Thursday, 11 July 2013

'grown-up' chocolate cakes

I'm still in the process of going through my pantry and using up as much of the stuff I've got in the house as I can before I move. I had lots of chocolate around, the usual cakey ingredients as well as a bottle of whiskey I was never going to get around to drinking. Using my Dr Pepper cupcakes recipe as the starting point I came up with this rather grown up recipe. The whiskey flavour isn't particularly strong but it does add some complexity to the end product. You could replace the chocolate spread with the equivalent amount of melted chocolate or a dark jam such as cherry or blackcurrant, why not try out whatever you've got to hand.

100g unsalted butter
300ml whiskey
100g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
2 tbsp chocolate spread such as nutella
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g demerara sugar
12 dark chocolate lindor truffle balls or similar.
2 eggs

Ganache Topping
100g dark chocolate
100g butter
pinch of salt

Makes 12 cupcakes.
  1. Start by add the sugar to the whiskey then heating the mixture of a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, the alcohol has evaporated off and the mixture has reduced by about two thirds (around 200mls or so).
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C fan oven. Put the paper cases in the muffin tray and fill a large oven proof dish with water and place in the bottom of the oven. The steam that is produced will help the cakes to rise and be lovely and light.
  3. Put the butter and chocolate spread in the saucepan and allow it to melt in the residual heat. Stir through and add the vanilla extract.
  4. Sieve together the dry ingredients to get rid of any lumps, then beat in the whiskey mixture followed by the eggs until thoroughly combined. 
  5. Put a dollop of the mixture into each of the paper cases (about 1/4 cup if you have a measure). Place a chocolate ball in the centre of each case then put in the oven. Bake for around 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool completely before decorating with frosting or ganache.
Making the ganache
  1. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a heatproof bowl over gently simmering water. You can use it now as it is to give a thin covering to the cupcakes but I prefer to allow it to set in the fridge, returning to beat it every 10 minutes or so until it is a spreadable consistency. Once you've achieved this consistency you're ready to go.

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