Sunday, February 27, 2011

February's Cupcake Of The Month - Chocolate And Chambord

Some exciting things have been happening for my blog these past couple of months. My last post was featured on foodgawker and tastespotting and because of that, I've gained  a handful of new followers, more exposure (the blog's even been StumbleUpon-ed... I thought that was pretty awesome), more traffic, and most recently, a sponsored giveaway by

Everyone's feedback on my blog and on my baked goods has been overwhelming and I'm so very thankful for it all. It's helping me find more inspiration to keep up baking and blogging. So thank you to all of you that have read my posts, are "following" me, and are supporting me in this, especially my testers who have willingly offered their taste buds up for my cause.

The Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
-1 cup unsalted butter, softened

-1 cup water
-3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-2 cups flour
-2 cups sugar
-1 1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-2 eggs
-1/2 cup sour cream
For the ganache:
-3 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
-1 cup heavy cream
-1 1/2 tbsp corn starch
-[at least] 50 mL Chambord

The Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line your cupcake pan(s).
2. Bring the butter and water to a simmer and then whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

3. Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
There's only so much one can do to make all-white ingredients look exciting together
4. Beat eggs and sour cream together until combined.
5. Gradually add the cocoa mixture to the eggs, constantly mixing so that you don't scramble the eggs.
6. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet.
7. Fill cupcake cups (I filled them somewhere between 1/2 to 2/3 of the way up) and bake for about 12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Rotate halfway through to ensure even baking. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
8. Over a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water) melt the chocolate chips, heavy cream and corn starch together. Once mixture is smooth, take it off the heat and stir in the liqueur until combined. Set aside and allow to cool so that it can thicken up.
You want your ganache to be completely smooth, not like the picture above
Note: I added 50 mL of the Chambord but felt that there wasn't enough of that raspberry flavor I was looking for, so I would suggest adding more a little at a time until the desired taste. Or maybe even a raspberry flavored filling would help. I plan on making a filling the next time I make these and if it works out, I will update this post with the filling's recipe.
9. Once your cupcakes are cool, frost them with a pastry bag, plastic baggie, dip the cupcakes, or do what I did and just spread the frosting on with a spoon (if you spoon and spread them, you'll probably only need a half of the ganache recipe). 
Tip: If you're frosting with a bag, you should wait until the the ganache is firm enough, or else it'll just run all over the place.
10. Consume and enjoy!
Don't worry, his ganache-stache was from before adding the liqueur.

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