I’m not the greatest fan of cupcakes in the traditional sense. It is hard to find a really, really good cupcake maker, meaning that so many bought cupcakes are distinctly average.
I don’t really make cupcakes either. They can be really fun and I had a blast making 150 for my dear friends Kerri and Matt’s wedding in August. But if I’m baking at home, well, I just don’t have the time or inclination to make fancy cupcakes. I love a good homemade cake, but I don’t buy into fancy or elaborate cake decoration for every day cake. And besides, half the cupcake is frosting, and that’s not good for me or anyone I bake for.
So, these little beauties are a wonderful half way house. I call them cupcakes as they are the size of a cupcake and iced, but they are an all together more sophisticated offering. I’d rather go for a hit of top-quality chocolate, rather than the sugar rush of buttercream any day. The ganache takes minutes to make and each cupcakes takes seconds to frost. They keep for a few days, too. The trick is to use really good chocolate. I used Montezuma chocolate as it was the best I could pick up in my little Waitrose down in Dorset. Valrhona or Rococo would be excellent, too
So, here’s my recipe for a more elegant cupcake which can be very easily made at home.
Chocolate ganache cupcakes
- 115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 200g fairtrade golden caster sugar
- 4 large free-range eggs, beaten
- 300g excellent quality dark chocolate (I use Montezuma 73%), melted
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 150g plain flour, sifted
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- 125ml double cream
- 250g excellent quality dark chocolate (I use Montezuma 73%), melted and cooled
- 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
1) Line muffin tins with appropriately sized paper cases. Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3.
2) Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3) Add the eggs gradually, beating well after each addition.
4) Mix in the melted chocolate and vanilla extract.
5) Add the plain flour and mix until just combined.
6) Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool fully before frosting
7) To make the ganache, simply stir together the cream, cooled melted chocolate and espresso powder. Spread over the cupcakes.