Monday, April 4, 2011

Double Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Filling

The weather was beautiful around here this past weekend so we spent most of the time outside soaking up the sun.

When we're hanging at the pool with friends on the weekend, I don't usually put a lot of extra effort into dinner.  Throwing something on the grill or pulling something out of the freezer is as fancy as I get.  So if I'm dropping the ball when it comes to dinner, I try to make up for it with something yummy for dessert.

When I first looked at the recipe for these cupcakes, it seemed a little involved, but sounded so delicious I just bit the bullet.  It's three separate components, but each one was pretty simple.

I had never filled cupcakes before so I was a little nervous about that, but it was a piece of cake.....errr cupcake?  I used a conventional pastry bag with a metal tip and just poked it into the top of the cake and squeezed.  If you don't have a pastry bag, poke a hole into the top of the cupcake, put the filling into a zip lock baggie, cut the tip off of the corner of the bag and squeeze the in the filling.

These were a huge hit.  How can you go wrong with a tender chocolatey cupcake filled with creamy peanut butter and double dipped in a rich chocolate ganache?

These were best the day they were made but still good the next day.  It makes a full two dozen, so unless you're feeding a crowd, halve the recipe.

Double Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Filling
Food and Wine Magazine, April 2004

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position 2 racks in the lower and middle third of the oven.  Line 24 muffin cups with paper or foil liners.

Put the cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl.  Add the boiling water and whisk until a smooth paste forms.  Whisk in the buttermilk until combined.  In a medium bowl, sift the flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt.  In a large bowl, using a electric mixer, beat 1 1/2 sticks of the butter with the granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla then beat in the dry ingredients in 2 batches, alternating with the cocoa mixture.  Carefully spoon the cupcake batter into the lined muffin cups, filling them  about two thirds full.  Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the cupcakes are springy.  Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, beat the peanut butter with the remaining 3 tablespoons butter until creamy.  Sift the confectioners sugar into the bowl and beat until light a fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Spoon all but 3 tablespoons of the peanut butter filling into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4 inch star tip.  Holding a cupcake in your hand, plunge the tip into the top of the cake, pushing it about 1/4 inch deep.  Gently squeeze the pastry bag to fill the cupcake, withdrawing it slowly as you squeeze.  You will feel the cupcake expand slightly as you fill it.  Scrape any filling from the top of the cupcake and repeat until all of the cupcakes are filled.

In a small saucepan, bring the heave cream to a simmer.  Off the heat, add the semisweet chocolate to the cream and let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk the melted chocolate into the cream until smooth.  Let the chocolate icing stand until slightly cooled and thickened, about 15 minutes.  Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the icing, letting the excess drip back into the pan.  Transfer the cupcakes to racks and let stand for 5 minutes.  Dip the tops of the cupcakes again and transfer them to racks.  Spoon the remaining 3 tablespoons of peanut butter filling into the pastry bag and pipe tiny rosettes on the top of the cupcakes.

1 comment:

  1. Wonder if these would freeze well? Aussies don't mix chocolate and peanut butter and what American doesn't love it. The trials of a mixed marriage. :) I'm going to try these. We can't get peanut butter cups either and I'm craving the choc/pb combo right now!