Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

IMG_4153A combination I never thought I liked turns out to be pretty good, only when everything in it is good, of course. I got asked to make this particular combo for a Christmass office party, and needless to say, I was a skeptic. For some reason, I hate to make chocolate cake/cupcakes. It’s the one thing I can’t ever do well. Or vanilla. Those two, are my nightmare. This time it was no less haunting. I followed a recipe, and by the point where the recipe said: “your batter will be wet, no worries, it will firm up in the oven”, my batter was stiff as poop. I baked and tasted: dry and tough as nails. It didn’t taste bad, but it was like a brownie, not an airy fluffy cupcake. So I went at it again, looking at the recipe very carefully, it turns out I only added the coffee granules and not the 1.5 cups of water I needed to dissolve them in. Finally, a success. This time I also added a bunch of creme de menthe chocolate pieces in the center, and a teaspoon of peppermint extract to the frosting. They were decorated with hand-painted ugly sweaters and snowflakes. I also made one extra Hannuka sweater, just in case.IMG_4147

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes (24):

  • 1 1/2 C AP flour
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 3/4 C cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 C buttermilk
  • 3/4 C warm water or coffee
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup creme de menthe chocolate pieces

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 200 grams dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract

Mix together the dry ingredients, sifting the flour, cocoa, baking soda and baking powder. Crack in the eggs, pour the buttermilk, water or coffee, vanilla, and vegetable oil. Arrange 24 cupcake liners and fill them half-way through. Put about a tablespoon of creme de menthe pieces in the center. Bake at 350º for about 25 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. For the ganache, heat the heavy milk in a small pot with the corn syrup until almost bubbling. Place the chocolate pieces in a food processor and process until fine. Add the heavy milk while still running until the chocolate is melted and it looks shiny. Add the butter and peppermint extract and process until mixed through. Taste and adjust peppermint amount to your liking.  Place a plastic wrap on top of the ganache, touching it, and leave it at room temperature for about an hour. Then use it to frost the cupcakes.

IMG_4150IMG_4144Cupcakes de Chocolate y Menta (24):
• 1 1/2 T harina
• 1 1/2 T azúcar
• 3/4 T cocoa
• 1 1/2 cdta bicarbonato de sodio
• 3/4 ceta polvo para hornear
• 3/4 cdta sal
• 2 huevos grandes
• 3/4 T buttermilk (o 3/4 T leche + 3/4 Cda vinagre)
• 3/4 T agua caliente o café
• 1/4 T aceite vegetal
• 1 cdta vainilla
• 1/2 T chispas de chocolate con menta o pedazos de Turín con menta
Ganache de Chocolate:
• 200 g chocolate obscuro en pedazos
• ¾ T crema para batir
• 1 Cda miel karo
• 1 Cda mantequilla, a temp ambiente
• 1 ceta extracto de hierbabuena o menta
Mezclar los ingredientes secos, cerniendo el harina, cocoa, polvo para hornear, y bicarbonato de sodio. Mezclar con los huevos, agua o café, buttermilk, vainilla y aceite. Acomodar 24 capacillos de panqué en moldes para panqué y llenar a la mitad con la mezcla. Picar el chocolate con menta y poner una cucharada en el centro de cada cupcake. Hornear a 350º por 25 minutos, o hasta que queden esponjados. Dejar enfriar antes de decorar. Para el ganache, poner a calentar la crema con la miel karo, hasta que casi hierva. Poner las piezas de chocolate en un procesador de alimentos y hprocesasr. Con la máquina corriendo, agregar la crema caliente hasta que quede una mezcla brillante y todo el chocolate se haya derretido. Agregar el attract de menta y la mantequilla, mezclar bien. Pasar a un tazón pequeño y cubrir con plástico, que toque la superficie del ganache. Dejar a temperatura ambiente 1-2 horas para que agarre más forma. Decorar y servir.



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