Friday, September 17, 2010

Kim's Cupcakes: Cinnamon Cupcakes with Ganache Centers

Guess what?

I made more mini-cupcakes.

Another friend had a birthday.

Don’t you want to be my friend?

This friend will be celebrating another wonderful year of life during the annual meeting for the youth sports organization I work with. Since that meeting is taking place in Dallas this weekend, and we’re both here for it, I decided I should make her some mini-cupcakes. There were two challenges here:

1. This friend doesn’t like chocolate cake, but does like chocolate.

2. Traditional frosting likely wouldn’t make it through airport security screening.

The solution to these challenges: Cinnamon mini-cupcakes with ganache centers. I added cinnamon to my basic cake recipe, which is based on too many sources to name here, and figured out how to incorporate a little chocolate surprise.


1/2 c cream

8 oz semi-sweet chocolate (Callebaut 54.5% cocoa), chopped

2 ¼ cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

¾ cup butter, softened

1 ¼ cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

1 ¼ cups milk

Before you even start on the cupcake part of this recipe, you need to make your ganache centers. Take out your cream and (high, high quality) chocolate.

Heat the cream to a simmer over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until mixture is smooth. Chill in the refrigerator, stirring every 10 minutes to keep smooth, until mixture is nearly solid. Once the ganache is solid, roll into 1/4-1/3 inch diameter balls and freeze.

While those go in the freezer, which is an important step that prevents the centers from bleeding into the cupcake, pre-heat the oven to 350° F and prepare the mini-cupcake pan with liners. Pull out the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.

Beat the butter until fluffy, then slowly add the sugar until fluffier, beat in the eggs one at a time until fluffiest. Fluff in the vanilla at the end. The result is a lot of fluff.

Now get the flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon out.

Since the cinnamon is featured here, I recommend going for something top-end, such as the Vietnamese cinnamon from Penzey’s. Mix that super-tasty cinnamon with the other dry ingredients, and pull out your buttermilk.

Add the dry ingredients in three additions and the buttermilk in two, alternating between the two, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.

Fill each of the prepared liners about 1/3 full of batter.

Take your ganache balls out of the freezer, and place one in the middle of each liner.

No need to press down, because the next step is to finish filling the liners with batter until they are about 2/3 full, being careful to completely cover the ganache center.

Put the pan in the oven for 14-16 minutes, and the result is an innocent looking cupcake with two surprises.

A cinnamon kick and a ganche center. Happy birthday, Kim!


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