Not to be dramatic, but the search is over. These are quite possibly the most perfect cupcakes ever. Leave it to Cook's Illustrated to take something as simple as a chocolate cupcake and turn it into a mind-blowing dessert. A chocoholic's dream, these cupcakes hit you with chocolate from 3 sides: a moist, rich cake, smooth ganache filling, and a silky and buttery frosting. Seriously, these aren't for the faint of heart. But for someone like me, who could easily subsist off of chocolate, they are perfect.
Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes
Cook's Illustrated, May/June 2010
makes 12-15 cupcakes
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tablespoon confectioners' sugar
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
- 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
- 3/4 cup hot, strong-brewed coffee
- 3/4 cup (4 1/8 ounces) bread flour
- 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- pinch table salt
- 12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into Tablespoon pieces
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to 85-100 degrees
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cupcakes, Preheat the oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
Place chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl, and pour hot coffee over the mixture. Whisk until smooth, and transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, 20-30 minutes.
Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl; set aside.
Whisk oil, eggs, vanilla, and vinegar into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until batter is smooth.
Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups, filling each 3/4 full. Place one slightly rounded teaspoon of the ganache filling on top of each cupcake.
Bake until cupcakes are set and firm to the touch, 17-19 minutes. Allow to cool in pans 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting, combine the sugar, egg whites, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set over a small saucepan of simmering water, and whisking constantly, cook until the mixture is slightly thickened, foamy, and registers 150 degrees on an instant read thermometer, 2-4 minutes.
Fit bowl to stand mixer, and with the whisk attachment, beat at medium speed, until mixture is the consistency of shaving cream and slightly cooled, 1-3 minutes. Add butter 1 piece at a time, until smooth and creamy. The frosting may look curdled halfway through, but it will smooth out eventually.
Once all the butter as been added, pour in the cooled chocolate and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Increase speed to medium-high and until light and fluffy, another 30 seconds to a minute.
Frost cupcakes as desired.