Saturday, January 8, 2011

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

This Christmas we decided we would make boxes of cupcakes to hand out as presents. While deciding what to make we came up with the concept for a cupcake filled with a ganache centre and before long these super chocolatey, super sweet triple chocolate cupcakes were invented.

These cupcakes are triple chocolate because of the fact that not only do they contain three, shall we say, "portions" of chocolate, but also three textures: the chocolate sponge, the milk chocolate ganache and the chocolate buttercream icing. They are the perfect treat for any lover of all things chocolatey, but are also to be approached with caution. Our friend Sally told us that the cakes were so chocolatey they instantly gave her and her husband Steve headaches!

Over Christmas we took to cutting the cakes into bitesized chunks before serving alongside a cup of tea which seemed to be a solution to the "problem" of them being so chocolatey.

The cakes which I took into school for my colleagues I topped with crunchy caramel bits I bought from Sainsbury's baking section, but after discovering how intensely sweet they were I just decided to sprinkle the remaining cakes with a nice dusting of cocoa powder.

Recipe, makes 18 large cakes:
For the cakes:
115g dark chocolate
85g room temperature unsalted butter
175g soft brown sugar
2 large eggs, separated
185g plain flour, sifted
3 quarters of a teaspoon baking powder
3 quarters of a teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
125ml semi skimmed milk
teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in the microwave before leaving to cool.
Cream the butter and sugar in a separate bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks and add to the creamed mixture and beat well. Add the melted chocolate to the mixture. Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt in YET ANOTHER bowl. Put the milk in a jug and add the vanilla extract to it. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the bowl until it's all mixed in. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks start to form. Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter using a metal spoon. Spoon into cupcake or muffin cases and stick in the oven for 20-25 minutes until your house smells like a chocolate factory. Delightful.

For the ganache centre:
Medium pot of double cream
Two large milk chocolate bars

Bring the cream to the boil in a sauce pan. Take the pan of cream off the hob, before breaking the chocolate bars into the cream and stirring until the chocolate is all melted and mixed into the cream.

Now you need to get your cupcakes and cut big chunk out of them like you would if you were making fairy cakes. Pour the warm ganache into the hole you have made until all gooey and overflowing. Then put the chunk of cake back in its ganache-filled hole and allow to cool.

For the icing:

175g dark chocolate
225g room temperature unsalted butter
Tablespoon semi skimmed milk
Teaspoon vanilla extract
250g icing sugar

Melt the chocolate and allow it to cool. Beat all the other ingredients together. Add the chocolate and beat the icing. Leave to cool a little before icing the cakes.

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