Monday, February 1, 2016

Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

  Do you love chocolate? Wait, let me ask that again. Do you LOVE chocolate? If you are someone who worships in the house of chocolate, then these are absolutely the cupcakes for you. They have a rich depth of flavor that you just don't expect in a simple ordinary chocolate cupcake. Yes, they are simple to make, but they are far from ordinary! When I saw Ina Garten making them on her show, Barefoot Contessa, I noticed that they only require a few simple ingredients (most of which I happened to have on hand). I also noticed that the recipe only makes one dozen, so it's perfect if you're making them for a small group. All things considered, I knew I'd be making them the next time I had a few friends over. (It's funny how I never get any complaints when I tell my friends I'm going to bake cupcakes!!) I made them for Kelsie, AJ and Matt, and everyone gave them a huge thumbs up! They're VERY rich and VERY chocolatey, kind of like if a brownie and a cupcake had a baby. So if you absolutely LOVE chocolate, you should definitely add this one to your repertoire. One can never have too many chocolate recipes, am I right?!?! Who's with me on this??

1/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
16 fluid ounces chocolate syrup (recommended: Hershey's)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

For the ganache:
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

Line muffin pans with 12 paper liners. Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. Mix in the chocolate syrup and vanilla. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Don't overbeat, or the cupcakes will be tough. 
Scoop the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes, or until just set in the middle. Don't overbake! Let the cupcakes cool thoroughly in the pan. 
For the ganache, cook the heavy cream, chocolate chips, and instant coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Dip the top of each cupcake in the ganache. Do not refrigerate.
Instead of making the ganache in a double boiler, you can also heat the heavy cream in the microwave until very hot and then pour it over the chips and instant coffee. Don't stir it, but just let it sit for a few minutes and let the chips melt. Then stir until smooth and glossy.
 Oh, one other thing.. Miss Ina always uses extra large eggs in her recipes, but I only ever buy large eggs. So I just used 5 large instead of 4 extra large. Worked perfectly!

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