This week celebrates Handle the Heat’s THIRD birthday! I published my first post back in April of 2009. It somehow seems like a long and a short time ago. So many things have happened since then. I moved out of my parents’ house, I decided to take a break from college to attend culinary school, I spoke at a food blogging conference, and I got a cookbook deal. If you had told me three years ago all the wonderful things that would come about from this blog I don’t think I would have believed you. I am SO grateful for all of it.
That’s why I decided to put together a fun giveaway of all my favorite kitchen items to thank every person who takes the time out of his or her day to read my little blog. THANK YOU!!! You’ve all inspired me so much.
I thought it was only fitting to post an outrageous chocolate recipe for my blog’s birthday since I’m a major chocoholic. Somehow, this is my first chocolate post for the month. That NEVER happens. Just as well, though, because this recipe calls for a whole lot of chocolate. Chocolate cupcake filled with chocolate ganache topped with chocolate buttercream. Can you say chocolate overdose? In the best possible way, of course.
Taste: This is probably the most chocolate-y batch of cupcakes I’ve ever tasted. SO much intense chocolate flavor it’s ridiculous.
Texture: The cake is soft, the filling is thick and fudge-like, and the frosting is light and smooth.
Ease: There are three steps: the ganache filling, the cupcake base, and the swiss meringue buttercream. I think the buttercream is probably the most difficult but it’s still doable. If you’re curious about swiss meringue buttercream, this is a fantastic in-depth tutorial.
Appearance: The chocolate cupcakes have a deep and intense color reminiscent of Oreos. And of course, piped frosting always looks lovely.
Pros: Perfect cupcakes for a chocoholic like myself.
Cons: A little more challenging than most cupcakes. However, some parts of the recipe can be done ahead of time.
Would I make this again? Yes!
How to make Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook: 1 hour 45 minutes
For the ganache filling:
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
For the cupcakes:
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup (1 ounce) Dutch-process cocoa
3/4 cup hot coffee
3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg whites
12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and at room temperature
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling:
Place all ingredients in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until mixture is warmed, about 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth. Place mixture in refrigerator until just chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.
For the cupcakes:
Place chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour hot coffee over mixture. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk mixture gently until smooth then transfer to refrigerator to cool completely, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with foil or paper liners.
Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in a small bowl.
Whisk oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla into cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Whisk in flour mixture until smooth.
Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop or a large spoon, divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Place 1 generous teaspoon of ganache on top of each batter-filled cup. Bake until cupcakes are set and firm to the touch, about 17 to 19 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely, about 1 hour. Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.
For the frosting:
Combine sugar, egg whites, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set bowl over a saucepan filled with 1-inch of gently simmering water. Whisking gently and constantly, heat mixture until sugar is dissolved and mixture is slightly thickened and foamy and registers 150°F on a candy thermometer or a digital thermometer, about 3 minutes.
Fit stand mixer with whisk attachment and beat egg white mixture on medium speed until slightly cooled and thickened, about 2 minutes. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, until smooth and creamy. Add chocolate and vanilla and mix until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light, fluffy, and well combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Frosting can be made 1 day ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Warm frosting in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds and stir until creamy again before frosting cupcakes.
If desired, spoon frosting in a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Frost about 3 tablespoons of frosting over each cooled cupcake and serve.
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