‘At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds.’ (Rainer Maria Rilke)
Now that we are entering the season of crisp mornings and cold nights, it feels right to counter the chill with the warmth of ginger and cinnamon, the richness of dark chocolate and the luxury of ample amounts of butter and sugar. If these cupcakes were made of cloth, they would be cashmere; they are so rich and soft and warm. So, as 2013 begins its fall towards the coldest darkest months, I can’t recommend enough that you whip up these silky beauties and share them around. You will be loved for it.
Dark Chocolate Spiced Cupcakes with Ginger Cinnamon Buttercream
For the Ganache Filling:
50g good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
60ml double cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
For the Cupcakes:
75g dark chocolate, finely chopped
43g Dutch-processed cocoa powder
180ml hot coffee
94g plain flour
150g granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
6 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
For the buttercream:
300g icing sugar
150g unsalted butter, soft
1 ½ tsp ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp milk or cream
Make the ganache filling: place the chopped chocolate, double cream and icing sugar in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave on high power until the mixture is warm to the touch, 20 to 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth, then refrigerate until just barely chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.
Make the cupcakes: preheat oven to gas mark 4. Line a standard-size muffin pan with liners. Place the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Pour the hot coffee over the mixture and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate mixture for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.
Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla extract into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
Divide the batter evenly between the muffin pan cups. Place one slightly rounded teaspoon of ganache filling on top of each cupcake. Bake until the cupcakes are set and just firm to the touch, 17 to 19 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on the wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
For the frosting, beat the ingredients together until smooth. Frost cupcakes once they are completely cold & dust with cocoa powder, if wished. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days and remove an hour before eating to take the chill off.
Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker.