Thursday, May 16, 2013

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Filling and Chocolate Ganache

Don't you just love the combination of Peanut Butter and Chocolate? These cupcakes are like big Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. The first time I saw the idea for these was when I was watching a TV show that reviewed all the best cupcake places in New York. So I tried to make one up of my own. In the midst of trying out diffferent combinations, I realized that I liked the peanut butter filling A LOT! I am not super wild about dark chocolate so I used it for the frosting as well as the filling. Then I used  the ganache as just a drizzle over the top of the cupcakes. HOWEVER, If you absolutely adore dark chocolate, you can just divide the recipe for the peanut butter filling in half, and use it for filling only. Then, use the ganache as a glaze for the top of the cupcakes. It's GORGEOUS--especially after topping each one with a half of a small-size peanut butter cup Yield: 23-24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Black Magic Cupcakes (or Cake):

1 3/4 flour
2 C sugar
3/4 C cocoa powder
1 t salt
2 eggs
1 C strong black coffee
1 C buttermilk
1/2 vegetable oil
1 t vanilla extract

Directions:

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat at medium speed for two minutes. Batter will be thin. Pour batter winto a two greased and floured cupcake pans or a  9x13" pan or two 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees until cupcake springs back when touched with a finger. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then move to a cooling rack.

Peanut Butter Filling and Frosting: (divide recipe in half if you decide to use the Chocolate Glaze as frosting)

2 C creamy peanut butter (I like JIF)
12 T unsalted butter, softened but still cold, cut in pieces
2 C sifted powdered sugar
1 t vanilla

Measure peanut butter and unsalted butter in a large bowl and  a mixer until combined. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Continue mixing until fluffy.Set Aside.

Chocolate Ganache or Drizzle:
3/4 C heavy cream
9 oz. Guittard semi-sweet chocolate chips or 3.4 oz the best semi-sweet chocolate you can afford
1 T unsalted butter with pinch salt or 1 T salted butter
12 small peanut butter cups without papers (plus a few extras to snack on) or a small box of peanut brittle.

This glaze is so easy it's ridiculous. in a microwave-safe glass bowl, heat the heavy cream and butter for 1-2 minutes until mixture just bubbles. Add the chocolate chips. Let chocolate chips melt for a minute. Then stir constantly until thick and creamy. Set aside till cool.  If you do not have a trivet to set the bowl on, use a baseball cap that's lying around on the kitchen sink. Works fine.

Assembly:

After cupcakes are cool, hollow out a 1-inch hole with an apple corer or a sharp knife in the middle of each. I use a paring knife to cut the hole in an upside-down cone shape--small end down. It looks pretty and provides more room for filling. More is more with filling! Using a dinner knife or a pastry bag to fill each hole with peanut butter buttercream. Now you have two choices:  If you love rich, dark chocolate, using a dinner knife, smooth ganache thickly over the top of each cupcake. If you aren't fond of dark chocolate, do consider frosting the cupcakes, preferably using a pastry bag, with peanut butter buttercream and just drizzle the ganache on top of the frosting. Finish both versions of the cupcake by putting a half of a peanut butter cup in the middle of the top. A little edible gold leaf sprinkled on would look nice too. Alternatively, munch up peanut brittle or Butterfingers candy bars and sprinkle on the top. Delish!

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