The Perfect Cupcake
Last week’s Best Chocolate cake reminded me that I previously sought the Best Cupcake. And the Chocolate Ganache frosting for cake reminded me of this recipe. These are just wonderful.
I made them with my neices Stella and Juliette yesterday!
It turns out that the best cupcake recipe is also the easiest to make. And the richest chocolate frosting is even easier.
In this recipe, the cake is delicious as is the frosting.
Like so many of my other favorite recipes, this one comes from Cooks Illustrated. They explain its success…
…unsifted all-purpose flour, a combination of whole eggs and yolks, sugar, butter and sour cream (for a slightly tangy richness), all dumped into a mixer in no particular order. Why does this method (as opposed to the more classic creaming method or two-stage method) work? One possible answer is that egg yolks contain emulsifiers that hold the fat and liquid together even when mixed in such a haphazard fashion. A simple whipped ganache, made of just heavy cream and semisweet chocolate, proved the perfect topping.
CHOCOLATE GANACHE FROSTING
Makes about 2 cups,
enough to frost 12 cupcakes
Make the ganache before making the cupcakes. While it cools, prepare and bake the cupcakes; when the cupcakes are cooled, the ganache will be ready to be whipped and used. If you prefer, you may opt not to whip the ganache. The frosting will be more dense and slightly smaller in amount . Bittersweet, milk, or white chocolate can be substituted for the semisweet chocolate. If you own two standing mixer bowls, use one instead of the medium bowl mentioned in step 1; the ganache can then be made, chilled, and whipped in the same bowl. The second mixer bowl will be needed to make the cupcakes. This recipe can be doubled.
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (or white chocolate)
1. Bring cream to boil in small saucepan or in microwave. Place chocolate in medium bowl and pour boiling cream over. Cover with foil and let stand 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool and slightly firm, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
2. Transfer cooled chocolate mixture to bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment; whip mixture at medium speed until fluffy and mousse-like and forms medium-stiff peaks, about 2 minutes.
YELLOW CUPCAKES WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE FROSTING
Makes 12 cupcakes
These cupcakes are best eaten the day they are made, but unfrosted extras will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. To double the recipe, use 3 whole eggs and 2 yolks, and double the remaining ingredients.
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter,
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 recipe Chocolate Ganache Frosting
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin/cupcake tin with paper or foil liners.
2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain.
3. Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tin using 2-ounce ice cream scoop or heaping tablespoon. Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Use skewer or paring knife to lift cupcakes from tin and transfer to wire rack; cool cupcakes to room temperature, about 45 minutes.
4. Spread 2 to 3 generous tablespoons Chocolate Ganache Frosting on top of each cooled cupcake; serve