Molly Cupcakes – Rich Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

I have a dear friend named Molly. Molly turned 20 in August, so I made her cupcakes.

“Chocolate!” she said.

So I made chocolate. Super, delectable, melt in your mouth chocolate. You see my friends, Molly is very much worth it.

I couldn’t just make a simple chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream (although, that would be wonderful too). You see, Molly has this crazy personality, so simple definitely would not work.

Instead, we start with a suuuuper incredibly moist chocolate cake. And then we fill the center with coffee flavored ganache for a nice little surprise when you take that first bite. After it’s filled, this Molly cupcake gets a huge dollop of whipped chocolate ganache. More ganache, that’s right. (Do you know what ganache is? Pronounced gah-NAHSH, this simple yet perfect thing is made from chocolate and cream, and can be used for glaze, frosting, filling, or eaten by the spoonful. It’s rich and smooth and velvety.) After the ganache, chocolate shavings are a must. Then, green (Molly’s color) pearl sprinkles and cute toothpick signs complete Molly cupcakes.

It’s impossible to put Molly’s character into words. I want to say spunky and peculiar, lovely, animated, and curious, to say the least. There will never be a dull moment with this girl around. And did I mention that she is oh so incredibly talented? She is.

Molly Cupcakes

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 18

1 ¾ cups all purpose flour

2 cups sugar

¾ cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup strong, hot black coffee

1 cup milk (I used 2%, but whole works perfectly too)

1 teaspoon white vinegar

½ cup vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake tin with cupcake liners.

In bowl of electric mixer, combine all dry ingredients. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until very well incorporated, about 2 minutes on medium speed. The batter is supposed to be very thin.

Pour the batter into prepared cupcake tins until 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes for 15-17 minutes or until toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs (moist is what we’re going for, so no clean toothpicks!) Let cupcakes cool for about 5-10 minutes in the pans, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Chocolate Ganache

For the filling and the whipped ganache frosting

½ cup sweetened condensed milk

1 ¼ cup heavy cream

11 ounces unsweetened chocolate

8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 10-16 cubes

1 cup sugar

Chop the chocolate into pea sized pieces. Combine chocolate and butter in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

Combine sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once mixture boils, immediately pour over chocolate and butter mixture. Let sit for five whole minutes, then whisk well until incorporated (It might take a bit of whisking before it’s completely incorporated).

Set aside 1 cup of the ganache for the filling. The remaining ganache will be for the whipped frosting and needs to be cooled completely. When it has cooled (and is much thicker) the ganache is ready to be whipped. Transfer the ganache to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk or paddle attachment. Whip on medium until light brown and fluffy (5-10 minutes). Use immediately to spread or pipe onto the cooled cupcakes. The ganache will firm up more once spread or piped.

Filling:

Mix about 1 cup of prepared ganache with 1 tablespoon strong black coffee. If you want a stronger coffee taste, add very fine instant coffee powder or espresso powder to taste. If no coffee flavor is desired, omit coffee and just use ganache as is for filling.

Assembly:

When cupcakes are completely cooled, fill the centers with some of the ganache. There are a few techniques out there for filling cupcakes, and Annie’s Eats has a good tutorial with photos for three different methods you should check out here. For my cupcakes, I chose to use a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. To do this, insert the tip into the cupcake and squeeze to pipe in a small amount of the ganache.

When the cupcakes are filled, use a pastry bag to pipe the whipped ganache onto the cupcakes (I used a round Wilton 2A tip). Alternatively, spread a big dollop of the whipped ganache on with a spatula. Either way tastes perfectly divine.

Top with chocolate shavings and sprinkles, if desired. Cute little toothpick signs are another fun option!

Love, B

P.S. Molly enjoyed her cupcakes, here’s Instagram proof. . .

Chocolate Cupcakes slightly adapted from Sweetapolita.

Ganache adapted from this post.

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Raechy – Earl Grey Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

We sat in the kitchen debating over cupcakes. It was a good sort a debate, one that ensured these cupcakes were going to be flawless because so much thought went into them. She would say this one, I would say that one, but eventually we came to an agreement. Together with our aprons on, we made a perfect cupcake.

Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Cupcakes, artsntarts.wordpress.com

My sister and I are Irish twins, that is, born in the same calendar year. Only eleven months separate the two of us. Well, that and our incredibly differing personalities. And then there’s the physical separation by the ocean. I guess we are rather separated after all, but sometimes I like to pretend that the mere eleven months is the only thing distancing us because that’s only a separation in age, not space.

Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Cupcakes, https://artsntarts.wordpress.com/

My sister did this thing that astonished us all. She joined the navy. We’re so proud of her, not only is she the beautiful, thoughtful, and bubbly sister I’ve always known, but also she’s strong. In this past year and sometime more, she has been such an example of strength and perseverance. I admire my sister.

I love that my sister is in the navy, yet I hate it. I think the navy brought us together, strengthening our relationship. It showed us how important our relationship is and how we’ve taken each other for granted before. But the navy has separated us so much also.  We live across the world from each other, one waking up while the other goes to sleep. We can’t see each other but twice a year.

Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Cupcakes, https://artsntarts.wordpress.com/

My sister is like another half to myself. While I’m quite shy, she’s a social butterfly. I’m timid, she’s bold. She’s always been my big sister, the one I look up to, and even through our differences, she has set quite an example for me.

Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Cupcakes, https://artsntarts.wordpress.com/

One thing my sister and I both agree squarely on is our love for baking. We have different baking styles, just as our styles in practically everything else vary a bit, but together I think we made something pretty spectacular.

We made Earl Grey Dark Chocolate Cupcakes. I think Raechel would like you to know that she first pinned the recipe to Pinterest, so she gets to claim it. (After all, we are sisters, there has to be some competitiveness!)

After tasting the frosting, we decided we wanted the earl grey tea flavor to shine through a wee bit more, so we brushed the tops of the cupcakes with a quick and easy simple syrup made by boiling tea and sugar. (And that was my ingenious idea, competitiveness I tell ya)

Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Cupcakes, https://artsntarts.wordpress.com/Earl Grey Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from Desserts for Breakfast.

makes 12 – 14 cupcakes

Cake:

1 cup sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 large eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup whole milk (we used almond milk)

1/2 cup hot coffee (dark roast for best results)

1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate (optional)

Ganache Frosting:

6 teabags of Earl Grey

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup + 2 Tbspn heavy cream

5 oz unsweetened chocolate

8 Tbsp butter

1/2 cup sugar

extra tea, for brushing

Cake:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare 12 – 14 cupcake tins with cupcake liners.

In a mixer bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine the beaten egg, vegetable oil, and milk.

With the mixer on low, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until evenly distributed. Pour the hot coffee into the batter gradually and mix on medium low until smooth. Stir in bittersweet chocolate pieces. Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full.

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes. When a toothpick inserted at the center of the cupcake comes out cleanly, the cakes are done. Remove from oven, remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Ganache:

Place the Earl Grey teabags, condensed milk, and heavy cream in a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat, cover tightly, and let steep for at least one hour.

Meanwhile, finely chop the chocolate and cut the butter into pieces. Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set aside.

Remove the teabags from the milk mixture, making sure to squeeze as much liquid from the teabags as possible before discarding. Add the sugar to the milk mixture, return to the stove, and bring to a simmer. Pour the hot milk mixture over the chocolate and butter. Let sit for two minutes, then whisk until smooth.Cool completely.

Once cool, transfer the ganache to the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with the paddle attachment. Whip on medium until light-colored and fluffy. Use immediately to spread or pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.

Extra Notes: Start steeping the cream and tea for the frosting first, it’ll save time. Brush tops of cupcakes with extra tea or a tea simple syrup to enhance the tea flavor. Sprinkle tops of frosted cupcakes with sea salt to make them extra special.

Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Cupcakes, https://artsntarts.wordpress.com/

The darkness of the chocolate was perfect and the earl grey tea made these cupcakes oh so sophisticated, because we like to thing we are.

Girly chat about boys, clothes, and shoes could be heard while these baked, as a smell of sweet cake wafted from the oven. They were speckled with sea salt to take them over the top and they tasted sinfully rich. We could feel nothing but happiness as we ate these cupcake; cherishing the sweet time we had together.

I love my Raechy.