Death by Chocolate Cupcakes
Chocolate cupcakes so sinful, they're deadly (in a figurative sense).
- 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
For Ganache Frosting:
- 1 pound good-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 1/3 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
(Makes 4 cups)
Directions for Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.
- Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three- quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
- To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting. Refrigerate up to 3 days in airtight containers.
Directions for Frosting:
- Place chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Bring cream and corn syrup just to a simmer over medium-high heat; pour mixture over chocolate. Let stand, without stirring, until chocolate begins to melt.
- Beginning near the center and working outward, stir melted chocolate into cream until mixture is combined and smooth (do not overstir).
- Refrigerate, stirring every 5 minutes, until frosting just barely begins to hold its shape and is slightly lighter in color. Use immediately (ganache will continue to thicken after you stop stirring).
For the frosting it can be tricky achieving the perfect consistency. If the frosting becomes too firm to spread, reheat in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until it begins to melt around the edges, then remove from heat and stir until smooth.