Rich Chocolate Swirls
Makes 24. Recipe is from Joanna Farrow, author of “Wedding Cupcakes.”
For the cupcakes:
11/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
11/4 cups boiling water
3 ozs. semisweet chocolate, chopped
13/4 lightly salted butter, softened
13/4 firmly packed light brown sugar
21/2 cups self-rising flour
1. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper baking cups and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Put the cocoa powder in a heat-proof bowl and whisk in the boiling water. Immediately add the chocolate and let cool, stirring frequently until smooth.
3. Beat the butter and sugar together with a hand-held electric mixer to soften. Add the eggs, flour and about a quarter of the chocolate mixture and beat well until smooth. Stir in the remaining chocolate mixture until evenly mixed.
4. Divide among the baking cups, filling them about two-thirds full, and bake for about 25 minutes until risen and just firm to the touch. Let stand in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
21/4 lbs. semisweet chocolate, chopped
5 cups heavy cream
4 tbls. confectioners’ sugar
6 tbls. coffee or almond liqueur, or strong coffee
Chocolate and heart-shaped sugar sprinkles
1. To make the chocolate cups, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Put 1 pound, 10 ounces of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Rest the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the bowl is not in contact with the water. Heat gently, stirring occasionally until the chocolate has melted. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. Put about 4 teaspoons of melted chocolate into a paper baking cup and spread the choclate up the sides until completely coated. Invert the cup onto a paper-lined tray. Repeat with another 23 cups, then make a couple of spares in case of breakages. Chill for about 30 minutes until the chocolate has firmed up, then brush the sides of the cups with the remaining melted chocolate. If the chocolate has solidifed, soften it again over the saucepan of water. Chill the cups for at least 30 minutes or until compeltely brittle. Carefully peel away the paper cups and place the chocolate cups on a clean baking sheet.
2. To make the filling, whip 11/4 cups of cream with 1 tablespoon of the confectioners’ sugar and the liqueur or coffee until just holding its shape. Spoon into the chcolate cups. Peel the paper away from the cupcakes and press a cake gently down into each chocolate cup. If the cakes are too big for the cups, trim them down slightly so they’re only slightly deeper than the chocolate cups.
3. To make the ganache, heat the remaining cream in a saucepan with the remaining confectioners’ sugar until bubbling up around the edges but not boiling. Stir in the remaining chocolate and transfer to a bowl. Let cool, stirring occasionally until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is completely cold. Chill until thickened.
4. Before spreading the ganache, check its consistency. If it doesn’t hold its shape when stirred, beat very lightly with a handheld electric mixer until it just holds its shape. Put in a large nylon or plastic pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe swirls onto the cupcakes so each cake is completely covered with a thick topping of ganache. Scatter with the sprinkles.
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