These Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Ganache Frosting are a chocoholic’s delight. Rich and indulgent cupcakes topped with the most decadent chocolate ganache frosting are the things that dreams are made of. Your family and friends will be clamoring for seconds!
With something so rich and chocolatey, a small serving is perfectly satisfying. I love these cupcakes because they are conveniently sized for the ultimate bite. I chose to top them with a ganache frosting because it is the purest way to taste the chocolate, with so few ingredients, the chocolate truly shines!
One of the things that makes these so special is the chocolate I used. I recently had the pleasure of doing a chocolate tasting with the owners of Chocolat-e, a new chocolate company in Portland, Oregon. How exciting to have an exceptional chocolate business in our area (and available to ship online).
There are several steps to a chocolate tasting, quite similar to wine tastings. You start by inhaling the aroma of the chocolate, then break off a small piece and listen for the snap of perfectly tempered chocolate, you place it under your tongue where the heat will help release the flavor components. Slowly let the chocolate melt on your tongue and notice the different things you taste – possibly licorice, banana, citrus, etc. There are no wrong answers because everyone tastes different nuances.
Chocolat-e has a line of gourmet single origin dark and dark milk couverture chocolates that have delicious subtleties of flavor based on the country of origin. These are pure chocolates, not blended like most on the market.
You get to experience the individual terroir (just like wine) from Madagascar, Dominican Republic, Belize, Mexico, Brazil, and Ecuador. Four are dark chocolates (all 72% makes it easier to do a side-by-side tasting) and two are dark milk at 47% and 43%. There is something for everyone.
Their chocolate production and packaging, made in France by Valrhona, is very ecologically sensitive with the use of vegetable cellophane in their paper wrappers. They focus on fair-trade practices and supporting the cacao growers. Sustainability is also a focus for the company and it shows in their use of recyclable cardboard boxes for shipping (see above).
They have expanded their products to include a line of baking couverture chips (disks)! This will be an option for all of us bakers to have access to extraordinary chocolate, perfect for special occasions or just because it is Monday. And they have Easter treats you will love – be sure to check out their website! !
These chocolates are so rich and enjoyable that a small square fully satisfies your cravings. You can order online directly from them and your order will be shipped within a few days. If you are in the Portland, Oregon area you can arrange to pick up your order. Check them out here.
Because each chocolate comes from a different country, the initial flavor is very distinct. Some are bolder than others, some have more dominant flavors, others softer, and with all of them you get the legendary Valrhona smoothness and mouthfeel.
The name Chocolat-e (pronounced chocolate) is a nod to both France and America. Chocolat is the French word for chocolate and by adding the “E” on the end, it represents the bridge between the chocolates of France and America – the best of both worlds.
These guys are having so much fun with this gourmet chocolate that it is impossible not to catch their enthusiasm!
I really hope you love these Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Ganache Frosting. They are so delicious that The Artist and I are inhaling them!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!
Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Frosting:
- Unsalted butter, oil, flour or gluten-free flour blend, sugar, cocoa
- Baking soda, salt, egg, buttermilk, vanilla, chocolate, heavy cream
You can chop the chocolate by hand with a heavy-duty knife or you can use a food processor. Both work well for preparing the chocolates to make the ganache frosting. I like to use my knife because I have more control of the size of the pieces.
How to make Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Frosting:
- Make the Cupcakes: Melt the butter with the oil and water; whisk together the dry ingredients and pour in the butter mixture and beat until smooth
- Mix in the egg, then add the buttermilk and vanilla, scrape the bowl and beater; fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full
- Bake in a 350°F oven about 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean; cool a few minutes in the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
- Prepare the Frosting: Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside; in a nonstick saucepan heat the cream to a simmer stirring occasionally; pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit a few minutes to start melting
- Starting in the center of the bowl, whisk until the mixture is completely blended with no streaks and smooth; pour into the bowl of your mixer and set aside to let cool to room temperature or place in the refrigerator for 1 hour
- Using the whisk attachment, whip the frosting until lightened in color, it is fluffy, and has reached a good spreading or piping consistency
- Spread or pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes; let sit a few minutes to set up before serving
When you are making ganache, since it has so few ingredients you want to use the highest-quality you can afford. The better the chocolate you use, the better the frosting will taste.
The cupcakes and frosting can be made a few days ahead. Store the cupcakes in a sealed container at room temperature and store the frosting, covered, in the refrigerator. This way everything is done except frosting of the cupcakes which can be done at the last minute.
Recommended Tools (affiliate links; no extra cost to you):
- Kitchen scale
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Dry measuring cups and liquid measuring cups
- Muffin tin
- Medium saucepan
- Stand mixer
- Piping bags and large piping tips
You can adjust any regular recipe to gluten-free by using 120 grams per cup of my favorite gluten-free flour blend. If you are using another brand of gluten-free flour, whisk the mix, spoon it lightly into a measuring cup until mounded, level off the top with a straight edge, and weigh the flour left in the cup. Use that weight as your standard per cup of that specific flour. Do this for each flour blend you use. Commercial blends such as Pamela’s, Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1, or King Arthur Measure for Measure are all good choices.
- 4 tbsp (1/4 cup; 1/2 stick; 57 g) unsalted butter, sliced
- 1/4 cup (55 g) vegetable oil, such as canola or safflower
- 1/2 cup (118 g) water
- 1 cup (120 g) gluten-free flour blend (see Note) or all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (32 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup (61 g) buttermilk or 1/4 cup milk plus 2 tsp vinegar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 10 oz (283 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped (you can use semisweet for a less intense flavor)
- 1-1/4 cups (284 g; 10 oz) heavy cream
- 2 tbsp (59 g) light corn syrup
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
- Prepare the Cupcakes: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the vegetable oil and water over medium-low heat.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt until evenly blended. Add the melted butter mixture and beat with a mixer at low speed until smooth. Add the egg and beat until incorporated, then add the buttermilk and vanilla and beat until smooth, scraping the bottom and side of the bowl.
- The batter will be very thin. Ladle some of the batter into a measuring cup with a spout, then pour the batter into the lined muffin tins, filling them about 3/4 full. Refill the measuring cup as needed.
- Bake the cupcakes in the center of the oven for about 25 minutes, until the tops are springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool slightly, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
- Make the Frosting: Place the chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl and set aside.
- Pour the cream into a non-stick saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat (there will be little bubbles around the edges and steam coming off the surface), stirring occasionally so it doesn't burn. Don't let it boil. Remove from the heat. Stir in the corn syrup.
- Pour the hot cream/corn syrup over the chocolate in the bowl. Let sit for a few minutes to give the chocolate time to begin melting before you start stirring the mixture with a whisk. Starting in the center, whisk, slowly incorporating all the cream, until the mixture is completely blended and smooth with no streaks. Pour into the bowl of your mixer.
- Set aside and let it cool to room temperature. You can refrigerate the ganache for about an hour but watch it so it doesn't get too cold. Once at room temperature, using the whisk attachment, whip until lightened in color, fluffy, and it has reached a good spreading or piping consistency. Don't over mix it. The timing will vary depending on the strength of your mixer.
- Frost the Cupcakes: Spread or pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Let sit for a few minutes to set up before serving.
- Recipe found at www.theheritagecook.com
You can adjust any recipe to gluten-free by using 120 grams per cup of my favorite gluten-free flour blend. If you are using another brand of gluten-free flour, whisk the mix, spoon it lightly into a measuring cup until mounded, level off the top with a straight edge, and weigh the flour left in the cup. Use that weight as your standard per cup of that specific flour. Do this for each flour blend you use. Commercial blends such as Pamela's, Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1, or King Arthur Measure for Measure are all good choices.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 202Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 160mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 4g
Due to the nature of the production facility in France and potential for cross-contamination, Chocolat-e cannot label their products gluten or dairy-free. They do not contain any gluten ingredients, but due to the possibility of cross contamination, may not be safe for those with celiac or severe sensitivities. As someone who is gluten intolerant, I have no issues with the chocolates.
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Disclaimer: I received chocolate samples to use in this recipe. I was not compensated for the post, and as always, the opinions expressed are my own.