Choc-Mint Cupcakes

4 Nov

Tomorrow it’s going to be 30 degrees celsius (which, incidentally, is just about as hot as I can handle it before I start dying of heat exhaustion. I really shouldn’t be an Australian) and to celebrate the real start of summer, my friend Lauren is having a barbeque. Cupcakes aren’t exactly typical barbeque food, but…well, screw it. Any excuse to bake and I’m there!

I decided to go with a combination I haven’t tried in cupcake form before – Mint Chocolate. It’s been given the thumbs up from my husband (who has already devoured several of the finished cupcakes this evening), and I must say that I’m pretty pleased with the outcome – the cupcakes are lovely and fluffy, the ganache filling is gloriously gooey and the frosting has just the right amount of minty-ness. It’s pretty much like a Mint Slice/Aero/After Eight/Any other choc-mint flavoured treat you can think of in cupcake form. What are you waiting for?

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

3 cups plain flour

2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons instant coffee granules

1 cup hot water

1 cup cocoa

1 cup cold water

200g softened butter

2 ½ cups castor sugar

4 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees celsius (that’s 340 degrees fahrenheit or Gas Mark 3 -4 for all you international folk!). Line two 12-hole cupcake/muffin trays with 24 cupcake papers.

Sift flour, bicarb soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside. Then place coffee granules, hot water and cocoa into a separate bowl and whisk until well combined. Once the mixture has become a smooth paste, add in the cold water and mix until well combined.

Using the bowl from your electric stand mixer (or using a separate bowl if using a hand held mixture), cream the butter for at LEAST 2 minutes on medium-high speed. Once the butter has become creamy and light in colour, begin to add the castor sugar 1/3 at a time, beating for 2-3 minutes between each addition. After adding the final third of sugar, beat the mixture until it is light and fluffy and most of the sugar has dissolved. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition to combine. Then add the vanilla extract and mix well.

Add a quarter of the sifted flour into the creamed butter mixture and beat on the lowest speed setting to combine. Add a third of the cocoa mixture and beat in. Continue this process, alternating between the flour and cocoa mixtures, making sure that the flour is the final addition. Beat the mixture on low until thoroughly combined, while being careful not to overbeat – it’ll make the finished cupcakes tough and heavy!

Spoon the mixture into the cupcake papers, filling the papers 2/3 full (this mixture rises quite a lot!). Bake for 20 minutes (though I’d recommend checking on them after 15 if your oven runs hot like mine does!). Cupcakes are done when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

CHOC-MINT GANACHE FILLING

3/4 cup heavy cream

200g dark cooking chocolate, chopped

50g butter, cubed

2 tablespoons peppermint essence

Place butter and chocolate into a bowl and set aside.

Pour cream into a heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to the boil, allowing it to boil for 30 seconds before removing from heat.

Pour hot cream over the chocolate and butter and leave to sit for 1 minute. Slowly stir the ganache until the chocolate and butter are fully melted and the cream is well combined. Once ganache is smooth and silky, add peppermint essence and stir gently to combine.

MINTY BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

200g salted butter, softened (yes, salted– it helps stop the frosting from becoming too sickly sweet)

8 cups icing sugar, sifted

1/2 cup milk

1 ½ tablespoons peppermint essence

2 -3 drops green food colouring

Cream the butter using an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes until light in colour. Add the milk, peppermint essence and half of the sifted icing sugar and beat for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the rest of the icing sugar and beat for another 3 minutes until light and fluffy and spreadable in consistency.

Add the food colouring a drop at a time and beat well until your desired shade of green is reached.

Allow cupcakes to cool to room temperature before taking a small paring knife and cutting a cone shape out of the centre of each cupcake. Fill the hole in the cupcake with the choc-mint ganache and cut off the end of the cone so that you’re left with a flat lid shape. Place the lid back on the cupcake to cover the ganache, and repeat this process until each cupcake has been filled.

Frost the filled cupcakes with the Minty Buttercream (I used a large open star piping tip) and sprinkle with grated dark chocolate.

Makes 24 large cupcakes.

Enjoy! (:

Inspiration came from the wonderful Annie’s Eats, and the cupcake and modified frosting recipe is from The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook.

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8 Responses to “Choc-Mint Cupcakes”

  1. keepcalmandbake November 6, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    they look super yummy! i’ll be sure to try them out soon!

  2. Lychee Bunny (@darlingsparks) November 9, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    I’m definitely making these today! I just wanted to ask, do the coffee granules make a difference to the taste?

    • Jess - cloudberrydreams November 9, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

      Oh yay! ❤

      I honestly didn't notice any coffee taste at all – I did a kind of double take when I first saw coffee on the ingredient list, but then I had a vague memory of my high school Food Tech teacher saying that putting coffee into chocolate cake can help to deepen the chocolate flavour…so I went with it! Honestly, the cupcakes themselves are quite fluffy and have a relatively light chocolate flavour (the really intense chocolate hit comes from the ganache), and no one mentioned tasting coffee when they ate them, so don't worry about suddenly ending up with mocha flavoured cupcakes. Let me know how you go with them! (:

      • Lychee Bunny (@darlingsparks) November 12, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

        This is the best cupcake recipe ever! Omnom, the batter was really lovely and when they came out they were shaped perfectly. :My cupcakes have never come out looking so nice. And the ganache recipe is perfect!

        Definitely right about the coffee, I didn’t realise but it does a perfect job. I can’t gush enough. Thank you very much for this recipe. The only problem I have is that the recipe made about 30 cupcakes, but that’s not much of one at all, haha!

      • Jess - cloudberrydreams November 14, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

        Yay, yay, YAY! I’m so glad that they turned out so well for you! As for the amount of cupcakes you turned out with – WOW! I have to say though, I used pretty big cupcake papers for this recipe, so 30 regular sized cupcakes sounds about right. I’ll add that to the post! 🙂

  3. nicole March 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    Hi I was just wondering what the temp should be with a fan force oven and the cooking time.thanks nicole

    • Jess - cloudberrydreams April 4, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

      Hi there!

      I’m so sorry about the late reply, I didn’t get an email notification about your comment! For fan forced ovens you need to decrease the temperature by 20 degrees celsius and reduce the cooking time by 10 minutes.

      Hope that helps! x

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