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Saturday, February 25, 2006

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.

Chocolate Cupcakes
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
6 eggs
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.

chopping chocolate

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

Chocolate Ganache

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 ;)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooooh, these look so good! I have to try that chocolate cupcake recipe!

An aside... have you tried marshmallow fondant? It's so simple and inexpensive to make, it handles and rolls easily and tastes really good. I use it almost exclusively on my wedding cakes.

2/25/2006 4:28 PM  
Blogger chockylit said...

Actually, no. Any fondant recipe I have tried or any fondant I purchased, I didn't like.

I googled "marshmallow fondant" and found a recipe, but am still skeptical as it uses Crisco. I should give it a try anyway, I guess. Do you know of any recipes that don't use Crisco?

2/25/2006 7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have completely inspired me, Chockylit! I stumbled across your blog a couple of weeks ago and have thought of nothing but cupcakes since. Your aesthetic, your flavors, all the details are so wonderul and creative. I've always loved cupcakes but have never baked them. I've never even made a cake from scratch. Oh, what you've done to me! I'm already a regular at the local baking supply shop.

I just threw a party and served your fabulous citris curd filled cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Yum...Everyone LOVED them! Today for fun, I tried my hand at the ricotta raspberry almond cupcakes. Wow, they too are amazing! I'm a rookie when it comes to meringue though. I think I followed the instructions, and it tastes terrific, but I was not able to get it to set up or form any kind of peaks. Is there a trick? ....I'm limping along with an electric hand mixer, do you think that's my problem?

Well there's nothing quite like chocolate and peanut butter....can't wait to try your latest!
Thanks for the inspiration!

2/25/2006 7:58 PM  
Blogger chockylit said...

Hey, sawsee. I too once had only a hand mixer and it can be tough, but real pastry chefs can get stiff peaks with a hand whisk. My arms want to melt before I get close, but I do find even with my electric mixer that I have to put it on the highest speed available in order to get the stiff peaks. I haven't used a hand mixer in a while... so I don't have any tips. The pros recommend a very cold bowl and a copper bowl if you have it and a little cream of tarter can help.

I am so glad you like the recipes you have tried so far!

2/25/2006 8:04 PM  
Blogger Ruby Khan said...

Is that a tattoo? I think I have a blog crush on Chockylit.

2/25/2006 8:42 PM  
Blogger a girl like me said...

Ooohh, I must try these they look awesome :)

I've always use a bowl that has been swiped with the open cut part of a lemon when making meringue. That apparently helps with getting it 'peaking'???

2/26/2006 4:30 AM  
Blogger purplecupcake said...

These look and sound great! It seems like an easy recipe..I must try it out one day...I will, I promise.
I absolutely love your blog and I must say, if I haven't already, you're truly my cupcake inspiration!

2/26/2006 6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a recipe on wrenscottage.com under "Karen' Kitchen" for Marshmellow Fondant that is simply marshmellows, powdered sugar and water. I have never used it to vouch for it but may try it this weekend....take a look! You are an inspiration to us all!

2/26/2006 7:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you! These are amazing. The photographs are stunning; coupled with your baking skills and lovely writing -- it's a perfect package. Love the blog as a whole :)

2/26/2006 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are an inspiration and I love the exchange of information on your blog. I've been researching fondant and the tip of marshmellow fondant is a lifesaver!

Reading your blog is like taking pastry classes.

I look forward to your recipes!

2/26/2006 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

chockylit, how come you are so cute and bake such tempting things? respond! respond!

2/26/2006 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome! I will try that recipe for my Osaka mission team and I'll be going to Osaka in three weeks! Your blog is spectacular and please stop by and say hello! Also, I want those cherry flower shapes... is there a way that I can send you money to get them and mail them to me? They are hard to find here in Hawaii..... Thanks!

2/26/2006 1:48 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Wahine said...


I used your pictures in my food blog so please visit! Thanks!


2/26/2006 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mouthwatteringly cute.

And I love your pictures, they remind me of my favorite cookbooks that show a step-by-step guide down the side of the page.

2/26/2006 3:24 PM  
Blogger Valentina said...

These are divine. I have never made fondant.You never cease to amaze me.Congratulations on another beautiful piece of work.

2/26/2006 3:31 PM  
Blogger sawsee said...

Well chockylit, I broke down and bought my first stand mixer today. WOW....should have done that a long time ago! I tried my hand at the citris meringue again for the ricotta raspberry almond cupcakes. The second time was the charm. The cupcakes look beautiful and the combination of flavors is delicious. ( I did the burnt butter almonds too and love the crunch and surprise they add)

a girl like me, thank you for the lemon hint. I don't know if it was the right equipment, the lemon or both...but my peaks were glossy and pretty!

2/26/2006 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to try marshmallow fondant, here's a link to a recipe on the wilton site. http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=7&threadid=77236&FTVAR_MSGDBTABLE=
I think the crisco mentioned is only to help handle it, but you might experiment with other fats.
Let us know if you try it. Love the site!

2/26/2006 4:54 PM  
Blogger Margaret said...

Fo shizzle, Chockylit! Youse got youself some crazyass fans!

2/26/2006 6:12 PM  
Blogger Altaf said...

AMAZING!.....i have one question only: Did you use a one brand chocolate for the bittersweet & semisweet ganache recipe?

2/27/2006 12:40 AM  
Blogger Sara - Piperita said...

So, do I get it right? Your blog is COMPLETELY about cupcakes??? That is GREAT!!! I adore cupcakes! And your lokks yummy and really beautifull!

2/27/2006 1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too, was reading your post and thought of marshmallow fondant. I used it for the first time a few weeks ago - no shortening involved - and it was great. Very simple indeed. Here is the recipe! Thanks for your fabulous website. You are truly an inspiration!

16 oz bag regular or miniature marshmallows
2 lb bag confectioner's sugar 3 Tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla
***Shortening only to grease your bowl

Grease your bowl.
Melt marshmallows, water and vanilla in microwave (or stovetop if you wish).
Add 1/2 of the powdered sugar and melted marshmallow mixture and mix well in Kitchenaid using paddle attachment.
Change to dough hook attachment and add the rest of the powdered sugar until mixed well.
Take dough out and knead well until smooth.
Wrap fondant in plastic wrap and let cool before rolling out.

2/27/2006 2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tips for beating egg whites to peaks more easily:

- wipe the bowl with lemon juice squeezed on to a tissue. Just a quick wipe ... no residue, just enough to line it with acid.

- use week old eggs... the whites have alredy started to break down.

2/27/2006 3:22 PM  
Blogger chockylit said...

Thank you for the feedback. I am glad that my fondant rant prompted some dicussion. I am definitely going to try the alternatives mentioned.

Latifa, You asked, 'Did you use a one brand chocolate for the bittersweet & semisweet ganache recipe?' That ganache recipe is something I made up, purely based on necessity. I didn't want to go to the store for more butter or chocolate. So, I used what I had and the results were great. I had Ghirardelli bittersweet and semisweet and used that. Not my favorite chocolate, but its what I had in the cupboard. I don't think it matters though what brand they are.

2/28/2006 9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought this was a funny coincidence: After reading your blog, I was inspired to make some filled cupcakes for a party a couple of weeks ago, and I just happened to try making chocolate cupcakes with creamy peanut butter filling! I used The New Basics Cookbook's recipe for peanut butter pie for the filling, and it turned out great. It was easy to make, and the filling was nice and soft and gooey without being runny, either. I'll have to double check the recipe, but it's similar to what you've done here using cream cheese and peanut butter. However, instead of using confectioner's sugar, it uses regular sugar and doesn't add any milk. Since regular granulated sugar doesn't have any corn starch, it doesn't thicken the stuff as much as what you experienced, I think. It was something like 2 parts PB: 2 parts cream cheese: 1 part sugar. I'll doublecheck.

I LOVE your blog!!!

-- Laura in Seattle

2/28/2006 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wondering, a lot of you cupcakes look brownie based (by the ingredients and the look of the pictures) like this one. Do you prefer that kind of texture on a cupcake? Also what do you think about using part butter and part shortening in a buttercream recipe I know that butter tastes better, but doesnt shortening look better (like for a vanilla it is more white) and hold up better in warm conditions? Just wondering what your thoughts were

3/01/2006 11:39 AM  
Blogger chockylit said...

Actually, it's just that the past few chocolate recipes I have made were using the same recipe base, because I have a crush on it. They have a brownie like texture, that's true. I will get off the kick at some point, but I have been getting a lot of positive response from this recipe and wanted to spread the love to everyone who normally enjoys my cupcakes.

As for shortening... I refuse to use it. Plain and simple. It's a personal choice, but the sickly film it creates in my mouth is simply unbearable. (I exaggerate slightly.) I don't much care about how long the cupcakes will last, as they generally don't last long. I don't care much about the frosting looking white, in fact I am all about things looking natural.

I don't judge, it's just my personal preference and philosophy. Thanks for asking!

3/01/2006 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank so much for your quick response! I really appreciate you advice...look forward to continuing to reading your blog

3/01/2006 12:29 PM  
Blogger Chubby Hubby said...

These are making my mouth water. If only you lived nearby! Beautiful as ever.

3/02/2006 3:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do need to register here at some point... *sigh* I mentioned the marshmallow fondant (MMF) in the first post. The recipe I used is like the one the other anonymous posted... I grease my hands when handling it, but other than that it's water, powdered sugar and marshmallows. I was skeptical at first because it seems so... well, lowbrow. But the finished result is sooo easy to work with, and it tastes yummy... my kids eat my scraps! And, a bonus... I don't see people peeling it off my cakes to get to the buttercream below!


3/02/2006 5:24 AM  
Blogger C. said...

these really are the most divine cupcakes. I bought my first ever block of varlhona yesterday and decided to use this recipe as a tester...yum! I dunno if it was the varlhona or the recipe, but i COulDN't stop stealing licks off the batter spoon! *grin* Thanks for the best chocolate cupcake recipe ever.
Hope you dun mind, i've linked cupcake bakeshop to my blog. Your cupcakes are an inspiration to foodies everwhere!
A question though. Could I just use varlhona 64% for the ganache instead of semi AND bittersweet chocolate? And what is the difference between the both?

3/02/2006 7:05 PM  
Blogger chockylit said...

Awesome, I am glad you liked it. As far as the ganache recipe goes, I change my percentages all the time. It's really about what I have on hand most of the time. It does alter the flavor. I go into it a little bit in the first paragraph of this post (different recipe though). This particular recipe I completely made up based on what I had on hand and it tasted great...

3/02/2006 7:13 PM  
Blogger Lexi said...

Chockylit, I tried your ganache recipe and I just coulfdn't get it to get any thick or fluffy, it was more like a chocolate sauce... what did I do wrong??? I've never made a ganache before so I followed your recipe to the point, but maybe I misunderstood something? Is there something I most be perticularily careful with??

3/04/2006 7:37 AM  
Blogger chockylit said...

Lexi that's odd. I've made gananch many times and it always ends up thick. One thing for sure is that it thickens as it cools. Did you not see that? Try refrigerating it for an hour or two, then letting it come back to room temperature before beating.

I wonder if anyone else has had this problem?

3/04/2006 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I need to make some killer chocolate cupcakes to impress a client. Do you recommend this recipe or another as the best "chocolate" recipe for a cupcake?

Thanks in advance.

3/04/2006 11:05 AM  
Blogger chockylit said...

I personally love this recipe. Its rich, chocolatey, and brownie/mousse like. With that much Valrhona (or other high quality, bittersweet chocolate) in 24 cupcakes, it's hard for it not to be yummy.

3/04/2006 5:25 PM  
Blogger Lexi said...

Cockylit, it did thicken in teh fridge, thanks... :) unfortunetly I'd ruin the cupcakes so the ganache was used for icecream instead...

3/05/2006 5:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently found your blog -- your recipes look great -- I can't wait to bake some cupcakes tomorrow. I have a few questions about the baking cups (I just ordered some of the 3.25 oz ones): do you just fill
them and place them on a cookie sheet or do you have to place them in muffin tins? are the baking times
you give for baking in these cups?

3/05/2006 7:07 PM  
Blogger chockylit said...

Hi, Suzyny. I just fill them and place them on a cookie sheet. No need for a muffin tin. Baking times are for these or regular cupcakes baked in a muffin tin. Essentially I use the same amount of batter regardless... I use a 2 ounce ice scream scoop - or 1/4 cup of batter per cupcake. Regardless, you should watch the cupcakes once you get to about 20 minutes as oven temperatures do vary. Good luck!

3/05/2006 9:01 PM  
Blogger christine said...

oh man, those look crazy rich! you practically have a 1-to-1 ratio of tablespoon of butter per cupcake. that recipe, under any circumstances, cannot possibly be anything short of delicious. :)

3/06/2006 7:55 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

The marshmallow thing got me thinking... I seem to remember in a very old cookbook reading directions about how to make flowers from snipped marshmallows. Thanks for triggering that memory for me.

3/07/2006 7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. So this is what's at the end of the universe... Yowza!

3/07/2006 1:51 PM  
Blogger sooishi said...

Your blog is amazing!
Great pictures, and your cupcakes are really beautiful!
Bravo :-)

3/08/2006 6:56 AM  
Blogger Shirewoman2 said...

Ok, finally got around to doublechecking The New Basics Cookbook's recipe for peanut butter pie filling. This is what I used to fill chocolate cupcakes, and it was a good consistency:
3/4 cup cream cheese
1 1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Use a mixer to combine the cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar. Once smooth, mix in the whipped cream. The cookbook says to fold it in, but I found the mixture to be too thick to just fold it. I just used the mixer again. Super rich, but super good!

--Laura in Seattle

3/08/2006 4:41 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

I am so late to the cupcake party. Are you still welcoming guests?

3/11/2006 1:56 PM  
Blogger tschoerda said...

gosh, those look awesome! your cupcakes make my mouth water. i am really inspired now and i guess i will bake some cupcakes myself today ...

3/12/2006 3:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm new to making cupcakes with fillings, so I'm wondering how do u cut a cone shape? my cupcakes seemed a little on the low side, but that may be becoz my cups were kinda big.

3/12/2006 11:40 PM  
Blogger The Red Menace said...

I just made these last night and they were totally amazing. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes!

3/13/2006 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog is fantastic! How creative, like Reeses'in delightfuly miniature cake form. I can't wait to try these out!

3/13/2006 3:23 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Chockylit, is Sugar N Spice worth the drive from Santa Clara County? It sounds so much better than my local spots.

3/15/2006 9:47 AM  
Blogger diva said...

WONDERFUL! That looks positively exquisite and I must say I would love to be as talented as you are. :D You're a big inspiration and I'm gonna keep going at it in the kitchen. thanks! P.S I love peanut butter and chocolate. thanks again for the recipe.

3/19/2006 1:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are amazing! Mine turned out rich as all get out, so I can assume they turned out correctly, but I'm not sure if I will ever want to eat another type of cup cake again!

5/24/2006 6:52 AM  
Blogger ChroniclesofChaos said...

Hey there Chockylit

First of all, lemme pay hommage to the Cupcake Goddess!

I didn't know the paper cups you used were first seen thru ChubbyHubby. Since then, I have found his banana blog and went out to get some of em cups. Darn they were expensive!

Onto Questions now:
1) What kinda flour were you using for this receipe? AP?

2) I can't seem to find bittersweet chocolate easily over here for some reason. I only managed to get Valrhona's 64% and Hershey's Semisweet Chocolate Blocks. Could you please recommend an alternative Ganache receipe for me then?

Thanks once again for being a Cupcake Inspiration!

6/01/2006 10:02 AM  
Blogger chockylit said...

Hi, TicklesBellyFlops! Thank you for the shout out. That's too bad the cups are pricy. They are pretty cheap here.

As to your questions:
1) What kinda flour were you using for this receipe? AP?

I use unbleached AP flour (it's normally the default in recipes). If it is something different (like cake) I mention it in the ingredient list.

2) I can't seem to find bittersweet chocolate easily over here for some reason. I only managed to get Valrhona's 64% and Hershey's Semisweet Chocolate Blocks. Could you please recommend an alternative Ganache receipe for me then?

You can use any chocolate you want for the recipe with the exception of milk and white which don't really work. So the two types you mention, would work fine as a one to one replacement. It just tastes different with different brands...

6/01/2006 1:14 PM  
Blogger fouralarmfire said...

I made these for my husband's birthday this week. They are awesome! I used whipped cream cheese and doubled the milk in the peanut butter filling, and the texture turned out perfectly. Thanks!

6/08/2006 12:03 PM  
Blogger Lise said...

I really do love you blog! I always check in on it, just to find out what recipes you are testing. Sometimes to make some myself, sometimes just to rub my belly and think "yum yum yum".

Anyway, keep up the good work! I am trying these muffins tonight, and I am sure they will turn out wonderful.

6/19/2006 3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I see you need 22 tablespoons of butter... how much is that in cups?

6/21/2006 8:24 AM  
Blogger chockylit said...

22 US tablespoons = 1.37500 US cups

6/21/2006 9:45 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Your blog is awesome and has inspired a whole new level of foodie sinfulness in my house! These chocolate cupcakes went over with such accolades that I definitely want to make them again. While browsing your recipes for other topping ideas, I noticed the ingredient amounts vary among your chocolate cupcake recipes (peanut butter filled, cherry, mint ganache...), though the gist of the recipe remains the same. Just tweaking the recipe? Or is it best to use the different amounts with the different fillings?

6/23/2006 9:54 PM  
Blogger flanthrower said...

Do you think this recipe would work just baked as a regular cake? i.e. poured into 2 8" or 9" cake pans and then filled and iced? I ask b/c I've been looking for a good chocolate peanut butter cake recipe for my roommate's birthday. (btw, LOVE the website, keep up the good work!)

7/14/2006 11:30 AM  
Blogger Rachael said...

I made these cupcakes last night for a coworkers birthday. They came out perfectly, the cupcakes didn't sink and they were perfectly done within 20 minutes. The peanut butter filling is the best I have ever tried. Thanks for the recipes!

7/25/2006 6:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice tat, wish we could see more! Individuality RULES! LOVE LOVE LOVE THE RECIPES!!! Please keep em comin!

7/31/2006 11:24 AM  

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