Ok, so these weren’t even on my baking calendar for another couple of months, but… I just got back to Vermont on Saturday and I was scrolling through my Pinterest ideas and they screamed “bake me!”
How could I resist? Dark chocolate galore, a chance to fill my first cupcakes? I even bought some piping tips for the occasion. (Though admittedly my frosting turned out to be a little thick, so some cupcakes didn’t get the piping treatment. Next time!)
I followed a recipe from American Heritage Cooking here.
The cake itself has a nice rich chocolate flavor without being too dense. It could be a little more moist, if you were going to eat it on its own, but with the filling and frosting I actually thought it was the perfect sturdy complement. I used Scharffen Berger cocoa in the cupcakes, along with sour cream, and the chocolate flavor really came through!
I filled the cupcakes with a chocolate ganache made with an 80% Panamanian fair trade dark chocolate. This chocolate bar is my new favorite! It has an amazingly deep (but not too bitter) chocolate flavor with hints of vanilla. I am SO happy I have a little left over to snack on later– YUM! The cones of cake I cut out got a little crumbly, but don’t worry. Just shove them back in place– the ganache will hold it together and the frosting will cover any imperfections.
The filling takes on a nice firm texture as it sets (so it won’t run out while you eat) and is a wonderful pop of chocolate intensity in the middle of the cupcakes. I may have to try filling other cupcakes with ganache in the future.
For the frosting I used half semi-sweet chocolate and half Peruvian dark chocolate that I picked up on sale at Lake Champlain Chocolates. I definitely think using at least some semi-sweet is a good idea because it gave the frosting a nice sweetness compared to all the dark chocolate in the rest of the cupcake. The frosting definitely tastes chocolately, not too sweet, and melts nicely in the mouth.
I did have some trouble with the texture of the frosting– I only added 3/4 cup butter for a half recipe, but the powdered sugar seemed high. I had to add a lot of (chocolate soy) milk to get it to a better consistency. Maybe next time I’d try to do some sort of dark chocolate whipped cream instead. That said, I’m very happy with the overall finished product. Each bite is a little transportation to chocolate town, and is a very good thing to have on hand as classes start tomorrow.