I have a confession: I’m slightly addicted to ganache.
It’s my guilty pleasure. Ever since the bakery moved into the plaza 10 minutes from my house, I’ve been hooked. I’d walk the guide dog I was training down to the shop, and grab myself a muffin, or eat the free samples of cake, or stare at the beautifully arranged tortes.
But, the best dessert of the whole bakery are these gluten free brownies, which taste like a blend of fudge and a dense brownie. On top there is a thick layer of rich, creamy ganache, where it is kept slightly chilled. At only a dollar each, it’s hard to keep myself from buying the whole batch, but usually I’d gather up some sort of self control and treat myself to a single brownie. Then I eat it as slow as humanly possible.
A friend of mine asked if he could make cupcakes with my help. I loved the idea, especially because it gave me an excuse to make this one recipe I had been eying that I had found on the Martha Stewart website. The idea of cupcakes covered in bittersweet ganache made my mouth water. So we went shopping for the ingredients I didn’t already have and went with it.
But holy cow, my friend cannot cook. I love the kid, but it was probably the funniest thing that day watching him try to figure things out. When trying to put sugar into a measuring cup, he scooped tiny spoonfuls into it and asked, “is this enough”?
The cup was 3/4 full.
Overall though he was a great help. It was interesting trying to scoop the batter into the paper cups, since I don’t own an ice cream scooper that is a half circle. Instead, we took giant ladles and transfered it to the cups, catching the drips with a spoon. It took us a while until we were able to successfully learn the lag time between scooping, dripping, and transferring.
The cakes turned out nice and dark thanks to the cocoa, and were really moist. The ganache frosting was delicious, creamy, and tasted similar to the bakery’s frosting. The only problem was the little bumps in the frosting, and although it didn’t taste rough or lumpy, it did make them look a bit odd close up. But, I’m sure no one was staring at them, but instead trying to see how fast they could shove them in their mouths. At least, that was my brother’s goal.
Ganache fix: satisfied.
Devil’s Food Cupcakes
Recipe from Martha Stewart
Cupcake- Makes around 30
- 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 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 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire 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.
Frosting- Makes 4 cups
- 1 pound good-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 1/3 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 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
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 just before serving.