Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache

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.

This ingredient made me question the recipe but I thought what the heck, I’d give it a try first before I made any judgements
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Here’s something I’ve learnt. No matter how pretty the liners are, the design gets obscured by the oils after the cupcakes are baked! Unless you double line or the colours are very intense.
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I got a wee bit worried when I ended up with this runny batter… but I put my trust in Ina and persevered
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Forgot completely to take photos in my excitement to try out the recipe so this is all I got of the cake mixing process 😛
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The batter was quite watery, not your average cupcake batter. As the recipe did not contain any leavening agents, I filled the liners all the way to the top
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Straight from the oven. It took 35 minutes of baking. See how gorgeous they turned out?
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Out of practice. I forgot to take a photo of the lovely chocolate chips and cream before they melted. That was a lovely sight indeed.
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THIS part I enjoyed the most! Dunking those cupcakes face down into the ganache 😀
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Look at that sheen. Absolutely beautiful.
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Love that deep dark colour
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Mmmm… moist
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I wanted violet flowers like Ina had but this is all I could source. Butterflies 🙂

The verdict:

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…

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