In my search for the ultimate chocolate cake, I have tried countless recipes. My idea of a luscious chocolate cake is one with a deep dark flavour, almost bitter with just a hint of sweetness. The consistency has to be dense and moist, not crumbly. I have only come across one cafe that sells such a cake. I have tried but I can’t for the life of me duplicate that recipe.
Last weekend, after a long hiatus, I decided to indulge in some chocolate cupcake baking. I had a particular friend in mind throughout the project. She is the biggest chocolate lover I know. I was determined to make her day (or week depending on how many helpings she has!).
I decided to try this recipe by The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. It had received rave reviews.
It was fortuitous then that my local shop had just stocked up on lots of Baker’s and Ghirardelli chocolate and Hersheys special dark. Bliss.
The cupcake was lovely, moist and dense. The ganache was just the right consistency, not runny and not brick hard. Perfection. The taste… I had an inkling it would be too sweet despite the majority of commenters declaring that it was just right. To each his own, I suppose but many of my guinea pigs agreed that it could do with a little less sugar. Even the chocolate lover extraordinaire.
Now I have to confess, although I personally would prefer the ganache made entirely of dark chocolate chips, at the very last minute before I melted the chocolate, I decided to use half dark and half milk. The reason was that I was afraid that non-chocolate aficionados might not be able to appreciate it and all these cupcakes (27 tiny ones) would go to waste.
I would definitely attempt this recipe again but would either cut down the sugar (to 1/2 or 3/4 cup) or replace half the chocolate syrup with unsweetened cocoa powder and some sour cream. I would also make the ganache as it was meant to be made with entirely dark chocolate chips.
The search for that ultimate chocolate cake recipe continues…