Wednesday, December 06, 2006

CHOCOLATE ALMOND cupcakes with CHOCOLATE GANACHE AND ESPRESSO BUTTERCREAM



Hey everyone!
It's suddenly gotten quite cold here in NY and I was looking to make something that had a kind of warm feeling about it. I happened upon a Chocolate Almond recipe from the "Cake Doctor". The recipe calls for a glaze topping, but as I LOVE frosting, I needed to find a compatible flavor buttercream/whipped cream/etc... I decided upon an Espresso Buttercream recipe and they turned out to be the most delicious cupcakes I've made in a long time!
I hope you all enjoy these as much as I did!!! :-)


ALMOND FILLING:

1/2 cup almond paste (3.5 oz)
1 bag (2.25 oz) sliced almonds

1. Crumble the almond paste into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
2. Add almonds, toss the mixture together with your hands and set it aside.


CUPCAKES:

1 package plain devil's food cake mix
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure almond extract

1. Place a rack in the center of teh oven and preheat to 350 degrees (farenheit). Line cupcake pans with liners. Set aside.
2. Place cake mix, cocoa powder, buttermilk, oil, eggs and almond extract in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low until ingredients just come together, about 30 seconds.
3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and increase sped to medium for a few more minutes, until batter is smooth and thickened.
4. Remove 3/4 cup of the batter and stir this into the almond paste mixture and set aside.
5. Scoop 1/3 cup of the remaining batter into each lined cupcake cup., filling it three quarters of the way full. Dollop a heaping teaspoon of the almond paste mixture, centered, on the top of each cupcake. Place pans in oven.
6. bake until cupcakes until they spring back lightly when pressed, about 20-25 minutes. The almond filling will sink into the center of the cupcakes as they bake and may create an interestingly textured appearance on the tops. Remove and place on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan with dinner/butter knife and place on wire rack for 15 minutes to cool.


CHOCOLATE GANACHE

1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon corn syrup
4 ounces good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ( 1/8 stick) butter, cut into small pieces

1. In a saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil.
2. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and butter. Let stand for a couple of minutes. Whisk until smooth.
3. Dip cupcakes into ganache, twisting to coat evenly.


ESPRESSO BUTTERCREAM

1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
1/4 cup egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened just enough to get an imprint when pressed with a finger

1. Dissolve the espresso powder in a tablespoon of water, making a paste.
2. Place the egg whites and sugar in the metal bowl of an electric mixer. Set it over a pan of simmering water, whisking until the sugar has dissolved (so you don't feel any grains between your fingers). Be careful not to let the egg whites cook at this stage; constant beating is important.
3. Remove from the heat. Add the cream of tartar and, with an electric mixer using a whip attachment, beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.
4. Add the butter a tablespoon at a time on slow speed. It may look like undercooked scrambled eggs for a while, but just keep beating it on low until it comes together into a smooth buttercream, about 15 minutes.
5. Add the espresso paste. If you want a stronger espresso taste, make more paste and add.
6. Frost over the gaanache and enjoy!


Makes 18-20 cupcakes

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4 comment(s):

The cupcakes look delicious, I'm drolling. Just stumbled on your blog, you have a great collection of recipes.

By Blogger mandira, at December 18, 2006 10:12 AM  

Thanks! I'm glad you like it! :-)

By Blogger DAISYCAKES, at December 19, 2006 9:32 PM  

Hi. Those are great! What tip did you use on your frosting bag to make those great swirls?

By Blogger carrotcake, at April 30, 2007 5:36 PM  

Hi!
The tip is out of the Williams-Sonoma Mechanical Pastry Bag set, it hasn't got a number on it. But to describe it, it is basically a large star tip. I think the Wilton 108 would be ok!

By Blogger DAISYCAKES, at May 08, 2007 10:24 PM  

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