Monday, February 8, 2010

Chocolate Lovers Cupcakes

What better way to say "I love you"?


Valentine's Day screams chocolate to me. Perhaps it has something to do with all the heart shaped boxes of chocolate you find at the store this time of year. I am not complaining though because I LOVE chocolate. If you are not a chocolate person then this post is nor for you so you should just turn around and come back next week. I wanted to fully embrace chocolate for my Valentine's Day post. It was my intention to make these double chocolate cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Frosting, but then a blizzard hit the DC area. By the time we made it to the grocery store they were completely out of heavy cream. Now I have no idea why people preparing for a blizzard need to stock up on cream, but apparently they did. I worked with what I had and made a delicious chocolate buttercream that was incredible. I did not even miss the ganache. To jazz these cupcakes up a bit, I used melted chocolate to create heart toppers...so simple, yet very impressive.

Chocolate Cupcakes
recipe from allrecipes.com

1 package chocolate cake mix
1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (dust these in flour to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the cupcake)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs, and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into 24 lined muffin cups.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
recipe from Baked Perfection

1/2 cup butter, softened
3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 -6 tablespoons milk

Cream the butter on medium speed until it is very light in texture. Add the confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, melted chocolate, and vanilla extract and mix on a low speed until the sugar and butter are blended, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Increase the speed to medium, with the mixer running, add the milk one tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

Chocolate Hearts
from Baked Perfection

1/4 cup white chocolate, melted
1/2 cup semisweet or milk chocolate, melted

Transfer your melted chocolate into a plastic sandwich bag; cut the tip of the corner of the bag. Pipe your chocolate into the shape of a heart (or any other shape) onto wax paper, let harden completely before transferring to cupcakes.