Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate Cupcakes!!!!!!!

Miss Katie whose birthday was Monday the 16th has a real thing for chocolate and as the tradition at our house ......Grandma ( as I am known in these circles) makes you whatever you choose for your birthday diner!!  Her menu was hot dogs, twice baked potatoes, corn on the cob, strawberries, and  these 3X chocolate cupcakes.  By the way did I mention she turned 11??

At any rate I had the good fortune of having Miss Emily drop by for a visit on Sunday and she piped on the icing for me and did a super job I might add for her first try.  Emily is 15 and Kate's older sister.

Emily had agreed to make Joel, my youngest son's birthday cake in December for his birthday and is coming to practice.  I am sure this will come up again in later posts.

I made the cupcakes, all 32 of them Saturday and  had them filled when Emily got here.  It is an interesting cupcake as you make a devils food (made with cocoa) cupcake, cut a cone out of the top of it, cut the bottom out of the cone and use the top portion a s a tiny cap  placed over a teaspoon of luscious ganache.
Then you end this dreamy treat with a frosting that is chocolate sour cream!!!YUMMMY!!!!

It is r-e-a-l-l-y good.

Note this is a really big recipe and unless you really want or need 32 cupcakes you certainly could cut the recipe in half.

The cupcake ingredients:
3/4 C. unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
1 t. espresso powder ( can substitute instant coffee)
3/4 C. very hot water
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 1/2 C. (3 sticks) butter 
2 1/4 C. sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
4 t. vanilla extract
1 C. sour cream at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare cupcake pans by lining them with paper liners.  Whisk together in a small bowl the hot water, espresso powder and cocoa until smooth.  Using a medium bowl combine and whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set it aside too.

Using a medium saucepan combine the butter and sugar over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the butter is melted and the sugar is combined well.  Remove from heat and transfer the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Beat at medium-low until the mixture is cooled, 4-5 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time beating after each addition and scrapping down the sides of the bowl.  Mix in the vanilla and the cocoa mixture on lowest speed until well incorporated.
Keeping the mixer at low speed add the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the sour cream until just combined.

Fill the cupcakes in the prepared pans to about 3/4 full.  Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.    Cool in the pans for about 10 minutes then remove to racks to cool completely.

The ganache filling ingredients:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
1 C. plus 2 T. heavy cream
4 T. butter cut into 4 pieces at room temperature

Place the chopped chocolate into a medium bowl.  Heat the cream in a small saucepan to a boil.  Once it comes to a boil remove it from the heat and pour it over the chocolate.  Let it sit about a minute then with a whisk start stirring it gently in a circular motion.  When it is smooth add the first chunk of butter and continue stirring till smooth.  Repeat this process until all 4 pieces of the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth.  Place the bowl in the refrigerator or freezer to cool and thicken.  Stir every 5-10 minutes to help it cool evenly.

Assemble the cupcakes:
Cut a cone out of the center of each cupcake with a small paring knife.  Cut off the pointed end of the cone and discard (OR EAT!!) so you are left with a cap to cover the filling.  Drop a teaspoonful of the ganache into the center of each cupcake and recover the hole with the cap.

Frosting ingredients:
14 oz. bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
9 oz, cream cheese, at room temperature
9 T. butter, at room temperature
3 C. confectioners' sugar, sifted to remove lumps
6 T. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 C. plus 2 T. sour cream

Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water stirring occasionally until it
is perfectly smooth.  Set it aside to cool until it is just barely warm.  Using your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter at medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes until fluffy.  Gradually add in the sugar, cocoa, and salt.  Beat in the melted cooled chocolate and then the sour cream.  Beat together until it is smooth and well blended.  Frost the cupcakes immediately.

Adapted from Annies Eats, cupcakes and frosting from, Martha Stewart's Cupcakes, ganache from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.

NOTE:  I add espresso powder to all things chocolate,  the original version does not.  I do not use unsalted butter the original version used unsalted.  I am brand specific in a lot of things which I did not go into today.  I used a fresh can of baking powder and baking soda in these and got really good rounded tops and a nice rise because it is a lot of expensive ingredients when you add it all up and I didn't choose to leave anything to chance.  Just a few thoughts I am sharing.....

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