Martha Stewart Cupcake Calendar: Devil’s Food Cupcakes

I tried to refrain from saying it but I can’t help it.  It’s April.  Whaaaaat?!!  April, for me, means doing a ton of work because finals are the first week of May.  I wouldn’t say I am a stress-eater per se, but I am never going to turn down an chocolatey treat.  These cupcakes hit the spot.  So far, three months into my Cupcake Calendar project, these are the best.  (Sure, I am a chocoholic, so I am biased.)

I cannot stress how important a quality ingredient like the King Arthur’s deep dark cocoa is going to impact a dish you make.  Everyone says it, but it is absolutely key.*  Once again, I halved the recipe, which was perfect for us.  Watch the cooking time, I could have probably taken them out of the oven a minute earlier, don’t make my mistake!!  The ganache was tricky.  I have never found that to be the case but Martha always knows how to make things complicated.  It ended up working out and after frosting the cupcakes, I couldn’t stop taking spoonfuls of the ganache.  Creamy, chocolaty and a wonderful consistency, almost like mousse.

Devil’s Food Cupcakes
adapted from Martha Stewart
makes 11-16

Cupcakes
Ingredients
6 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
6 tablespoons hot water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 + 1/8 teaspoons coarse salt
3/4 cups unsalted butter
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.
  3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three- quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Chocolate Ganache
Ingredients
1/2 pound good-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/6 cups heavy cream
1/8 cup corn syrup

Directions
  1. Place chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Bring cream and corn syrup just to a simmer over medium-high heat; pour mixture over chocolate. Let stand, without stirring, until chocolate begins to melt.
  2. Beginning near the center and working outward, stir melted chocolate into cream until mixture is combined and smooth (do not overstir).
  3. Refrigerate, stirring every 5 minutes [sometimes I let it go 10 minutes, this takes longer than this recipe implies], until frosting just barely begins to hold its shape and is slightly lighter in color. Use immediately (ganache will continue to thicken after you stop stirring).

*King Arthur’s doesn’t know who I am, they just sell some great quality ingredients and I buy them!

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