25 March 2012

Ganache-Filled Cupcakes

Last week was not only St. Patrick's Day, but also one of my best friend's birthdays. Since my husband and I officially became a couple more-or-less on St. Patty's Day (7 years ago!), we didn't always get to celebrate with her. The festivities would also almost always fall on the night before the Shamrock Run, an annual run in downtown Portland that I had done for 7 years. This year, I decided to skip the race since it was the day after St. Patty's Day and I wanted to be there for the party. My friends have an ideal house for a party and there was plenty of Jameson to go around. I wanted to make something fun and delicious to go along with the party's obvious theme. I found this recipe for a so-called "Irish Carbomb" cupcake recipe on Pinterest (follow me!) and thought they would be perfect for the party. I ended up going back to the original Smitten Kitchen recipe and ended up following that one as I couldn't tell what the "adaptation" from the original recipe was and I trust the Smitten Kitchen recipes a little more, having some experience with her recipes.

The cupcakes took a little more time than I anticipated, but they were worth it. I also added a wee bit of instant espresso to the chocolate/stout/butter mixture as coffee oftentimes brings out chocolate flavor. I also figured we'd need a bit of caffeine for a full night of drinking.

To decorate, I just sprinkled a bit of green sugar that I made. Do you know how hard it is to find green sprinkles on St. Patty's Day? Luckily I remembered at the last minute that adding a little bit of green food coloring to regular granulated sugar and shaking vigorously would produce a similar product. $2.69 saved. Bam.

Economical and delicious

Armed with my can of stout, my green apron and my Bobcats, I'm ready to bake

Butter and beer...together at last!

Fresh out of the oven, hard to resist grabbing one, but there's whiskey ganache yet to be inserted

The final product
Amazingly enough, these cupcakes stayed moist for almost a full week. Must be all that buttery goodness inside. Unlike the Cook's Illustrated version of chocolate cupcakes with ganache where it is inserted before baking, these get scooped and filled just before frosting (by the way, this picture makes me realize how badly I need a good pastry bag...)

I ended up using the leftover ganache for the Cook's Illustrated cupcakes this weekend for my other best friend's baby shower...just what a pregnant lady needs...cupcakes made with coffee and filled with whiskey ganache.

These turned out way cuter, but I attribute that to the amazing toppers I got off of Etsy
At the end of the day, regardless of which recipe you use, you'll have cupcakes filled with ganache. Just two different routes to the same delicious ending.

Get the Smitten Kitchen recipe here.

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling

Makes 12 cupcakes.
Published May 1, 2010. From Cook's Illustrated.

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 (see note)
1/3 cup (1 ounce) Dutch-processed cocoa
3/4 cup hot 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
1 recipe Frosting (see below)

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.

5. TO FROST: Mound 2 to 3 tablespoons frosting on center of each cupcake. Using small icing spatula or butter knife, spread frosting to edge of cupcake, leaving slight mound in center.

Creamy Vanilla Frosting

Makes about 2 1/4 cups.
Published May 1, 2010. From Cook's Illustrated.

1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg whites
pinch table salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Combine sugar, egg whites, and salt in bowl of stand mixer; place bowl over pan of simmering water. Whisking gently but constantly, heat mixture until slightly thickened, foamy, and registers 150 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 2 to 3 minutes.

 2. Place bowl in stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat mixture on medium speed until consistency of shaving cream and slightly cooled, 1 to 2 minutes. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, until smooth and creamy. (Frosting may look curdled after half of butter has been added; it will smooth with additional butter.) Once all butter is added, add vanilla; mix until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light, fluffy, and thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds, scraping beater and sides of bowl with rubber spatula as necessary.

 3. If final frosting seems too thick, warm mixer bowl briefly over pan of simmering water. Place bowl back on mixer and beat on medium-high speed until creamy.

1 comment:

  1. Ooo, awesome flavor combos here! And now I want chocolate before bed. Glad you had a Happy St. Patrick's Day. It's my grandfather's birthday, so there's always cake (or pie) on 3/17 for me.