Now Here’s a Chocolate Cupcake Recipe to Hang Onto

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Classic AND Amazing!


Looks like the trend of small bite desserts will continue in 2012.  Starting the craze and still holding strong are cupcakes.  What’s better than your own personal cake?  From Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes (Random House, 2009), these cupcakes feature sour cream in the batter for moistness.  Topped with a classic ganache frosting and dark chocolate curls, this just might be the best chocolate cupcake around!

Devil’s Food Cupcakes

Ingredients

Cupcakes

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 ¼ teaspoons coarse salt

1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter

2 ¼ cups sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream, room temperature

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Chocolate Curls, for decorating (optional)

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

1 pound good-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

2 1/3 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup corn syrup

Chocolate Curls

1 block of good-quality chocolate

Directions

Cupcakes

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.

To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting.

Makes 32 cupcakes

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

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).  Yields 4 cups.

Note:  Achieving the perfect consistency can be tricky; if the frosting becomes too firm to spread, reheat in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until it begins to melt around the edges, then remove from heat and stir until smooth.

Chocolate Curls

Use a vegetable peeler to slice strips from a slightly warm block of good-quality chocolate (heat in microwave for 5-second intervals, checking after each, until just warm to the touch; do not overheat). To produce tight curls, start from the far edge of the chocolate and move the peeler toward you. The delicate curls are best used immediately; you can even shave the curls right onto a cupcake.

photo courtesy of marthastewart.com

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