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Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cupcakes + Chocolate Peppermint Ganache Frosting

November 28, 2008
Photo for illustration purposes

Recipe By Eileen Talanian

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate Peppermint Ganache Frosting

(Makes 24 cupcakes)

Kids and adults alike love chocolate chips, and these cupcakes are no exception. The cake is tender and not too sweet. They’re great with Chocolate Peppermint Ganache, White Chocolate Frosting, or Creamy Chocolate Frosting.

1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 egg whites from eggs graded large (3 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole or 2% milk
1 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and adjust the racks so they divide the oven into thirds. Line 2 standard size cupcake pans with cupcake liners (there will be 24 wells).

Place the butter, granulated sugar, and egg whites in a mixing bowl and cream them on medium high speed for 5 minutes, until the mixture is smooth, and light in color. Scrape the bowl and add the vanilla, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

Beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl again and add half of the flour, beating on low speed until the mixture is evenly blended, about 30 seconds. Add all of the milk and beat on medium low speed for 30-45 seconds.

Scrape the bowl, add the remaining flour and the chips, and beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl well, giving the batter a few stirs to be sure it is evenly mixed.

Divide the batter evenly into the lined cupcake wells. [If you only have one cupcake pan (with 12 wells) you should measure the cupcake batter and use exactly half of it to fill the wells, then bake them, remove them from the pan, cool the pan, and repeat the lining, filling and baking process.]

Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, reversing the pans halfway through the baking time.

The cupcakes will be done when a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and place the pans on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes.

Carefully remove the cupcakes from the pans and place them on the wire racks to finish cooling. Do not frost the cupcakes until they are completely cool.

Chocolate Peppermint Ganache
Makes about two cups.

Chocolate Ganache is the simplest concoction to use for chocolate frosting, and the tastiest, in my opinion. You must make it with a top quality chocolate, because it’s the flavor of the chocolate that makes Chocolate Ganache so superb.

Do not use peppermint extract in this recipe, because it is too harsh. You can find peppermint oil or pure peppermint flavoring in better groceries, Whole Foods Markets, and on the internet.

Use it very sparingly – it is quite strong.

1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces excellent quality dark chocolate, chopped into small bits
3/8 teaspoon pure peppermint oil or peppermint flavoring

Scald the milk in a saucepan over medium heat, or microwave it in a large microwave-safe measuring cup on high for 3 minutes.

Remove the pan or cup from the heat. Add the chopped chocolate to the cream, and stir gently with a wire whisk until the mixture is completely smooth.

The smaller the chocolate was chopped, the quicker this will be done. Gently whisk in the peppermint oil or flavoring.

Use the ganache warm to coat the tops of cupcakes or other desserts, or let it cool, whisking gently every 10 minutes or so, until it is of a spreadable consistency for frosting or piping onto cakes, cupcakes, or other desserts.

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