Thursday, July 18, 2013

RECIPE: Triple Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes:

6 oz. vanilla greek yogurt (about 3/5 cup)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk (see how I make mine here using 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar + 1/2 cup skim milk)
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. mint extract
1/2 cup boiling water

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine greek yogurt, sugars, and the egg. Beat until combined (you can use your stand mixer for this, although whisking it by hand works just as well).

2. Add salt, flour, and cocoa to mixture and mix well.

3. Add baking soda to buttermilk (I make my own – see above) and stir until it foams (the vinegar in my homemade buttermilk is what helps it foam – if you use store-bought buttermilk it won’t achieve the same foamy effect, but don’t worry!)

4. Add buttermilk mixture a bit at a time to the cake mixture, mixing as you go to incorporate all of the liquid.

5. Whisk in vanilla and mint extracts.

6. Whisk in boiling water a little bit at a time so you don’t splash/burn yourself.

7. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full and bake at 350 for 15-19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.

For the Mint Chocolate Ganache:

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk (I used skim)
1 dash mint extract (about 1/8 tsp should do it!)

1.  Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking occasionally so it doesn’t burn, until it comes to a simmer.

2. Place chocolate chips in a large, heat-resistant bowl (glass or ceramic are good choices). Remove milk from heat and pour it over chocolate, then stir gently until chocolate has melted and you’ve formed a smooth ganache.

3. Stir in the mint extract and set ganache aside. Let this cool while you make the frosting.

For the Chocolate Fudge Frosting:

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup cocoa
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup boiling water

1. In a medium bowl, melt the butter (I use the microwave, it’s just easier).

2. Stir cocoa and powdered sugar into melted butter.

3. Stir boiling water into frosting a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well in between each addition, until frosting has reached a thick, buttercream-like consistency. The frosting will set and harden very quickly, so be prepared to frost the cupcakes as soon as it’s ready! (You don’t need sky-high frosting on each cupcake – it’s SUPER RICH – so use it in moderation!)

To assemble the cupcakes: 

Optional toppings: Thin mint cookies (God bless the Girl Scouts. Seriously.), chocolate shavings (just run a veggie peeler over a chocolate bar and voila!) or a sprinkling of chocolate chips!

1. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes (I use a Wilton #1M or a ziploc bag with a corner cut off). You could also spread the frosting on the cupcakes with a knife.

2. Give the ganache a stir, then drizzle a spoonful of it over each cupcake once they’re frosted.

3. Top the cupcakes with a thin mint cookie and some chocolate shavings or eat them as is!