Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chocolate Cupcakes: Coffee Kahlua Mousse filled, Choc Ganache frosted

I've been testing chocolate cupcake recipes for months now and found on Stef's Cupcake Project site what I might just call the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake.

It has everything I desire in a cupcake, and more:

  • A light, fluffy yet moist and extremely rich chocolatey cupcake
  • A luscious, silken chocolate ganache icing on top
  • And a surprise - a creamy chocolate mousse center that gives your tastebuds a huge coffee and Kahlua hit as you bite unsuspectingly into it.
Note: Chilling the cupcakes lets the mousse firm up to the proper consistency, but I couldn't wait!

Each of the three batches I've made have turned out consistently amazing and have drawn rave reviews from my panel of testers. :)

The recipe for the chocolate cupcake and chocolate ganache is adapted from Stef's 'Better than Sex Cupcakes: Chocolate Times Five'. The mousse recipe is my own.

  • All ingredients at room temperature
  • Use a very light hand when mixing the cupcake batter. 
  • Do NOT overmix

Chocolate Cupcakes 
(makes 16 regular cupcakes)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat butter with sugar till light and fluffy, and a pale yellow color (3 minutes).
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating until well combined. Beat in the vanilla essence. (1 minute)
  4. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder in a small bowl. Then sieve the dry ingredients into another bowl to help aerate it.
  5. Add three heaping tablespoons of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, sprinkling it evenly over the top of the butter mixture. Use a spatula to gently fold the flour into the butter. Mix until just combined.
  6. Add about four tablespoons of milk to the batter mix. Use a spatula to gently fold the milk into the batter. Mix until just combined. 
  7. Alternate between dry and wet ingredients, making sure to finish with the dry ingredients.
  8. Scoop batter into cupcake liners about 1/2 full (don't overfill).
  9. Bake for 22 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
  10. Leave to cool while making the mousse. 

Moist and airy - a fine crumb despite using organic all-purpose flour

Chocolate Coffee Kahlua Mousse
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons instant coffee
1/2 teaspoon gelatin
2 tablespoons warm water
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons Kahlua
  1. Place the 2 tablespoons of whipping cream, chocolate chips and coffee in a small bowl held over heated water in a pot. Stir until the chocolate chips have just melted, then remove from heat.
  2. In a small cup, dissolve the gelatin in the water and set aside.
  3. Whip the 1/2 cup of whipping cream until firm peaks form. 
  4. Using a whisk, incorporate the (still liquid-y) gelatin mixture into the melted chocolate. Whisk well.
  5. Gently fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream. 
  6. Chill in fridge while making the ganache.

Chocolate Ganache
3 oz bittersweet chocolate pieces
1/3 cup heavy cream
  1. Melt chocolate in a small bowl held over heated water in a pot. 
  2. When chocolate is melted, add cream and stir until combined and smooth.
  3. Cool slightly till slightly thicker in consistency before use.

Assembling the Cupcakes
  1. Using a cupcake corer ($5 on Amazon), extract the center of the cupcake. You can also use a knife but this will be more time-consuming. 
  2. Spoon the mousse into the cored cupcakes, filling all the way to the top. I like to pipe the mousse filling instead. 
  3. Pour the ganache over the cupcake, coating the top evenly.
  4. Serve chilled or at room temperature. 

I would love to know if your cuppies turned out or if you have a favorite chocolate cupcake recipe to share. Please do leave a comment!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hearty Five Grain Dinner Rolls

I make these dinner rolls for every family dinner and they go really fast. I usually plan for two rolls per person, but some people take up to five (don't ask me how they manage that many!). I use organic ingredients but regular will do too. I prefer high-gluten flour as it carries the (heavier) added seeds and grains better but all-purpose flour is fine also. This is my fail safe, go to recipe. It takes less than 10 minutes actual prep time (to knead and shape), plus another hour to let the dough rise. Try it!

(makes eight medium sized rolls)
1/2 cup warm milk
1 egg, room temperature
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tablespoon chia seed*
1/2 tablespoon flax seed powder*
1 tablespoon quinoa*
1 teaspoon sesame seed*
1 tablespoon oats*
1 packet yeast or 1 teaspoon instant yeast
*optional and can be substituted with any other seeds/grains that you like, amounting to 1/4 cup total. For plain dinner rolls, just use 2 cups flour total.

  1. Mix all the ingredients in mixing bowl and knead for 5 minutes.
  2. Cover with cling wrap or damp cloth, and let rise till double in a warm place (about 75 deg F). This should be at least 30 minutes.
  3. Punch down the dough, divide into 8 equal size dough balls, and shape into rolls. Place on greased baking sheet, spaced 1/2 inch apart and let rise till double. This should be another 30 minutes.
  4. Bake at 400 deg F for 12 minutes.