Sunday, February 9, 2014

Ultimate Chocolate Lover's Cupcakes


It's a coincidence that these chocolate-packed cupcakes creeped into my kitchen during the love month.

This recipe is for lovers of all kinds - those who love chocolate and those who just love to love.

I think anyone who has an addiction to chocolate must hold onto a lot of passion. It is the "food of the gods" after all...

These cupcakes are almost not not even cake. They're so fudgy and rich that they probably make all of the other chocolate cakes jealous. Like misfits in the "light & fluffy" cake world, they get by on their outside appearance, but they know they'd probably get along better with brownies.

There are two sources of cocoa in the cake: pure dark chocolate and heaps of unsweetened cocoa powder. Natural or Dutch-processed work fine here.

There is lush whipped white chocolate ganache atop.

It's a perfect complement as the cake is uber rich, dark, bitter and not-too-sweet. While the frosting is light, creamy and perfectly sweet. They need each other.


But white chocolate isn't actually chocolate! This is in fact true. White chocolate does not contain any cocoa solids, which are the defatted ground up cocoa nibs from the cocoa pods that grow on the tree of the species Theobroma cacao, found in Equador, Venezuela, West Africa and Trinidad...

HOWEVER, white chocolate does contain heaps of cocoa butter, which is the lovely fat found in the cocoa nibs that contributes to the gorgeous melting profile of chocolate. So, if you truly love chocolate, you will learn to love every part of chocolate. As a kid I never liked white chocolate, but I smartened up and I appreciate it now.


The reason not to love white chocolate is that there are plenty of phonies out there! Look at the ingredient list. This is all you should see: cocoa butter, sugar, milk solids, natural vanilla flavour, salt.

Do not use white chocolate chips. Chocolate "chips", "morsels", "chipits"... they all have a higher than normal sugar content and may contain other stable fats to make them hold their shape during baking. They don't melt nicely and typically taste inferior. Use a high quality eating chocolate, such as Lindt, and chop it up. We want a smooth silky ganache, not a stiff crappy one.


The story about this batter begins just like a brownie. Near the end flour gets folded in alternately with a bit of milk. It's a hybrid cake: brownie meets chocolate cake.

The crumb is crumbly, leading you to think it is dry, but it is moist, sticky and fudge-like.

My advice: if you are a chocolate lover, if you know any chocolate lovers, or if you have a lover of any kind, make these cupcakes. They'll say "I love you" better than words ever could.

The answer is chocolate. ALWAYS.
It's how I get through life.


Ultimate Chocolate Lover's Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
7 tbsp (100 g) unsalted butter
2 oz/56 g dark chocolate (64% cocoa solids)
½ cup (42 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup (106 grams) all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
heaped ¼ tsp salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (55 g) packed light brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup (120 ml) whole milk

For the frosting:
200 g/7 oz pure white chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp 35% whipping cream
1 egg yolk
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Combine butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan with 1 inch of simmering water and stir until completely melted and smooth. Set aside to slightly cool.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and whisk to combine. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with both sugars until smooth and lightened by a shade. Whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture. Gently fold in flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk. Do not over-mix. The batter will be very thick like pudding.

Divide the batter evenly between cupcake liners and bake for 16-19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, combine white chocolate and 1/3 cup of cream in small saucepan over very low heat. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Pour this ganache out into a bowl and let cool for 2 minutes, then stir in the egg yolk. Refrigerate until completely cool but not set, stirring every once in a while. Once cooled, scrape the ganache into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Add remaining 1 tbsp of cream and vanilla extract and beat until very white and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes longer. Do not over beat or it will separate. Frost your cooled cupcakes and top with grated white and dark chocolate.


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3 comments:

  1. I'm hungry just reading your receipe...
    I have to try this!!
    Not this week but soon!
    I'll let you know

    ReplyDelete
  2. Delicious cupcakes. I think I would have kept the cupcakes upstairs too. lol

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am already in love with these cupcakes :) they sound perfect for me :D

    ReplyDelete

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