Back in November, The Washington Post ran a feature on their cupcake wars. They tasted 141 varieties of DC cupcakes over the span of 8 weeks in search of a winner. Sounds like my kind of job! The winning cake was this lovely looking Chocolate Ganache from Georgetown Cupcakes. You can read all about their throw down here and I've included the winning recipe below. I have yet to make this one but will certainly let you know how it comes out when I do!
Georgetown Cupcake's Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes
Here's the winning combination: moist and chocolaty cake with just the right amount of rich ganache frosting on top.
Valrhona cocoa powder and Callebaut chocolate are sold at Sur La Table stores; call for availability.
The cupcakes are best when served on the same day they are made. If the cupcakes are dipped once, you'll have about 1/2 cup of ganache left over.
Makes 18 cupcakes
Ingredients:For the cupcakes
- 1 1/4 cups flour, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) European-style unsalted butter, such as Plugra brand, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract, preferably Madagascar bourbon
- 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup Valrhona cocoa powder, sifted (see headnote; may substitute another good-quality cocoa powder)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup Callebaut semisweet chocolate chips (6.4 ounces; see headnote; may substitute other good-quality semisweet chocolate chips)
For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard cupcake pan with 12 baking cups, and a second pan with 6 baking cups.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt on a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper.
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Stop to add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
Combine the vanilla extract and milk in a large liquid measuring cup.
Reduce the speed to low. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add one-third of the milk mixture, beating until well incorporated. Add another one-third of the flour mixture, followed by one-third of the milk mixture. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk mixture, and beat just until combined.
Add the cocoa powder, beating (on low speed) just until incorporated.
Use a standard-size ice cream scoop to fill each cupcake paper with batter, so that the wells are two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the ganache frosting: Lay a large piece of wax paper on the work surface.
Combine the heavy cream and chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Fill a medium saucepan with an inch or two of water and place over medium-low heat. Place the bowl over the saucepan and let the mixture melt, stirring until it is shiny and smooth.
Remove the bowl of chocolate ganache from the saucepan; let it cool slightly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Working with 1 cupcake at a time, carefully dip each cupcake top in the warm ganache, twisting your wrist as needed to make sure the cupcake top gets completely coated. To prevent drips, quickly turn the cupcake right side up and place on the wax paper. Allow the ganache to set for 5 minutes before serving.
From Sophie LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis, co-owners of Georgetown Cupcake.