Thursday, June 9, 2011

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Alyssa invited a few friends over to decorate cupcakes with her. They had a ball! I tried out this recipe for cupcakes and made them just before her friends came over. These cupcakes are moist and have a good chocolate flavor—not as dark as I expected for Devil’s Food—but a nice general chocolate flavor nonetheless. Alyssa and her friends used buttercream to decorate the cupcakes instead of the ganache frosting—but I’m sure the suggested ganache frosting would taste incredible and help intensify the chocolate flavor!

Devil’s Food Cupcakes

¾ cup (2 ¼ oz) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
¾ cup (6 oz) hot water
3 cups (12 ¾ oz) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoons coarse salt
1 ½ cups (3 sticks/12 oz) unsalted butter
2 ¼ cups (15 ¾ oz) sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream, room temperature
Chocolate Ganache Frosting (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 2-0minutes. Transfer tins tow ire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting. Refrigerate up to 3 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature and garnish with chocolate curls (if desired) just before serving.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

1 pound good-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 1/3 cups heavy cream
¼ cup corn syrup

Place chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Bring cream and corn syrup just to a simmer over medium-high heat; pour mixture over chocolate. Let stand, without stirring, until chocolate begins to melt.

Beginning near the center and working outward, stir melted chocolate into cream until mixture is combined and smooth (do not overstir).

Refrigerate, stirring every 5 minutes, until frosting just barely begins to hold its shape and is slightly lighter in color. Use immediately (ganache will continue to thicken after you stop stirring).

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