Christmas is literally around the corner. So I wanted to make these cupcakes before it got too late! I had the afternoon to myself and found that the perfect opportunity to turn on a movie (My Best Friend's Wedding was on TBS) and bake and assemble this 3-part cupcake.
I decided to make the cupcake and the frosting minty and leave the ganache chocolate. I've never made a ganache before but it's really easy! With this now, you could make truffles and other assorted choco-delights.
Pre-step (especially for the inexperienced bakers like myself): Take out ALL your eggs, butter, and cream cheese that you will need ~ 1/2 hour before preparation to allow everything to come to room temperature if that is required
Part I: Chocolate Ganache adapted from cupcakeblog.com
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (1/2 cup, I used Scharffen Berger Bittersweet Baking Chunks)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
- Chop chocolate and transfer into a heat proof bowl.
- Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge.
- Pour cream through strainer over the chocolate. Let chocolate and cream sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.
- Add butter and stir until combined. If your butter is not completely melted, you'll have butter chunks in your ganache.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. Mix in the chocolate syrup and mint extract.
Add the flour and mix until just combined (I switched to a rubber spatula here). Do not overbeat or the cupcakes will be tough (that's from Ina's instructions).
Part III: Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting
This won't be helpful to you but I kinda winged it. This was enough for 10 cupcakes + the 6 minis. Yes. I said 10 and not 12. I don't like having excess frosting.
5 oz. room temperature cream cheese
~ 3-4 tablespoons of room temperature unsalted butter
~ 1/4 cup of powdered sugar (I like less sweet frostings so add more to your taste)
1 teaspoon of mint extract (again you can add more to your liking)
Handful of mini candy canes or other peppermint candies
This is a labor intensive but easy step. Remove ganache from fridge. Use a butter knife to score ganache into enough pieces for each cupcake. If ganache gets too warm to handle, just pop back into the fridge for 10-15 min.
After cupcakes have cooled completely, use a sharp paring knife to cut a square going in at a 45 degree angle so that the cut out piece looks like a pyramid. You might need to use the knife to pry out the piece gently. Fill hole with the cold ganache. Press down slightly. (Sometimes I took out even more cupcake so I could in more ganache).
Take the pyramid cupcake piece, cut off the point and keep the top. Place the top back onto the cupcake to cover the ganache. Press down slightly. If it doesn't fit all the way, it's ok because you can cover it with the frosting.
|ganache in the hole|
|cut out cupcake piece, then just the top|
|with the top back on the cupcake|
If you're going to make these for an event, it's best if you frost and top them just before so that the red in the peppermint candies doesn't get runny. Store in the fridge.
How Do They Taste?
The cupcake was dense and moist but not overly sweet which I liked. I liked that the chocolate ganache had a dark chocolate taste that offset the frosting and the crunchiness of the candy canes added some fun texture!