Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache
I warn you, do not eat these cupcakes without a tall glass of milk nearby. They are crazy rich.
I made these peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes for my aunt. She is going to a ladies-only sleepover party down in Cupertino. While I have not been to one these parties, the way my aunt describes the backyard with the lit up plant life, the fire pit, and the red wine-induced revelry through the wee hours... I knew that whatever she brought had to be rich and completely decadent.
I also had to use the same chocolate recipe, this time without cherries, because I am just loving it. It is officially my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe - at least for now.
24 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven
5.4 ounces dark chocolate or 3/4 of a 200 gram bar of Valrhona 61% cocao
22 tablespoons butter
1-3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
4-1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder, unsweetened
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1. Melt chocolate and butter over a water bath.
2. Add sugar and stir, let mixture cool for 10 minutes.
3. Beat in an electric mixer for 3 minutes.
4. Add one egg at a time, mixing for 30 seconds between each
5. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and a pinch of salt into the mixture and mix until blended.
6. Scoop into cupcake cups and bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Peanut Butter Filling
4 ounces or 1/2 package of Philly cream cheese
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
1. Beat cream cheese and peanut butter until combined.
2. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until combined.
3. Add the milk and beat until combined.
Note: This makes a pretty stiff mixture, like the center of a peanut butter cup. If you want something pipe-able, you could add more milk. I wanted to retain the strong peanut butter flavor, so I kept the milk to a minimum.
Update: I think that the filling was too thick. As I was eating a cupcake (I managed to resist them until late last night) the peanut butter filling fell out onto the plate. It wasn't too terribly hard to stick back on the cupcake, but if I were to do these again, I would add more milk to the filling.
peanut butter filling
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
5 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1. Chop chocolates and transfer into a heat proof bowl.
2. Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, pour cream over the chocolate.
3. Let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.
4. Add butter and vanilla and stir until combined.
5. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixture and let cool for 10 minutes.
6. Sift powdered sugar into the mixture and beat until combined.
7. Continue to beat with an electric mixer until lighter in color and creamy.
1. Using a small pairing knife, cut off the top of the cupcake in the shape of a cone. Flip the top over and cut off the cone.
2. Fill the cavity with a teaspoon or so of peanut butter filling.
3. Replace top.
4. Frost with ganache.
5. Decorate as you wish. I topped the cupcakes with fondant and peanut butter flowers.
Fondant and Peanut Butter Flowers
There are very few things I use in my recipes that are pre-prepared. There is often an abundance of chemicals, copious quantities of solid vegetable shortening, and lots of other things in these time-saving products that I would rather not consume. I make one exception, however, and that is for fondant.
Fondant in my opinion is gross. The smell of it alone turns me off. This is one of the main reasons I don't do cakes and why I especially don't do wedding cakes, as it is very difficult to get the look of a wedding cake without making extensive use of fondant. (You could use robes of white chocolate, but all my attempts at that tricky task have failed... ) So, the rare times I actually use fondant, it is only for small decorative additions. I must admit, sometimes small decorative additions are *nice*.
I purchase some pre-made white fondant at Sugar N' Spice in Daly City ages ago. Lucky for me, it will last in it's plastic container for a year. Yes, you should be suspicious of anything with that kind of shelf life. I grabbed a handful out of the container, shaped it into a disk and got to rolling.
Cornstarch is a must for rolling out fondant. Powdered sugar doesn't cut it, it will still stick.
I like simple shapes. I got these cutters in Japantown a long while back.
The fondant is soft compared to gumpaste. So, you should be careful when cutting the shapes. Its best if you can bring the piece out with the cutter then let it drop out onto your hand. Avoid touching the top of it until the pieces have dried some.
I topped each cupcake with a dried fondant shape. I rolled a little peanut butter filling into a ball to top each shape. The result, a cute flower, that you should recommed your guests promptly remove and set aside before eating the cupcake ;)