So for the shop this week, I more of a variety of cupcakes than I ever have before. I thought I had so many tricks up my sleeve, but I totally exhausted my repertoire after about four days. Not that I can’t have duplicates, but I’m really challenging myself to see how many different varieties I can come up with.
So this recipe is actually one that I made once before with OK results. I decided to tackle it again, and see if I could get it right this time. So if you want to make these Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Filling and Chocolate Ganache, you’re gonna need:
1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
So you want to:
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line your muffin tin with silver foil liners.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift in the cocoa. Seriously, you guys, sift it. I wouldn’t say that if it wasn’t important. Now whisk this mixture together for about thirty seconds, to make sure it’s evenly mixed.
3. Pour the almond milk into a glass measuring cup and add the vinegar to it. Let this mixture sit a few minutes, until the almond milk looks slightly curdled.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until very well combined. Add the extracts. Now beat in the curdled almond milk.
5. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat with a whisk until the batter looks very smooth. Don’t worry about over-mixing; it’s better to beat it until there are no lumps left.
6. Fill your baking cups two-thirds of the way full with batter (usually about a scant quarter cup of batter per cupcake).
7. Bake at 350ºF for twenty minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the biggest cupcake comes out mostly clean. A few moist crumbs on the toothpick are absolutely fine.
OK, so the Raspberry Buttercream Recipe we used is based on one from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero’s book, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Here goes:
1/4 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
1/4 cup margarine
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon soy milk
3 tablespoons raspberry syrup, divided (the kind they use in coffee shops)
Drop of red food coloring (optional)
So now you:
1. Beat together the shortening and margarine with a stand mixer or hand mixer until it is all fluffy.
2. Sift in your confectioner’s sugar (and yes, you have to sift it. I know, it sucks, but you don’t want lumpy frosting, do you? No, you do not).
3. Beat the sugar and fats until, miraculously, the combine to form small, pebble-sized crumbs. This takes a few minutes — maybe five on the outside. Don’t be afraid to run your mixer that long, it loves it.
4. Once combined, drizzle in the soy milk, along with two tablespoons of syrup and, and beat for several minutes. If, in about three minutes, your frosting looks really stiff, add the third tablespoon of syrup. Beat for another minute or two, until it’s all nice and fluffy.
5. Taste your frosting. It should be smooth and creamy, with a fairly strong raspberry flavor. If it is not like that, add more raspberry syrup, about half a teaspoon at a time until it is awesome. Now add a tiny, tiny bit of food coloring, if you want. Totally up to you.
Then, with the handle of a wooden spoon, poke a hole into the top of each cooled cupcake. Now you’re ready to fill them. The easiest way to do this is with a piping bag fitted with a small round pastry tip. Pipe frosting in until it is even with the top of your cake. Smooth the top, if necessary, with a spatula.
So let’s make our Chocolate Ganache! You need:
8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons nonhydrogenated shortening
So you’re going to:
1. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring about a cup of water to a simmer.
2. Place a heat-proof bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure it doesn’t touch the water.
3. Add the chocolate and shortening to the bowl, and stir occasionally until it’s totally melted.
4. Dip your cupcakes one at a time in the melted chocolate mixture, shaking off the excess.
5. Place your dipped cupcakes in the freezer until the chocolate is set.
6. Repeat this process, dipping each cupcake a second time.
7. If desired, melt white chocolate chips using the same technique as above. Add the melted white chocolate to a piping bag, and drizzle over the tops of all the cupcakes. Place the cupcakes back in the freezer until the chocolate is totally set.
These are super-delicious, and the people who bought them were really pleased. I have also learned that the frosting recipes that I usually make are pretty heat-sensitive. So, while I was perfecting a frosting recipe that could sit in a lighted display case all day without melting, these were a life-saver. Because the melty frosting is inside the cake, and the ganache on top stays really firm, these are a great cupcake to bring to, say, a picnic where they will be in the heat all day.
So go make these and be happy!