Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Frosting (nut-free)

June 27, 2012 in Categories: , by

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This cupcake is light, spongy, not-too-sweet, and richly chocolaty.  You could serve these at a birthday party and no one would suspect that they were eating something so healthy!  The chocolate ganache frosting is sturdy enough to pipe, just slightly sweeter than the cake itself, and makes this an irresistible treat (well, maybe if you have iron willpower, but I couldn’t resist eating one!). This recipe makes 12 generously-frosted cupcakes. Store in an airtight container at room temperature (if you are going to have these around for more than two days, it might be better to keep them in the fridge).

The inspiration for these cupcakes came from one I let my daughters eat for a special treat from a local gluten-free bakery.  My original goal was to recreate the rich, fudgey, extra moist cupcake filled with chocolate ganache that my girls so enjoyed.  I failed to recreate that cupcake with this recipe (don’t worry, I’ll keep working on it!) but I think this recipe is even better!  This is a very versatile cupcake, perfect for birthday parties, barbecues or potlucks.  I suspect that this recipe will even work as a layer cake, which I intend to try for my husband’s upcoming birthday.  I haven’t tried this, but I think that if you divide the batter among three 9” pans that are prepared by greasing, then lining with wax paper, then greasing and flouring (with arrowroot powder or sifted coconut flour) and bake for about 25-30 minutes.  When I do try it, I will update this recipe to let you know how it works (and if anyone tries in the meantime, please leave a comment!). 

I use semi-sweet chocolate in this recipe as the sole source of sweetness.  I did this in part because it is fairly easy to find good quality, soy-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, nut-free organic semi-sweet chocolate sweetened with evaporated cane juice (a.k.a. sucanat), and also in part because the using solid chocolate is the key to this cupcakes great texture.  You could also use chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life brand) or your favorite chocolate bar (I like Equal Exchange).  If you don’t need such clean chocolate, by all means use regular Baking Chocolate.  8oz of baking chocolate is approximately equivalent to 2/3 cup chocolate chips.  For the ganache, 1 can of a good quality full-fat Coconut Milk should give you the 2/3 cups of the creamy top layer that you need.  However, I suggest having a second can handy just in case.

Ingredients (frosting):

1.    Melt chocolate on medium power in the microwave or over low heat in a saucepan oon the stove.
2.    Allow coconut milk to sit still at least overnight at room temperature (if your coconut milk does not separate at room temperature, keep it in the fridge instead).  Carefully open can (or jar) and scoop the creamy top layer.  Measure 2/3 cups (reserve the remainder of the coconut milk for some other use). 
3.    Combine melted chocolate and coconut cream (it’s okay if the cream is at room temperature or cold from the fridge).  Blend in a Blender until completely smooth.  Let cool to room temperature before frosting cupcakes (if it isn’t completely smooth when you go to frost with it, whip it quickly in a Standing Mixer or blend again in your blender).

Ingredients (cupcakes):

1.    Line a muffin pan with paper or Silicone Muffin Cup liners.  Preheat oven to 350F.
2.    Melt chocolate and coconut oil together on low power in the microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat on the stove.  Let cool several minutes.
3.    Place eggs, vanilla, and salt in a Blender.  Blend briefly to beat the eggs.  Add a small amount of the chocolate mixture and pulse again to temper the eggs.  Then add the rest of the chocolate mixture and beat together for 30 seconds.
4.    Add the cocoa powder, coconut flour and baking soda.  Blend to combine (maybe another 30 seconds).  (You could also mix the batter in a Standing Mixer, in which case, just sift the coconut flour and cocoa first.)   Let the batter sit for 2-3 minutes to thicken.
5.    Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan (cups will be filled about ¾ full).  Bake for 17-18 minutes.
6.    Carefully remove from muffin pan promptly upon removing from the oven (use a knife to gently pry them out as opposed to dumping them all out).  Let cool to room temperature before frosting (pipe the frosting or just spread with a knife!).  Enjoy!

Comments

Yum!! I just made these today for my birthday. They are super delish! I altered the recipe and used Bittersweet Chocolate instead…which was perfect b/c I never eat sugar…not sure that would work for kiddos but they tasted like a rich and decadent treat to me. I also never consume caffeine and since one can’t make this ganache without a bit of bowl licking…I’ve been hopped up all day. The only thing I might change is bake them 16 minutes instead of 17.

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