Friday, December 30, 2011

Triple-chocolate cupcakes

Triple-chocolate cupcake

The holidays are over, mostly... but it's never a bad time for chocolate, right? Especially sinfully rich, dark, fudgy goodness. And especially when all of that is packaged in a deceptively cute cupcake.

This one takes a bit of work, but it's totally worth it if you're a serious chocolate lover. Also, one big, blinking caution light: This recipe yields 12 cupcakes. Twelve. Just 12. So you'll probably want to double it.

Triple-Chocolate Cupcakes
From "Cooks Illustrated

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/4 c heavy cream
1 tbsp confectioners' sugar

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/3 c cocoa
3/4 c hot coffee
3/4 c bread flour
3/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 tbsp oil
2 eggs
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla

Swiss meringue buttercream:
1/3 c sugar
2 egg whites
Pinch of salt
12 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Make the ganache: Place the chocolate, cream and confectioners' sugar in a bowl and microwave until melted together, stirring frequently. Chill about 30 minutes, just until firm.
2. Place chocolate and cocoa in a large bowl and pour in the hot coffee, whisking until melted and smooth. Chill until cooled.
3. Whisk in the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla.
4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Whisk into the wet ingredients.
5. Divide batter evenly among paper-lined muffin cups. Onto each, drop one rounded teaspoon of ganache.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 17 to 19 minutes, until set and just firm to the touch. Cool in the pan about 10 minutes, then remove and cool on a rack.
7. Combine the sugar, egg whites and salt in a bowl and place it atop a pan of simmering water. Whisk gently and constantly until the mixture is slightly thickened and reaches 150 degrees.
8. Pour into a larger bowl (if you're using a small one) and beat with a mixer until the consistency of shaving cream.
9. Beat in the butter one piece at a time. At some point, it will start to look curdled. Do not panic! Just keep beating it and adding the butter; it will come together eventually.
10. Beat in the melted chocolate and the vanilla. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy. Frost cupcakes.

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