Thursday, October 6, 2011

Feel Like Bakin' Love

Butter, cream, chocolate.  Tonight I made Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling from Best of ATK 2011.  Here is the recipe, courtesy of Pink Parsley:

Ganache Filling

  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon confectioners' sugar
Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 3/4 cup hot, strong-brewed coffee
  • 3/4 cup (4 1/8 ounces) bread flour
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Creamy Chocolate Frosting
  • 1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • pinch table salt
  • 12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into Tablespoon pieces
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to 85-100 degrees
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Diggin' this mise en place, only delicious things can happen
For the ganache filling, place chocolate, cream, and confectioners' sugar in a small microwave-safe bowl.  Cook on high power until mixture is warm to the touch, 20-30 seconds.  Whisk until smooth, and transfer to the refrigerator.  Let stand until just chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.

Finally shelled out the big bucks  for the expensive cocoa

For the cupcakes, Preheat the oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

      Place chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl, and pour hot coffee over the mixture.  Whisk until smooth, and transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, 20-30 minutes.  Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl; set aside.

      Whisk oil, eggs, vanilla, and vinegar into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth.  Add flour mixture and whisk until batter is smooth.  Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups, filling each 3/4 full.  Place one slightly rounded teaspoon of the ganache filling on top of each cupcake.  Bake until cupcakes are set and firm to the touch, 17-19 minutes.  Allow to cool in pans 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.  We pause for...

                                         CUPCAKE-MAKING SOUNDTRACK

 Wanted to capture the noise of the sinking-center cupcakes, got a little Lightfoot instead

Fully umbilicated cupcakes and a fallen comrade
For the frosting, combine the sugar, egg whites, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Set over a small saucepan of simmering water, and whisking constantly, cook until the mixture is slightly thickened, foamy, and registers 150 degrees on an instant read thermometer, 2-4 minutes.

Whoa.  This part felt more like chemistry (which it is) than baking... no photos here.  Hands full like:

This is me, doing some work under the hood a couple of years ago.  This might be a urine drug screen if I recall.
Anyhoo...Fit bowl to stand mixer, and with the whisk attachment, beat at medium speed, until mixture is the consistency of shaving cream and slightly cooled, 1-3 minutes.  Add butter 1 piece at a time, until smooth and creamy.  The frosting may look curdled halfway through, but it will smooth out eventually.

But wait, Julie!  12 tablespoons of butter for 12 cupcakes' worth of frosting means 1 T of butter per cupcake before you even bite into the cupcake!

Yes, yes, it does...

Once all the butter as been added, pour in the cooled chocolate and vanilla.  Mix until well combined.  Increase speed to medium-high and until light and fluffy, another 30 seconds to a minute.

To make vanilla frosting, up the sugar to 1/2 cup and omit the chocolate.  If final frosting is too thick, warm over simmering water briefly, then re-whip.  If too soft (what happened to me), refrigerate frosting briefly and re-whip. It worked!

Luke gamely posed with cupcake, even though he doesn't like baked goods very much.
These are pretty delicious, like molten chocolate cakes, because of the surprise-goo factor of the ganache.  ATK does it again ♥

                                         BLOG-WRITING SOUNDTRACK

 Hot just like an oven.

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