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Black Velvet Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Ganache

October 28, 2012

I promised my next post would have nothing to do with pumpkin 🙂 I have actually been wanting cake for weeks now, preferably in some form of chocolate and I just generally like to smother everything in salted caramel.  The black velvet kinda snuck in there late Thursday night which is rather odd since it seems to have a rather halloween vibe to it and I don’t actually celebrate halloween. *Gasp* I know, how could I not celebrate a “holiday” that revolves around candy, polyester costumes and creepy “finger” foods!  To answer the inevitable questions that always follow;

1-no my kids don’t feel deprived
2-my husband and I both grew up not celebrating Halloween and we never felt deprived
3-spiders scare me.  that’s reason enough not to celebrate
4-I’m not exactly sure what we’re “celebrating”?  I mean Thanksgiving is in remembrance of the native americans helping the pilgrims, Christmas we’re celebrating the birth of Christ…halloween?  I’m pretty sure its just a marketing scheme subsidized by the national dental association.

But I digress.

I’m not sure how to properly describe these cupcakes.  The cake itself is velvety and insanely moist with a delicate flavor that you can’t quite pinpoint.  The ganache makes my heart flutter.  It’s rich, silky smooth and perfectly blends the chocolate with that deep, caramel-y goodness I love so much. To sum it up, it’s amazing but then again who would think otherwise when combining salted caramel with dark chocolate!

One Year Ago: Mini Spice Cakes with French Icing

Black Velvet Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Ganache
Yields 12 cupcakes
Ganache from Bon Appetit Magazine October 2012

Ingredients:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon natural cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon black gel food coloring
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1/4 cup brewed coffee
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tablespoon vinegar

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).  Line a cupcake pan with liners.

For the cupcakes: In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream the butter at least 3 minutes on medium speed of an electric mixer.  Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy and lightened in color.  Add egg, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.  Mix in food coloring.  Add flour in two parts alternating with the buttermilk, coffee and vanilla and beginning and ending with the flour.  Mix the baking soda and vinegar together (it will fizz up) and mix it in to the cupcake batter.

3. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup (or cupcake scoop) fill the cupcake liners about 1/2 full.  Bake in preheated oven for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. For the ganache: Place the chocolate and salt in a medium bowl.  In another small microwave safe bowl, warm heavy cream in the microwave for about a minute.  It should be hot to the touch.  In a medium saucepan, combine sugar & a 1/4 cup of water but don’t stir.  Place over medium-high heat & bring to a boil.  Cook until mixture turns an amber color, but not too dark that it looks like the sugar is burning but definitely amber.  This can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes just keep a close eye on it.

5. Remove from heat and add warm cream slowly.  Stir gently (and carefully!  it will bubble up as you’re doing this) until smooth & well combined.  Stir in vanilla and then pour the hot caramel over the chocolate.  Let is sit for 2-3 minutes and then stir gently until the mixture is smooth and completely combined.  Let sit at room temperature, stirring occasionally until the ganache is firm enough to be piped (anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour).  Frost the cupcakes and enjoy!

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. October 31, 2012 1:24 pm

    I love that bit about the dental association. Cracked me up. You’re not alone, the hubs and I don’t celebrate halloween either. I can’t see wasting money on a costume I’m never going to wear again. These cupcakes look and sound delicious. Love salted caramel.

  2. Susan Frank permalink
    November 3, 2012 7:52 pm

    Can’t wait to try these. Your not alone in your views of halloween.

  3. November 10, 2012 5:40 pm

    Oh my goodness! These look amazing!

  4. LeeAnn permalink
    February 13, 2013 10:37 am

    So glad I found this recipe, can’t wait to try it out!-and just wanted to say as well that our family doesn’t do Halloween either, and its VERY refreshing to hear there are others that share the same views.

  5. donna permalink
    August 1, 2014 3:41 pm

    -also, good recipe

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