Friday, January 18, 2013

Life-Changing Chocolate Cupcakes

People are generally surprised to learn that I go bat shit crazy for Valentine's Day. It is one of very few days of the year when I break out of my indifferent-at-best attitude and try to show each person I encounter that I appreciate their existence. These cupcakes are how I do that.

The dark chocolate ganache on these cupcakes is a BIG deal. You can and will become addicted. You know that song "This is What Dreams are Made of" by Hillary Duff? She wrote that about this stuff. It's a really great way to keep people around, like boyfriends and other people with taste buds.

Last year's awesome batch

You will need:
1 Box dark chocolate cake mix (I used Pillsbury)
1 Cup heavy whipping cream
4oz Dark chocolate bar, at least 60% cacao
4oz White chocolate bar
1 Cup dark chocolate chips
4 Tsp Corn syrup
Red food coloring
Sprinkles (optional but always a good idea)

Mix up your cake batter as directed on the box. Place cupcake wrappers in each tin, fill halfway, then add some chocolate chips and finish filling. This will ensure that they won't all sink to the bottom while they bake. Give the tin a good shake to even them all out and help them bake evenly! Pop them into the oven for the recommended time.

Meanwhile, make your life-changing chocolate ganache. Chop up your dark chocolate and white chocolate bars separately and place each into separate bowls that will be good for dipping. Pour the heavy whipping cream into a small pot and cook over medium heat. Bring it just to a boil and turn the heat off. Pour half of it over the dark chocolate and the other half over the white. Stir each with a fork until you have beautiful, smooth liquid chocolate. Add 2 teaspoons of corn syrup to each bowl and add 3-4 drops of red food coloring to the white chocolate. Stir again, then allow to set for about 10 minutes.

Are your cupcakes done yet? Of course they are, this is the internet and you're reading at your own pace. Let them cool completely.

Once they're cool, you're ready to start dipping! This is where the magic happens. You will never frost cupcakes faster in your entire life. Just grab a cupcake and dip the top straight into the dark chocolate ganche. While removing it from the ganache, give it a little spin to keep the dripping to a minimum. It's a good idea to pop them into the fridge to set.

Now it's time to decorate! You can be as lazy or as detailed as you want. The pink ganache makes a great decorating tool; you can either dip your cupcakes into it for a double-dipped look, put it into a piping bag with any tip your heart desires, or drizzle it on. Sadly, I realized I was out of Valentine sprinkles in the middle of making these, so I went with simple white pearls. Please outdo me.

Andrew is "not a sweets person" (WTS?) but even he can't resist these cupcakes, so I'll definitely be making more for Valentine's Day. And maybe every day after that. Who's with me?!

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