Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Chocolate Cupcakes Stuffed With Strawberry Chocolate Ganache

I've been a lousy blogger lately, I'm afraid. It's been over a month since I last had the time to write up a post. Even this post will probably be shorter than I would normally prefer, but something, anything, is better than nothing. Before school was let out for winter vacation I promised my roommate and her boyfriend cupcakes for his birthday once we met again in January. This was the perfect opportunity to use my brand new kitchen aid stand mixer, which is a beautiful dark gray shade, just like the new '09 Honda Civic I got in early December. It was also a good time to use my new, much more convenient and portable, digital camera. As much as I love my semi-pro looking Fujifilm, it's just not something I can carry around with me everywhere I go. So, in order to capture the unexpected, I bought a new compact Panasonic digital camera.

School work aside, another reason I've been so preoccupied is that I finally got a job! My first job ever at the California Pizza Kitchen in the Corte Madera Towne Center. This is as much as I have time to update everyone with for now. Until the next time, enjoy the friends and I definitely did!

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cupcakes (adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop)
makes 8 regular cupcakes

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temp

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg, room temp
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup high quality unsweetened cocoa powder like Valrhona brand
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

1. Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
2 Add egg and beat until well combined.
3. Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a small sized bowl and whisk to combine.
4. Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine
5. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
6. Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 2/3’s full. Bake cupcakes for about 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Strawberry Ganache Filling and Ganache Glaze

4.5 ounces (128 grams)
Valrhona 85% cacao (or any bittersweet chocolate)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt
1/3 cup strawberries, diced

1. Chop chocolate and transfer into a heat proof bowl.
2. Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, pour cream over the chocolate.
3. Let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.
4. Add vanilla and salt. Stir until combined.
5. Divide the ganache in two approximate equal portions. In the first portion, mix in the chopped strawberries. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill.
6. Leave the second portion on the counter to cool down. You want the filling to thicken up before the glaze. Once the filling is think, fill the cupcakes with it. Then glaze with the glaze. See assembly instructions below.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 cups powdered sugar

1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy.
2. Add the milk, vanilla extract, and 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat at low speed, occasionally stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, until light and fluffy. Add more powdered sugar to arrive at the consistency and sweetness you like.

1. Fill the cupcakes with the strawberry ganache filling using the cone method.
2. Spoon a tablespoon of glaze on each filled cupcake and smooth.
3. Top with buttercream frosting and a strawberry.