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Black Tie Cupcakes


Black Tie Cupcakes

February 15th, 2011

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons of instant espresso granules dissolved into 3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Ganache

3 tablespoons corn syrup
5 ounces heavy cream
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Frosting

16 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
6 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract*

Directions:

For the Cupcakes

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside.

2. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.

3. Add eggs, espresso/water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth, taking care to scrape down the side of the bowl to fully incorporate all ingredients.

4. Using a large scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells, filling each well 2/3 full.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until tops spring back when touched.

6. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

7. Once cupcakes have cooled, hollow out a small circle in the center of each cupcake; I use an apple corer because I am anal and obsessed with symmetry.

For the Ganache

In a small saucepan combine the corn syrup and heavy cream. Bring to a simmer and add the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Allow to cool at room temperature for a 1/2 hour before filling cupcakes

For the Frosting

1. In a the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together, cream cheese, shortening, and butter until well combined.

2. With the mixer of low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar until thoroughly incorporated and smooth. Add vanilla and mix to combine.

Notes:

- Store cupcakes in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Remove to room temperature 30-45 minutes before serving.
- Clear vanilla extract was used in the cream cheese frosting recipe to maintain a bright white color. Feel free to substitute pure vanilla extract in its place.
- Not a fan of shortening? Simply omit it. I find it adds a bit of stability to cream cheese frosting.
- Brown liners were purchased at Bake It Pretty.
- I used the large round tip from Bake it Pretty to frost the cupcakes. You can view my piping video tutorial within this post.
- Cake recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart's One Bowl Chocolate Cupcake, the ganache is from Alton Brown.


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