Thursday, March 05, 2009

Jim's Birthday Cupcakes

Jim's birthday was today and I wanted to make him a nice treat! I decided on cupcakes for the birthday boy. I knew I didn't want to use a box mix, so I went out to the inter-webs and looked at the Barefoot Contessa's recipes. She makes some tasty food, so she must make some tasty desserts, right? I am always a little hesitant when I make cake, cupcakes, or brownies because I can't test them out before I give them out. For those of you that don't know (or haven't heard me say it a million times), I detest cake. Cakes texture and I just don't get along. I try it every year, but ultimately I think it is just wet bread. Yuck.

So I was going to surprise Jim with the cupcakes at work but I ended up giving him one early so he could tell me if it was good or not. He said it had great flavor but slightly dense.

Happy B-day Jim!!! I had about 5 minutes to get the letters on, this wasn't my best work

Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes
2005, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved

Prep Time:
20 min

Inactive Prep Time:
1 hr 0 min

Cook Time:
30 min

12 cupcakes
1/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 (16-ounce) can chocolate syrup (recommended: Hershey's)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
For the ganache:
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
Candied violets, for decoration, optional
Line muffin pans with 12 paper liners. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. Mix in the chocolate syrup and vanilla. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Don't overbeat, or the cupcakes will be tough.

Scoop the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes, or until just set in the middle. Don't overbake! Let the cupcakes cool thoroughly in the pan.

For the ganache, cook the heavy cream, chocolate chips, and instant coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.

Dip the top of each cupcake in the ganache. Decorate with candied violets, if desired. Do not refrigerate.

This surprised me... a whole can of Hershey's syrup. I thought the batter was really wet but they ended up setting up

Time for the ganache! Kind of seemed like chocolate sauce to me, but it hardened up once it went on the cupcake

My official cup cake tester

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