I made 20 cupcakes on Saturday. I ate one of them on Saturday night. I didn’t freeze any. They were all gone by Sunday night. Doesn’t this sound like one of those (really hard!) 5th grade word problems in math class? What I am trying to say is that seconds were had. My friend Brad actually had 3.
How can a cupcake be triple chocolate? Well, first there is the chocolate batter – light and fluffy, reminiscent of the boxed cupcake in texture but with a more complex flavor. Then there are the bittersweet chocolate chunks that you find in almost every bite. Lastly, the ganache filling. Why wouldn’t every cupcake be filled with ganache? Great question – I don’t think I’ll make one without it ever again. The best part about the ganache is how CRAZY easy it is to make. The fancy name might lead you to think otherwise; don’t be taken in by the vernacular.
With all the sweet sweet chocolate happening in the cupcake, a fluffy meringue icing is the perfect complement. Have you ever heard of 7 minute frosting? It’s called this because it takes 7 minutes of beating with an electric mixer to bring a very small puddle of seemingly innocuous ingredients to a large pile of sumptuous, GORgeous white frosting! It was like a science experiment, but a really fun one. This frosting is technically “meringue” but it tastes just like marshmallow fluff.
Though these cupcakes came together quicker and easier than I anticipated, I have a few tips to help you on your way. When a recipe calls for “softened” butter, you should leave it at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. If you forget to leave it out, microwave it for 5 seconds, turn it over, and microwave for 3 seconds. You don’t want to use it if it’s too hard and you DEFINItely don’t want to use it if it melts. Eggs should always be at room temperature before using (leave out or put in a bowl of warm water). For the frosting there is one area where you could really get into trouble. Egg whites beat up easily unless there is any yolk in them or any fat (oil, butter). If you accidentally break a yolk while separating, toss the whole lot and start over. Trust me on this one.
A last tip; to fancy these up even more, try broiling the icing! Just put your broiler on high and place the iced cupcakes on a cookie sheet. Place under the broiler, watching carefully, until the frosting turns golden. That’s all, have fun!
Triple Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting
Adapted from Bon Appetit
1 3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. hot water
1 3/4 c. chocolate chunks or chips
1/2 c. heavy cream
3/4 c. milk or bittersweet chocolate chips
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. water
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For the cupcakes: cream butter and sugar with electric mixer till light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
2. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa together in a medium mixing bowl.
3. Add eggs to creamed mixture, one at a time. Add vanilla with second egg.
4. Add 1/2 of the flour mixture to the egg/butter mixture and mix on low with electric mixer to combine.
5. Add water and gently mix to combine.
6. Add the rest of the flour mixture and mix to combine.
7. Let batter sit 10 minutes, then stir in chocolate chips.
8. Line a standard muffin tins with paper or foil liners and fill each cup 2/3 of the way with batter (should make 18-20 cupcakes – don’t overfill).
9. Bake 21 minutes, switching the position of the two muffin tins half way through.
10. Let cool on wire rack.
11. To make filling – bring heavy cream to a simmer in a small saucepan and set chocolate chips in a bowl off to the side. As soon as the cream begins to bubble, turn off heat and pour cream over chips. Stir until chips are melted and ganache is smooth. Let cool about 20 minutes.
12. Cut a hole in the middle of each cupcake (about 1 inch deep). Fill with 1 tbsp. each of the filling.
13. To make frosting, simmer 2 c. of water in a saucepan and set a metal bowl snugly on top. Whisk sugar, water, egg whites, cream of tartar and salt together.
14. Using a hand held electric mixer (easiest with whisk attachment), beat mixture at medium speed for five minutes. Remove from heat and beat for another 3 minutes or until mixture is thick, creamy, and cooled.
15. Add vanilla and beat to combine.
16. Frost cupcakes by spooning on top and smoothing with a butter knife or pipe with a plastic bag (with the corner snipped). Top with sugar, chocolate shavings or sifted cocoa powder.
*Cupcakes can be stored up to 24 hours at room temperature.