Death by Chocolate

EXTREME. Chocolate.

If you are looking for a very moist cupcake with a lot of chocolate flavor, this is IT. The recipe comes from Hershey's, and I used a simple chocolate ganache recipe for the icing. I simply cooled the ganache until it set and I was able to pipe the decorations.

These will be the cupcakes I make next week for my daughter's birthday, she LOVED them. I was actually surprised she did, because for the ganache, I used a combination of semi-sweet and bittersweet Ghirardelli chocolate, so it wasn't overly sweet, just pure chocolate. I think she has a much more refined palate than most soon-to-be 9 year olds, since I would think most kids would think this cupcake wasn't "sweet" enough. But the chocolate really shined in this one!

I made a half batch this time which came out to exactly 12 cupcakes (perfect!) - so next week, I will probably make half with a vanilla buttercream or cream cheese instead for those who don't like chocolate as much as others. My soon-to-be-foodie (or wait, is she already there!!??) will like them either way, I'm sure.

I also tried one with flaked sea salt sprinkled on top. YUM! That tiny bit of savory salt made the flavors soar!

Black Magic Cake
Source: Hershey's Kitchens


2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa (I used Dutch processed)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
1 cup strong black coffee OR 2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee plus 1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (Batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost as desired. Yields 10 to 12 servings.

* To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup.

**For cupcakes, full batch should make 24 - filling each 2/3 of the way. I baked them 15-18 minutes until tops spring back and toothpick came out clean (or a couple of crumbs on it).

Chocolate Ganache Glaze / Frosting
Source: Savory Sweet Life

8 ounces of chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
*optional 3 tbl. of flavored liquor

Place chocolate pieces in a large bowl. Heat heavy cream on medium high until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and stir until completely mixed and glossy. Allow ganache to cool before pouring over cakes as a glaze. The longer you allow the ganache to cool, the thicker it will set. Typically I stick mine in the refrigerator so it is slightly cold before whipping. For piping or frosting, allow the ganache to completely cool and set up. When you are able to spoon the ganache and it can hold its texture, it is ready for piping.

As a glaze, you can easily pour ganache over cakes for a nice smooth finish. If you are looking for a chocolate whipped filling, look no further. Just whip the ganache as you would heavy cream, making sure you mixing bowl and beater are nice and cold. And whatever you do, not put your ganache in the freezer with the hopes of whipping it. It will not whip and have a curdly like texture. For a thick frosting or decorative piping, allow the ganache to cool for a truffle like texture. Anyway you decide to eat it, this ganache will satisfy your sweet tooth and chocolate cravings. Enjoy!


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