Category Archives: Ganache

Chocolate Cake/Cupcakes with Ganache Topping

What I’ve made for this post is nothing extraordinary — nothing, in fact, that I haven’t already made before. But after the disappointment of last time, stepping out of my comfort zone wasn’t really something I was prepared to do. Perhaps another day I’ll attempt a full-blown layer cake, but today is not that day.

I really wanted to make something for Valentine’s Day. This is the first Valentine’s Day I’ve been in possession of a boyfriend, and while I know it isn’t really that big of a deal, it was nice to finally feel smug after all those years of glaring at the girls in high school who carried balloons around with them all day and received dozens of chocolate roses from boyfriends and secret admirers. Finally, I’m one of them! IN. YO. FACE.

Of course, the day itself was pretty much just like any other day, except with more chocolate and cookies. And also these cupcakes I managed to whip together.

https://i0.wp.com/oi44.tinypic.com/2yy2mpk.jpg

(this isn’t the chocolate I used; I just like the picture)

For the cake itself, I used the same one I used for the Cupcake Cones I made a while back, but instead of using a spoon or a mixer, I used a whisk. Why? I don’t know. I just felt like it. This, however, served to make the cake very light and fluffy, due to the air molecules and blah blah blah science.

I forgot, however, to account for the fluffiness when I filled my cute, pink paper baking cups.

https://i0.wp.com/oi41.tinypic.com/2rmqq9e.jpg

Ahahaha. Oops.

All was well, though. I didn’t have a breakdown. I didn’t start crying. Instead I pulled the excess off and was left with mildly soggy baking cups and yummy chocolate cupcakes.

I’d wanted to make a coffee buttercream for these, but Rob was going to come over soon at this point, so instead I just topped it with the ganache I was going to use to fill it with. It looked kind of boring, though — just a thin layer of chocolate on top of more chocolate — so I took some Lindt truffles my mom got me and placed them on top as decoration.

https://i0.wp.com/oi41.tinypic.com/s6rmsm.jpg

There, much better!

Rob seemed to like them, although the baking cups were difficult to tear away from the cake. It kept seeming like we were gonna have to wind up eating the paper as well, but thankfully we did not.

I only had five baking cups, so I had lots of batter and ganache left over. I stuck them both in the fridge to worry about some other time, and after several days of meaning to, I finally got around to using them today. I didn’t want to make more cupcakes for fear the Volcano Cupcake Disaster would happen again.

So I took a deep breath and poured the remaining batter in a 9-inch cake pan.

And waited.

And worried.

And then…

https://i0.wp.com/oi40.tinypic.com/25s1um1.jpg

IT’S PERFECT. LOOK AT IT. A PERFECT CAKE.

I was so damn happy I didn’t fuck it up and blow up the oven in an explosion of cake batter that I immediately shoved the cake in the fridge after dumping it on a plate and began merrily melting the leftover ganache in the microwave. Again, I made no buttercream, becaaaaaause I’m lazy. And also I had enough ganache to cover the whole cake anyway, so what would the point be?

Well, I did just that, and decided that, again, the cake looked boring. I had no more truffles, but we had some mini-chocolate chips in the fridge, so I did a little decorating with those.

https://i0.wp.com/oi40.tinypic.com/344doh3.jpg

Overall, not too bad! It’s not a perfectly smooth coating, and there are still chunks of ganache that didn’t totally melt, but I don’t really care at this point. I only wish I could add a splash of color to this, but other than that it looks good enough to me.

And pretty tasty, too! You can’t go wrong with having EVERYTHING EVER BE CHOCOLATE.

Here are links to the cake and ganache recipes I used.

Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake
Joy of Baking’s Ganache

Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

To be honest, I’m getting a little tired of cupcakes at this point. It’s a lot of work, and most of the time my cupcakes come out looking like crap. Especially today! But I went ahead with it anyway, because hey, mint chocolate chip is the best ice cream flavor, and I needed to try it as a cupcake.

I actually didn’t use a recipe this time — I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t Italian Meringue or Swiss Meringue or French Meringue or *insert nationality here* Meringue, and I was not about to attempt to separate eggs again. So I just decided to substitute vanilla extract with mint extract, and sprinkle semi-sweet chips on top.

https://i0.wp.com/oi51.tinypic.com/t5rarm.jpg

Now, I know it’s ~OMG THE WORST SACRILEGE~ to use cake mixes, but you know, I don’t really know what I’m doing and the last time I made cupcakes entirely from scratch, the cake itself was crumbly and a little odd-tasting, and also I have a limited amount of time on my hands, and also I am very impatient, so for now I am using mixes for my cupcakes. I know, I know — HOW DARE I — but if you don’t like it… well, I don’t really care.

I used a Devil’s Food cake mix this time, but to be honest, I’m not really a fan of chocolate cake all by itself. I need frosting, or something moist inside it. So, since I had heavy cream leftover from last week’s Ganache Sandwich Cookies, obviously I had to put in a ganache filling. Because ganache is fucking delicious and I would put ganache on everything if I could. CHOCOLATE…. CHOCOLATE….

https://i0.wp.com/oi56.tinypic.com/9i9th2.jpg

So I made the cake mix cupcakes, blah blah blah. I always hate putting the batter in the tin. There’s always a huge mess whenever I do it. I don’t understand how there are people out there who manage to be so neat whenever they cook while I wind up with cupcake batter on the cabinets. Oh, well. The cupcakes came out pretty good, so I set them off to the side to cool while I made the ~~ganache~~.

https://i0.wp.com/oi54.tinypic.com/8wwetl.jpg

This is sort of where I went wrong. I probably should have melted the chocolate chips a little bit before I poured the heavy cream onto them, because it came out sort of clumpy. Still absolutely delicious, of course (seriously, I could eat ganache entirely by itself with little no shame), but when I tried to fill the cupcakes, there was a clump at the end of the decorating tip, and none of the ganache actually, um. Got out. Okay, some of it did, but I suspect that at least half of the cupcakes have no ganache in them whatsoever. But that’s okay.

It was time to make the frosting! My butter was nice and soft, my powdered sugar was nicely sifted… okay, not all of it was sifted because I got bored with squeezing the thingy (yeah, this is why I could never be an actual baker), but close enough. I put in 1/2 teaspoon of the mint extract, and it tasted good! A little like toothpaste, but hey, that’s mint for ya.

Only… there was barely enough frosting for four cupcakes. And there were air bubbles or something, I guess, and the frosting didn’t go on very smoothly. I had cleaned up everything about two times by this point, and really did not want to clean the bowl, make more frosting, clean it again, make more frosting again, etc, so I just went “fuck this shit”, and I’m going to frost the rest tomorrow because I am tired of cupcakes today.

https://i0.wp.com/oi51.tinypic.com/i6y3km.jpg

(this may look like a normal cupcake, but I shot it from the good side)

I cleaned up once again, and oh my God you guys, I hate cleaning up so much. It is so fucking annoying; I absolutely cannot stand it. And I do my best and I still get lectured by my parents about properly cleaning up after myself because there’s, like, one drop of something on the counter. If you had only seen the kitchen before I cleaned it.

https://i0.wp.com/oi56.tinypic.com/2qdpqv4.jpg

After that, I finally tasted one of the damn cupcakes. And it was — pretty good. Nothing amazing. But it wasn’t a total failure. The chocolate chips saved it from being kind of boring, though.

https://i0.wp.com/oi54.tinypic.com/331hesz.jpg

And if you know me at all, you know that I never, ever sing in public. Ever. My singing voice is absolutely horrible and I would never willingly subject it to human ears. But for some reason, whenever I’m baking, and I’ve got my iTunes shuffle blasting, I find myself singing along merrily. Probably to the bleeding ears of the people living upstairs.

https://i0.wp.com/oi54.tinypic.com/sfcimx.jpg

And, just for the hell of it, here’s the recipes for the ganache and frosting.

Chocolate Ganache

3/4 cup of heavy cream

2 slices of unsalted butter

8 oz of semi-sweet chopped chocolate or chocolate chips

Pour the heavy cream and two chunks of butter into a medium saucepan. Heat ’til just boiling, then pour into a medium-sized bowl of either chopped chocolate or slightly melted chocolate chips. Let sit for thirty seconds, then stir with a whisk until thick. At first it won’t look like anything is happening, but just keep stirring and it will. Chill for 45 minutes – 1 hour, and fill the cupcakes by either using a decorating bag or cutting a hole into the cupcake and plopping it in there.

Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting

(I used less sugar and butter than this, so don’t worry, you’ll be able to frost more than four)

4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon pure mint extract

3 drops green food coloring

semi-sweet chocolate chips

Slice the butter into a medium or large bowl, then pour the sifted sugar. Beat with an electric mixer set on low until well blended. Stir in the mint extract, then the food coloring. Pipe onto cupcakes. Sprinkle on as many chocolate chips as you like.

Ganache Sandwich Cookies

Last night, I simply could not get to sleep. I don’t know what it was, but I laid there in my bed for hours, eyes shut, body exhausted, and my brain would just not stop jabbering away about nothing in particular. It even sabotaged my attempts at slumber by inventing noises that weren’t actually happening so I would be jolted awake.

And I had to wake up at 7:30 in the morning.

I was positive that I would not be able to bake anything today, but after drinking some coffee and going to my job, I felt much more awake. I guess because I was lying down all night as opposed to running around and getting up to shenanigans?

Anyway, I walked home after work and started these awesome, delicious, ganache-filled cookies.

I’ve been wanting to try making ganache for a while now, and after the failure of last week’s Melting Moments, I decided to try those cookies again, but with ganache instead.

Instead of adding two eggs this time, though, I just added one. And it worked!

https://i0.wp.com/i55.tinypic.com/el1pog.jpg

The dough looked to be the right consistency, although once again I could not form it into balls, but it wasn’t nearly as liquid-y as it was last time. It also took them longer to bake this time, and they didn’t get an insane brown edge around them either.

https://i0.wp.com/i51.tinypic.com/2iuw0sj.jpg

They took ridiculously long to make, though. In the end I wound up with eleven cookies, and I think it took about an hour and a half to bake them all. …Okay, I suppose that isn’t so long, but I am so goddamn impatient and I just wanted to make the ganache filling already. I was very excited about it.

I was also extremely worried. If you’ve read this blog at all, you know how I tend to screw up even the simplest of tasks, so it seemed inevitable that my first attempt at ganache would be a Fail.

But it wasn’t.

https://i0.wp.com/i56.tinypic.com/2vmtv6t.jpg

I heated the heavy cream and butter, poured it on top of the chocolate chips (you’re supposed to chop up chocolate, but who has the time?), stirred with the whisk, and it was glorious.

I put the ganache in the fridge for 45 minutes, then piped it onto the cookies.

https://i0.wp.com/i54.tinypic.com/2ezr3o9.jpg

LOOK AT THEM. THEY ARE MARVELOUS. And they are so, so yummy. They’re like round, melty Milanoes. They all came out absolutely perfect —

https://i0.wp.com/i51.tinypic.com/wb8gft.jpg

…Oops.