Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chocolate espresso cupcakes w/ peanut butter filling & chocolate ganache topping

I love peanut butter and chocolate together.  There is something about the creaminess of a peanut butter filling paired with the moist chocolate cake that makes me happy.  Now add a chocolate ganache to that and you have a winner in my book!  I made some of these with the peanut butter filling on on the inside and some with it on top.  You really can't lose either way!

The cake

2 cups of sugar
1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup of cocoa
1 tablespoon of espresso powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
2 eggs
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract 
1 cup of boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  
Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.  Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes.  
Stir in boiling water.  Batter will be thin.
Pour into cupcake liners. Fill about 2/3rds of the way.
Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes then remove cupcakes from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

For the filling 
1 1/4 cups of peanut butter
1/2 cup of butter, softened
1 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons of heavy cream or as much as needed

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the peanut butter and butter until completely mixed. It will be creamy.  Gradually add the confectioners sugar while beating on slow speed. After confectioners sugar is incorporated start adding the heavy cream until desired consistency is achieved. 

Ganache Topping
2 cups of chocolate chips
1/2 cup of shortening
6 tablespoons of corn syrup
4 1/2 tablespoons of water

Combine the chocolate chips, shortening, corn syrup and water in the top of a double broiler. Heat, stirring frequently until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat and let cool and thicken slightly before topping cupcakes.

With a paring knife, cut out the center of the cupcakes and set the removed piece aside.  Put the peanut butter filling in a piping bag or a ziplock with the corner snipped off.  Pipe the filling into the cupcake until just about full and replace the removed piece of cake.  Dip the filled cupcake in the ganache. If it is too difficult to dip, use a wooden spoon to scoop the ganache on top of the cupcake and spread until covered and smooth.

Top with sprinkles if desired.

Alternate way.
Pipe peanut butter filling on top of cupcake and spoon ganache on top of peanut butter.

Makes approximately  24-30 cupcakes

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