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar. Though we highly recommend the ganache filling, you can omit it for a more traditional cupcake. The cupcakes can be made up to 24 hours in advance and stored unfrosted in an airtight container.
- Ganache Filling
- 2ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine (see note)
- 1/4cup heavy cream
- 1tablespoon confectioners' sugar
- Chocolate Cupcakes
- 3ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine (see note)
- 1/3cup (1 ounce) Dutch-processed cocoa
- 3/4cup hot coffee
- 3/4cup (4 1/8 ounces) bread flour
- 3/4cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1/2teaspoon table salt
- 1/2teaspoon baking soda
- 6tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2large eggs
- 2teaspoons white vinegar
- 1teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1recipe Frosting
- 1. FOR GANACHE FILLING: Place chocolate, cream, and confectioners’ sugar in medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave on high power until mixture is warm to touch, 20 to 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth; transfer bowl to refrigerator and let stand until just chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.2. FOR CUPCAKES: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard-size muffin pan (cups have ½-cup capacity) with baking-cup liners. Place chocolate and cocoa in medium bowl. Pour hot coffee over mixture and whisk until smooth. Set in refrigerator to cool completely, about 20 minutes. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
- 3. Whisk oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla into cooled chocolate-cocoa mixture until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until smooth.4. Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Place one slightly rounded teaspoon ganache filling on top of each cupcake. Bake until cupcakes are set and just firm to touch, 17 to 19 minutes. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before frosting, about 1 hour.
- Chocolate Buttercream
- 10tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1cups confectioners' sugar
- Pinch table salt
- 4ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1/2teaspoon vanilla extract
- In standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add confectioners' sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl, add vanilla and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, then reduce speed to low and gradually beat in chocolate. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
Ack, I'm sorry the frosting looks so....AWKWARD!!! I wasn't there to supervise!!! But it's okay, they taste fantastic regardless.
The moist cupcake is deep, dark, barely bitter from that coffee, the ganache center is thick and rich and glossy...and the frosting really IS creamy and actually very light, the perfect compliment to the decadence of the ganache. Its the best chocolate frosting I've ever had. Stephen likes these cold, he says the frosting is JUST like a really good truffle when chilled. :) These are GROWN-UP cupcakes!!Hee hee, it's MY favorite chocolate puppy!! Actually, I guess she's more of a black licorice puppy... but isn't she SWEET either way??Happy 4th, Enjoy the fireworks, I shall enjoy my FREEDOM! :)