Happy Chocolate Monday everyone! I have a really fun dessert for you today and boy oh boy you can’t believe how great my house smelled while these beauties were baking!
These cakes have a rich, deep chocolate flavor with just a touch of something special that you can’t quite identify … oh yeah, booze!
That’s right, I added a splash of bourbon because I love what it does for chocolate, but you can leave it out or use espresso instead. I often use espresso and like the intensity it gives chocolate, but I also really enjoy the soft warmth that bourbon lends. This time I used it in both the cake batter and the ganache and I have to say … wow was it was great!
I love this Cake Boss baking pan. It makes little cakes that look like flowers. They are perfect for any special occasion, or just because you feel like baking and it’s Tuesday, LOL.
The pan is very well made, nice and heavy with a good solid feel. It has a nonstick coating that helped the cakes fall right out when they were done, though I did butter it well just to be sure. The edges have a wide margin making them easy to move in and out of the oven even while wearing oven mitts.
The cakes baked up beautifully moist and tender, even the gluten-free version that I made! Sometimes gluten-free baked goods have trouble rising because of a lack of support normally supplied by the gluten in wheat flour and they often require smaller baking vessels with taller sides. This pan worked perfectly.
If you prefer a less sweet dessert, these cakes will be perfect with just a sprinkling of powdered sugar. But if you are a chocoholic and want intense chocolate flavor, add the ganache glaze. I liked them both ways and am not sure which I prefer. I suggest you make them and try one without the glaze and one with to see which you like better. Then come back here and let me know!
You can make two pans of mini cakes (12 total) or use half the batter for the cakes and use the rest to make cupcakes. Or heck, forget the cute pan and just make all cupcakes – whatever you like!
Aren’t these mini-cakes adorable? Wouldn’t they be perfect for parties? You can make them in any flavor you like. I could see them for baby showers, birthday parties, wedding showers, ladies luncheons, or reunions with close friends. Because the pans are already pressed with a design, you really don’t have to do much to decorate them, or you can go hog wild, it’s up to you!
Have a fabulous week!
Make certain that your cocoa powder, baking soda and espresso powders are gluten-free if you are baking for Celiacs. Avoid using bourbon as some people have a reaction to the ingredients in the caramel coloring added to the liquor. You can replace it with prepared coffee or water. If you do not have almond meal, you can use more of your gluten-free flour blend.
- Room temperature butter for greasing the pans
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- (OR 2-1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend with xanthan gum plus1/2 cup almond flour/meal for gluten-free)
- 1-3/4 cups sugar
- 6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 cup organic olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp bourbon, strong prepared coffee, or espresso (or more water)
- 2-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 2 cups water
- Ganache Glaze
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp bourbon or coffee, optional
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 12 oz semisweet or milk chocolate, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the flower cakelette pan thoroughly, making sure you get into all the indentations. Set up 12 cupcake tins with paper liners; set aside.
- Make the Cake Batter: In the bowl of your standing mixer, place the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Use a hand whisk to carefully blend dry ingredients until evenly combined. Attach the bowl to your mixer and insert the paddle attachment.
- In a 4-cup measuring cup, whisk together the oil, egg, bourbon, vanilla and water. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide equally between the prepared pans filling each about 2/3 full. Use remaining batter to fill cupcake tins about 2/3 full. If you do not have enough batter to fill 12 cupcakes, remove paper liners from the unfilled cups and add about 1 tbsp water to each open cup.
- Bake the Cakes: Slide the filled pans into the preheated oven and bake for about 25 minutes, spinning the pans halfway through the baking time so those in the front are now in the back of the oven. Don’t be surprised if they rise above the edge of the pan. They are done when fine crumbs cling to a wooden toothpick inserted in the center. Transfer both pans to wire racks for cooling.
- Remove the cupcakes from the tins when they are cool enough to handle and finish cooling on the wire rack. Cool cakes in their pan until completely cooled. If they have domed bottoms, shave off the rounded portion using a sharp serrated knife. (The parts that you shave off make wonderful snacks or pulse in the food processor to turn them into crumbs for decorating or sprinkling over vanilla ice cream!) Invert cakes onto wire rack and let sit at room temperature while you make the ganache.
- Cakes can be baked a day or two in advance. Once thoroughly cooled, wrap each tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Return to room temperature before continuing.
- Prepare the Ganache Glaze: In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, bourbon (if using) and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- While the cream is heating, place the chopped chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the boiling hot cream over the chocolate and set aside for about a few minutes to let the chocolate start melting. Starting in the center of the bowl and working toward the edges, whisk together until smooth and creamy. Set aside for about 5 minutes to cool slightly before coating cakes.
- Glaze the Cakes: Place a sheet of parchment paper underneath the wire cooling rack. Place cakes onto wire rack. Working with a small ladle, spoon or measuring cup with a spout, slowly pour the ganache over each cakelette, starting in the center and moving outward, letting it drip down the sides onto the parchment. Using the bottom of the ladle, start in the center and make ever widening circles, gently easing the glaze over the sides of the cakes if needed.
- If you run low on the glaze before you have coated them all, remove the parchment from beneath the wire rack and scrape the glaze back into the bowl. Reheat gently in the microwave, using 15-second bursts, until thin enough to pour. Slide the parchment sheet back under the wire rack and finish glazing. Set the cakes aside at room temperature to allow the glaze to set slightly before serving. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.
- If you like, you can sprinkle some powdered sugar over the tops of the glazed cakes, making them look like they’ve just been out in a snowfall. Place about 1/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar in a fine wire sieve and lightly tap it over each cake.
- Yield: 6 cakes + 12 cupcakes, 6 to 12 servings; or 24 to 30 cupcakes
- Disclosure: I was given the baking pan for review. I received no other compensation and all opinions, as always, are my own.
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