The Brighter Writer







MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2012


Heart Shaped Valentine Cupcakes
with Chocolate Ganache Filling



Wow, that title is a mouthful, isn't it?



Before I start, here's a little helpful hint I learn a while ago: Cake batter is one of those things that freezes wonderfully. After I make a batch, I cook 5 or 6 cupcakes at a time and put the rest away for another occasion. Like next Saturday. I often have sweet tooth cravings and don't feel like making an entire dozen or more cupcakes so I fill up 2 or 3 Tupperware containers of batter, freeze them, and then take one out another day when I get the urge to make more. It only takes a few hours to completely thaw so take it out in the morning and by afternoon you're good to go.

Cupcake Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups milk


Directions

1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line bottom of muffin pans with foil or paper cups. Set pan(s) aside.

2. In a mixing bowl stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder; and salt; set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until well combined (3 to 4 minutes). Scrape sides of bowl; continue beating on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition (about 1 minute total). Beat in vanilla.

4. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to beaten mixture, beating on low speed just until combined after each addition. Beat on medium to high speed for 20 seconds more. ** Fill each muffin cup 1/2 to 3/4.

5. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 20-22 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.

** To make the heart shape you can use either marbles or two glass pebbles. Place them just on the side of the muffin tin, forming a heart shape. Excuse the messiness of my old muffin pan. Yes, that's part of the directions.



After they cook, they should look something like this. Kind of like tiny butts.



I take a knife and make an "X" in the middle of each one, which is where I will put the filling.

Chocolate Ganache Filling Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
8oz chocolate finely chopped


Cook heavy cream in saucepan until just at a boil. It burns quickly so you really have to watch it. In a separate bowl, pour hot cream over chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth and let chill for several hours until it becomes a thick mousse like consistency.

Now it's time to fill!

I find it easiest to put my decorating bag inside a small cup while I fill it with the ganache. It always turns out less messy.



Put the tip of your decorating bag right in the middle of the "x" you made earlier with your knife and fill just enough to make a large marble size center. Too much filling will leak to the sides or break your cupcake, which you do not want.



It should look like this when you're finished.



Now it's time to decorate! Use whichever is your favorite frosting or sprinkles or both. I filled one side of my decorating bag with pink frosting and the other with white so what came out was a perfect swirling effect.





That's all there is to it, enjoy and happy Valentine's Day!