Show: Food of the Gods: A Sacred History of Chocolate
This is a chocolate-intense dessert, so get ready. Begin with a chocolate cupcake, fill it with whipped chocolate ganache, and ice with deep, rich bittersweet frosting. A very grown-up version of a childhood treat.
6 tablespoons Dutched-processed cocoa powder (such as Droste)
½ cup boiling water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup flour
¾ cup sugar
1 ¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (4 oz.) unsalted butter, softened to room temp
6 oz. good-quality bittersweet cooking chocolate (for example, I use El Rey 70%)
1 ¼ cups whipping cream
For cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake wrappers. Whisk boiling water into cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside to cool. In separate bowl, whisk eggs with vanilla and add one-fourth of chocolate mixture.
In a mixing bowl, combine, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and stir to blend. Add the butter and remaining cocoa mixture cooled to room temp. (If the cocoa mixture isn’t cooled when you add it to the eggs, you get scrambled eggs above; if the cocoa mixture isn’t cooled when you add it to the butter and flour, you will melt the butter and loose the cake structure you’re trying to build.) Mix flour, chocolate, and butter until just blended on low speed. Then beat mixture on medium to high speed for 90 seconds. Gradually add the egg-chocolate mixture in 3 additions, beating for 15 seconds after each one. Remember to scrape down the sides between each step to continually incorporate ingredients together.
Divide the batter equally among 12 cupcake holders. Bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto cooling rack, turn the cupcakes right-side-up, and let cool completely while you prepare the ganache.
For ganache: Coarsely chop bittersweet chocolate. Pulse in food processor until no pieces larger than 1/2 inch remain. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Do not boil, but just bring to a simmer. With food processor running, pour cream into chocolate through feed chute. Process briefly until completely smooth, but do not overprocess. Pour into the bowl of an electric mixer or another stainless steel or crockery bowl. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours, depending on the temperature of your refrigerator, stirring every 15-20 minutes to keep ganache smooth. (The mixture chills from the outside in, so it’s important to stir often to maintain an even texture.)
When ganache is a stiff spreading consistency, remove half from mixing bowl and reserve in a separate bowl. Place reserve back in the refrigerator. Take remaining half in mixing bowl and whip with electric mixer until smooth, light, and increased in volume. Don’t over beat, but work until you have a nice, thick, chocolate whipped cream. Put whipped ganache into a pastry bag with a met tip. (Any tip will work, but I use a wide star or large piping tip.) Plunge tip into top of cupcake and squeeze out ganache to fill until ganache begins spilling out of whole. Repeat with remaining cupcakes. Finish by frosting tops of cupcakes and covering filling holes with remaining un-whipped ganache from refrigerator. Serve at room temperature, but store in refrigerator if not eaten within a few hours.
Note: Don’t be daunted by the idea of working with or investing in a pastry bag. Smaller cookware shops tend to sell them individually as well as tips, so you can spend very little and have a handy kitchen tool left over for writing “Happy Birthday” on cakes throughout the year. You’ll also find use for the pastry bag on many other cooking occasions.
©Eat Feed podcast all rights reserved