Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Award-Winning Chocolate Cupcakes!!!

Photo courtesy of Michele Argiro

I've been basking in the glory of my win all day. Not trying to sound cocky or crazy, I really have been feeling all glowy and whacked out all day! Hahahaha. I'll come crashing back down to Earth in the morning...
And here, my darling readers, is the recipe for my First place-winning chocolate cupcakes :)

{Just a note: My method is a little different than Cook's Illustrated. They suggest pressing the ganache into the cupcakes before baking, but I prefer to core the cupcakes after cooling, then adding a teaspoon of the delicious filling.}
Devilishly Chocolate Cupcakes
Courtesy of Cooks Illustrated via Pink Parsely
Yield: 15-18 cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes
Bittersweet chocolate- 3 oz, finely chopped
Dutch-processed cocoa- 1/3 c
Hot, strong-brewed coffee- 3/4 c
Bread flour- 3/4 c
Sugar- 3/4 c
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Baking soda- 1/2 tsp
Canola oil- 6 tbsp
Large eggs- 2
White vinegar- 2 tsp
Vanilla extract- 1 tsp

1. Put chocolate and cocoa in a bowl, then pour the hot coffee over it. Whisk until smooth, then transfer to refrigerator until cool, 20-30 minutes.
2. In the meantime, whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together, and set aside.
3. Whisk oil, eggs, vanilla, and vinegar into the cooled chocolate mix.
4. Add flour mixture to the mix, and whisk until batter is smooth.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 17-19 minutes. In my oven, it worked best when I rotated the cupcake pan at 17 minutes, then let them bake an additional two {it would probably be better to do it halfway through... let me know what you find!}

Ganache Filling
Bittersweet chocolate- 2 oz, finely chopped
Heavy whipping cream- 1/4 c
Powdered sugar- 1 tbsp

1. Place chocolate, cream, and powdered sugar in a microwave-proof bowl. Cook on high until mixture is warm to touch, about 30 seconds.
2. Whisk mixture, then put bowl in refrigerator. Let stand until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Creamy Insanely Delicious, Super-Creamy Bowl of Yumness (aka Chocolate Frosting)
Sugar- 1/3 c
Large egg whites- 2
Salt- a "pinch"
Unsalted butter- 1 1/2 sticks, softened & cut into cubes
Bittersweet chocolate- 6 oz, melted & cooled to 85 degrees
Vanilla extract- 1/2 tsp

1. Mix sugar, egg whites, and salt in bowl of a stand mixer. Place bowl over pan of simmering water, and whisk constantly until mixture is foamy and registers 150 degrees on a candy thermometer.
2. Put bowl in stand mixer, and beat mixture on medium with whisk attachment 1-3 minutes, until slightly cooled and the consistency of shaving cream.
3. Add butter, one cube at a time. If it looks curdled halfway through, DO NOT PANIC! Just keep beating, just keep beating, just keep beating, beating, beating :) {couldn't help it!}
4. Pour in the cooled chocolate and vanilla. Mix until combined, then increase speed to medium high, and beat for another 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

After the cupcakes have cooled, and the ganache has been in the fridge for 30 minutes, use a cupcake corer (or a knife), and reserve the cupcake "tops." Fill with yummy ganache, then replace the "tops" and frost as desired. I used my jumbo open-star tip :)

Note: I brought milk with me to the competition, and I whole-heartedly recommend having a nice, tall glass nearby.


A very fuzzy picture from my cell phone of my display table at the competition :)

Also, if you would like to watch WHSV Harrisonburg's Litsa Pappas's segment on me and my business, please check out the following link!
JMU Student Starts Business to Avoid Unemployment after College


  1. Does it taste like coffee at all? I really want to try this recipe but can't stand the taste of coffee. If you don't use coffee, is there an alternative? Thanks!

  2. It really just brings the intense chocolate flavor out. i've read that hot water is a fine substitution if you really don't want to use coffee. but the taste isn't really all that noticeable :)

  3. I made them without coffee (just too scared) and they were AMAZING! It took a lot longer than expected, but completely worth it :) Here's my write up of the cupcakes. Thanks for posting your recipe!


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