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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes Filled with Chocolate-Mint Ganache with Topped with Mint Buttercream

Chocolate and mint are a great combination, especially when you use fresh mint. I used chopped mint leaves steeped in cream to make the ganache filling. It is addictive on its own and I love the grassy taste of fresh mint.

The cupcakes are a slight variation on the recipe I have been using lately. The texture is a little less brownie like, but dense, moist, and not-to-sweet chocolatey, just like I like.

I opted for peppermint extract for the frosting. I was doubtful of the outcome, but went easy on the extract and was very happy with the results. I am allowing myself only a half of one of these which I will eat later, so I will have to update the post with the "tasting notes" of the end result.

Update: I ate my half a cupcake...
I have tasted a number of cupcakes in the past year and am a little jaded, you could say. But the combination of the cake and frosting in this recipe is amazing. I could have had a whole one. I will be honest, you can skip the filling and keep it simple, the cake and frosting alone make one hell of a tasty cupcake.

Chocolate Cupcakes
24 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

200 gram bar of Valrhona 61% cocao
3 sticks butter
2-1/4 cups sugar
8 eggs
1-1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt

1. chop chocolate and transfer into the bowl of a standing mixer.
2. add butter to the chocolate and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. stir until chocolate melts and butter is combined.
3. remove from heat and stir in sugar. let mixture cool for 10 minutes.
4. beat in an electric mixer for 3 minutes.
5. add one egg at a time, mixing for 30 seconds between each
6. sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and a pinch of salt into the mixture and mix until blended.
7. scoop into cupcake cups and bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

cupcakes cooling

Chocolate-Mint Ganache

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon chopped mint leaves
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature

1. chop chocolate and transfer into a heat proof bowl.
2. heat cream and 1/4 cup mint until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, pour cream through strainer, over the chocolate.
3. let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.
4. add butter and the remaining teaspoon of chopped mint and stir until combined.
5. let cool then transfer to the refrigerator to thicken, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

filling pastry bag

frosting cupcakes

Mint Buttercream Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon all natural peppermint extract
1. beat butter until creamy, scrape bowl.
2. add 4 cups of sifted powdered sugar, milk, and peppermint extract, beat until combined.
3. add more powdered sugar as needed to get piping consistency.

Note: I tried to keep the mint flavor subtle and not too overpowering. I recommend starting on the light side with 1/8 teaspoon or less and tasting to get the flavor you want.

1. stuff the cupcakes with ganache using the cone method (cut out a cone shape from the top, cut off the pointy cone part, stuff the whole with filling, then put the top back on)
2. frost them.
3. top with something green (if you want), like a mint leaf, green candy, or whatever you fancy.


Anonymous mollie said...

Ohhh how lush. I also pipe my icing with a star tip, but if it gets too cool, it doesn't flow smoothly, but rather unevenly (generally when I use melted chocolate in, say, a buttercream). Do you make sure the icing is room-temp? Or perhaps I am adding too much powdered sugar (makes it stiff). Heh, anyway, yours is perfection :}

3/26/2006 7:40 PM  
Anonymous Ivonne said...


These are going on the must-try list!

3/26/2006 7:53 PM  
Blogger chockylit said...

Hey, Mollie. Yeah frosting consistency is definitely a challenge, especially with melted chocolate! With plain-old buttercream, I keep everything at room temp, get consistency with powdered sugar, and use asap (buttercream gets crusty). With melted chocolate-based frostings, it's a balancing act with regfrigeration, mixing, and ingredients.

Those air bubbles are what get me! Everything can be piping out great and then, oops...

3/26/2006 8:17 PM  
Blogger Yael said...

I love love love love your blog and your cupcakes! Where do you get your papers? I'm in Italy so little chance of finding them here but though maybe I could get them on the web. Keep up the wonderful work.

3/27/2006 3:36 AM  
Blogger Yael said...

sorry just found the answer in your faq's!

3/27/2006 3:39 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I've been hoping you'd use some fresh mint!

3/27/2006 4:12 AM  
Anonymous Lindsay said...

What type of piping bag do you use, it looks like a really good one.
I am still trying to perfect my piping technique. Do you have any tips?
I love your website, your cakes are heavenly.
I am from Britain and I have just started my own cupcake business, but we just don't have the "cupcake culture" here that you do in the states.
Kepp up the good work, can't wait for your next recipe.
Lindsay x

3/27/2006 11:54 AM  
Anonymous kittee said...

Hi Chockylit!
Did you end up using the ganache on these babies? I didn't see any assembly directions. I assume you just cut in a cone, filled them, topped it back and then frosted with the buttercream? I've only filled cupcakes using my finger to poke a hole, so i am curious about your cone cutting technique.


3/27/2006 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a non-cupcake related question. The kitchen I see in the photos (marble countertops, subway tile backsplash), is it the kitchen in your home or is it a professional space? Love your blog and keep up the great work!

3/27/2006 5:14 PM  
Blogger chockylit said...

Hey, Lindsay, the bag I have is a Wilton 16" Featherweight Decorating Bag. It's my favorite of all the ones I have tried and has held up for a long time. That's fantastic that you've started a business! It's only a matter of time until cupcakes catch on :)

Kittee, Oops, I missed that instruction. My bad. I added it... I indeed used the cone method as the gananche is really thick.

Abuot the kitchen, it is in my home. I tiled that backsplash myself! Mostly it was pretty DIY, but I splurged on the counter tops...

3/27/2006 10:26 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

woohoo - big congratulations on your Chronicle mention today! Your cake pictures knock the socks off theirs.

3/29/2006 7:12 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Wow! You are a superstar now. I can see the bones of the samoa cupcake recipe in the chronicle are the magnolia vanilla cupcake. That is a great base recipe, so glad I learned about that here.

3/29/2006 7:46 AM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

Great blog--I got directed here by the Chronicle article, and saw your recipe for the lemon, lime and grapefruit curd filled cupcakes. I have some key limes and Meyer lemons sitting in my fridge right now and I was wondering what to do with them.

Now, I know.

I would make these chocolate mint cupcakes, but the husband doesn't like chocolate. He's so weird.

3/29/2006 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Lesley said...

I'm so glad that I found your site! I made the Lemon LimeCurd filled cupcakes. They were wonderful and the gang I served them to were duly impressed. I happened to have a nifty new tool around and rather than cut out the cone to fill the cupcakes, I used this new melon baller (never had one before). Then I had a cool little treat for "we who can't keep our hands off anything" - the cute little ball to dip in the leftover icing! I think that it was faster for me to do it this way - tho you can probably "cone" yours in no time flat.

3/29/2006 1:14 PM  
Blogger Madeline said...

Wow, thanks so much for the step by step process on this one. Baking is sort of the "next frontier" of learning how to cook for me and you make it seem approachable. Thanks.


3/29/2006 2:13 PM  
Blogger Honey Bunny said...

i saw your photos on flickr. where do you buy those paper cups? i'd love to try using those to bake in, but i can't find them anywhere.

3/29/2006 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Kristi =) said...

These new mint cupcakes look delicious!! I want to try them, but I have been having a problem with your chocolate recipes. I made the old one twice (Devil's Food… and Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes) and the new one twice (Peanut Butter… and Cherry Chocolate…). I keep having the same problem. :-( They puff up really nice and then started falling down after I remove them from the oven. With the new recipe, I’ve had them flatten as far as 3/4” in those cups that you use. I played with the chocolate cherry recipe after the first batch fell. I added a lot more flour. They held up, but they were quite dry.=( Any help? Maybe 1 cup of my flour is too light, how much does yours weight? Anyway they were still delicious! I’ve made a few non-chocolate recipes and they came out very delicious!!! Keep the awesome cupcakes coming!! My whole family can’t stop talking about cupcakes.

To everyone that keeps asking for the cups: Before you buy them online, go to your local restaurant supply store, they may have them!! Mine has about 6 different sizes. I bought 250 – 3.25 ounce SOLO cups for $3.90. There should be at least one in driving distance for everyone. Check your phonebook.

3/30/2006 5:23 AM  
Blogger chockylit said...

Kristi, before you start adding flour, and what not... Are you sure they are being baked thoroughly? This could be a reason they are falling. Get a temperature gauge for your oven to make sure the oven temp is correct, then be sure to test cupcakes with a toothpick before taking them out. Test cupcakes in the front and back of the oven as they can cook unevenly.

I have never had any of these recipes fall, but I used to have that happen to me in the past. I am certain it was because they were underbaked.

Give it a try and tell me how it goes.

3/30/2006 8:04 AM  
Anonymous verano said...

Thank you for such a wonderful blog. I've never been a fan of cupcakes really, but your recipes and colorful pictures invite me to try them out.

3/30/2006 9:12 AM  
Anonymous payal said...

You've done a really fantastic job with your blog! Thanks for sharing all of your knowledge and tips - it's really been helpful. Can I ask what size the cupcake is? Also, which tip did you use? I'm a beginner, so I'm just now getting comfortable holding the pastry bag and learning what the different tips do. Once again, great job!

3/30/2006 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Kristi said...

Hey Chockylit!

My oven is fairly new, and I have checked the temperature several times in the past. I also keep a pizza stone in the bottom of my oven to hold the proper temperature. I preheat well in advance to ensure that the stone and oven walls are up to temperature.

I forgot to mention one odd detail. They fall in the oven, as well as out. I baked another batch last night (Mint). I took pictures so you can see what I mean. They puff up really nice, and then about half way… they start to fall. :-( That’s why I was thinking it was the flour. I don’t know what else it could possible be. I’ve never had such a baking problem before.

I did two batches. The first, I baked them 26 minutes. They came out a little dry on the top. The second, I used convection baking for 25 minutes. They came out like a cake brownie. The second was very moist and delicious!! I feel like I’m doomed to chocolate box-mix cake! :-(


I wanted to complement you on the Ricotta Raspberry Almond Cupcakes with Citrus Meringue Frosting! Those are soooo delicious!! I’ve been passing those out here and there. People go crazy over those. They’re like a mini master piece, the look and the taste. My sister keeps begging me to make them with strawberries instead of raspberries. Since those were so tasty, I can’t wait to make the cupcakes with raspberry mousse frosting. Yum!!

Thanks for sharing your recipes!

- Kristi =)

4/01/2006 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Leah said...

I just tried these and they are delicious. I linked to your blog from the chronicle and am so excited to try more of your recipes. They all soung amazing! Thanks so much for posting them.

4/03/2006 1:48 AM  
Blogger chockylit said...

Hey, kristi. I am so perplexed and bummed that its not working. I have never had either of those recipes fall, so I am confused as to what could be the problem. The only other thing would be the age of the baking powder/sodae. If its old and inactive, that could cause a problem. But I am grasping at straws here... Sorry!

4/05/2006 7:01 PM  
Blogger Aud said...

I just baked "Rich Chocolate Cupcakes Filled with Chocolate-Mint Ganache with Topped with Mint Buttercream" - half the recipe called for and only the choc cupcakes and I think they turned out really good. I was told that chocolate icing should go on top of these cakes. Any suggestions? I'd like to make them again for my lil' tot's birthday party.

4/07/2006 3:15 PM  
Blogger chockylit said...

Hey, aud. Couple of options on the blog... This one which allows for varying based on taste (this version is pretty sweet) or just a straight up ganache frosting, like the one here.

4/07/2006 6:06 PM  
Blogger Aud said...

Ganache topping sounds great! I plan to make the cupcakes the night before the party: a couple of questions:
-how do I keep the cupcakes moist till the next day?
-would using self-raising flour or cake flour make the cupcakes fluffier?
btw. everything is awesome here, including ppprompt reply! Really appreciate it! Thanks.

4/08/2006 11:14 PM  
Blogger chockylit said...

Hi, aud.

As far as storing cupcakes overnight, there are many options depending on what you have on hand. Before you wrap them they should be completely cool. Its also best to wrap unfilled and unfrosted (easier to store a lot more and you won't ruin the frosting), if you can put off finishing to the day of the party.

1. If you have these handy plastic containers, you can put the frosted cupcakes in them and then wrap with plastic wrap.

2. If you have tupperware, you can stack unfrosted cupcakes in the tupperware with a layer of parchment paper or wax paper in between each layer of cupcakes.

3. Otherwise, you can place the cupcakes on a sheet or cookie pan and wrap the entire thing with plastic wrap.

I purchased industrial sized plastic wrap from Costco and it is very handy for any of these options.

As for adding self-rising or cake flour. Self-rising flour has leavener already in it (baking powder), so adding that in addition to existing baking powder could ruin the cupcakes as oppose to making them fluffier (there will be too much gas and the cupcakes will run out of the papers). Although, I haven't tried it, but this is my guess based on what I have read.

Cake flour gives baked goods a more delicate texture, but I am not sure if they would be fluffier. You shoudl experiment next time you make some. Make a batch of cupcakes, but divide it in three before adding the flour, then add all-purpose in one batch, self-rising in one, and cake in the last. Maybe I will try that some time.

Thanks for the great questions!

4/09/2006 12:30 PM  
Blogger Aud said...

Thanks Chockylit! Once again, awesome info and suggestions!

4/10/2006 10:53 PM  
Anonymous e said...

I too am having problems with falling cupcakes. It happened with this recipe as well as the "Melt in Your Mouth Chocolate Cupcakes" which incidentally wasn't your recipe. My baking soda is a little old. I'll throw it out and see if that makes a difference. Thanks for your blog. Your presentation techniques are inspirational!

4/12/2006 7:28 PM  
Anonymous emily said...

I made these cupcakes last night for my husband, who is an accountant and is in the midst of his busiest time. He took most of them into the office, but I was able to snag one before he left. They are truly the very best cupcakes I've ever had. They took a bit of time to make, but this recipe is a keeper. I'm moving onto the lemon curd cupcakes next...

4/14/2006 8:20 AM  
Anonymous amanda said...

Thank you chockylit! These cupcakes have made me a hero at work, at home and with my friends. I am riding a borrowed wave of baking glory...

4/14/2006 4:05 PM  
Blogger Aud said...

Hi Chockylit! It just dawned on me that overnighting the fudge frosting may not work. I had initially planned to chill the frosting till the next day. Think it will work? The recipe says chill for 20 minutes or so and frost when thick enough. Help!!!! Hope to hear back soon. Thanks again. Audrey

4/21/2006 10:57 PM  
Blogger chockylit said...

You sure can chill it over night. It may be super thick and un-pipable, but leave it out at room temp for an hour or so and it should be fine. I will sometimes, if I am in a rush, warm it up slightly over a water bath. That is a little trickier, so letting the frosting come to room temp naturally is the best way to go.

4/22/2006 12:07 AM  
Blogger a girl like me said...

Hi chockylit, I'm having cupcake sinkage issues too.

They look like Kristy's... I will persist though.

5/17/2006 4:46 AM  
Blogger chockylit said...

sorry to hear that. you want to make sure you beat enough at step 4, use fresh baking powder, have oven at the right temperature, and don't open the oven door to soon in the baking process.

5/17/2006 9:23 PM  
Blogger a girl like me said...

I'm sure it MUST have something to do with one of the above. Muchos thanks, and I'm trying them again tonight!

Despite sinkage though - they were all gone by the time I got home the next day - I think I ended up with some really ugly brownies...:D I had actually intended to turn them into mini Nigella cloud cakes, but no luck - all gone!

5/20/2006 2:15 AM  
Anonymous Bill Belew said...

You have to stop featuring all of these buttercream frosted cupcakes, you are making my stomach growl far too often when I am supposed to be being busy and important! Thanks for yet another great recipe.

5/22/2006 9:00 AM  
Blogger a girl like me said...

Hi, reporting back - worked out great this past time. :)

Loved them...

5/28/2006 7:49 AM  
Blogger chockylit said...

Yay! I am glad they worked. I used this chocolate recipe again this past week for the chai chocolate cupcakes and I just love it. Its a great base. A bit brownie like, but not too much so and always moist and chocolatey.

5/28/2006 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love love love love your blog and your cupcakes! i'm m'sia n want to know 3 stick butter or 1 stick butter is equal to what cup.. i'm not very good in measuring n this is my first time i try to bake cupcake.

5/30/2006 2:28 AM  
Blogger chockylit said...

A stick of butter is 1/2 cup or 100 grams.

5/31/2006 10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I just found your wonderful site! I'm planning to try this recipe for a weekend get-together and was wondering if you have ever made these in a mini-size, and if so, do you forego the ganache filling?

Thanks! Sara

6/02/2006 7:54 AM  
Blogger chockylit said...

Hi, Sara. I have made the cake part mini-sized many times and it works great (baking time is closer to 16-20 minutes). I normally don't fill mini's with thick fillings like ganache, its a lot of trouble and results in a big mess. To be honest, I liked these just as much unfilled. I made them a second time unfilled for a party and everyone loved them.

6/02/2006 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great! I'm going to try these tonight without the ganache - wish me luck :)

6/02/2006 8:28 AM  
Blogger Nickel_Wishes said...

Hi chockylit! Love your blog. I've been a quiet observer for quite some time now. Cupcakes are my favorite. I have to chime in on the sinking issue. It happens to me sometimes, but I'm pretty sure it has to do with the high altitude here. I'm at about 6500 feet. I tried baking some lovely white chocolate raspberry cupcakes from Bon Appetite. The batter was delish, and they started baking wonderfully but fell in the oven 3/4 through baking time. I tried again increasing oven temp 25 degrees but same result. I gave up on that recipe but would like to find a way to make it work.
Anyway, thanks for a great space full of recipes and pics. Love it!

6/11/2006 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please, tell me, what is bar of Valrhona 61% cocao? Im writing to you from mexico city. thank you... fabiola

7/05/2006 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Nana said...

hi chockylit!!..i love ur blog...n thx for sharing ur recipes here...i was wondering...are you frosting too sweet??...i'm searching for a less sweet kinda frosting...please share with us if you have it....:)...thx in advance...

7/07/2006 7:18 AM  
Blogger Kai said...

Hi Chockylit: Where do you get the baking cups? I've looked everywhere for them.

7/07/2006 9:36 AM  
Blogger Frances said...

I must say that that is an amazing cupcake idea, and while I didn't follow your recipe I did unvent a similar one, and they turned out marvelous.
I had no idea that mint leaves could make a frosting taste so minty.

8/06/2006 8:20 AM  

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