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Episode 07: The Best Chocolate Cupcakes to Ever Exist

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour (gently spoon into measuring cup)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon espresso powder
  • ¼ cup dark or light brown sugar (packed tightly)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted ( I use Valrhona… it’s worth it)
  • 2 large eggs, room temp.
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temp.
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla extract or paste
  • 1 cup hot water

Frosting:

  • 5 sticks unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 9 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pre-sifted cocoa powder
  • 5 tablespoons whole milk
  • pinch of salt

Ganache Drizzle:

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup semi sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles for decoration

Directions

Preheat oven to 300℉

Cake

  1. Mix dry ingredients with a whisk until well combined.
  2. Add the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla to the bowl and mix well.
  3. Add the hot water and mix until combined and smooth. Batter will be thin.
  4. Pour the batter into cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (cakes will have a light spring resistance on top when pushed) Do not over bake.
  6. Remove to cool completely.
  7. In the meantime, make frosting and ganache.

Frosting

  1. Beat the butter in a stand mixer (or handheld) for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  2. Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar and combine well, then add 4 cups of powdered sugar and combine.
  3. Scrape the bowl.
  4. Add cocoa powder, remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar, vanilla, milk,  and salt and mix well.
  5. Scrape the bowl as you go and keep beating to evenly combine. If the mixture is streaky-looking, keep mixing. Chocolate frosting takes a little more time to get even coloring; beating the frosting only makes it fluffier and more fabulous.
  6. Set aside in a cool place and continue with ganache.

Ganache

  1. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until simmering (little bubbles around edges… do not boil or it will curdle.)
  2. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips and vanilla.
  3. Shake the pan gently to coat the chocolate with the cream and then let it sit for 2 minutes.
  4. Now, stir it vigorously with a whisk until smooth and shiny.
  5. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Frost the cupcakes any way you want (I like a big, high swirl) with a piping bag.
  7. Using a squeeze bottle or a plastic baggie with a small hole cut in the corner, drizzle the ganache on one side of the cupcake in a back and forth motion.
  8. Before the ganache sets, add lots of sprinkles.

Serve completely cooled for the most perfect chocolate cupcake you’ve ever had in your life!!!!!! XOXOXO

Note: You can make an 8 inch three layer cake instead. Spray and line the pans with parchment paper. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.