Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dorie's Chocolate-Chocolate Cupcakes with Praline Buttercream and Ganache Filling

What to do with the leftover praline paste and ganache from the Daring Bakers challenge? I couldn't let it go to waste, so I whipped up a simple buttercream that Chris (our DB host from last month) told us she used as a substitute, added the leftover praline paste, baked some amazing chocolate cupcakes (Thanks once again to Dorie), I mean they were delicious with nothing on them, warmed up the leftover ganache and filled those cupcakes and called it good. These were great immediately, but even better after a little time in the fridge because the ganache firmed up and all the flavors melded together. I still had some ganache left, so I sandwiched it inbetween some Nilla wafers. What great tasting leftovers!

Dorie's Chocolate-Chocolate Cupcakes- makes 12 cupcakes from Baking by Dorie

Greenspan, pg. 215-16
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease 12 muffin tins or use paper liners. (I used Crisco with Flour spray)
Whisk together the flour,cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Beat the butter at medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until it is blended into the butter. Add the egg, then yolk, beating for 1 minute, after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Beat in the vanilla, then reduce mixer speed to low, and add half of the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear. Scrape down the bowl and add the buttermilk, mixing until incorporated, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Scrape down the bowl, add the melted chocolate and mix it in with the rubber spatula. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin molds.
Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes are dry and springy to the touch and a knife inserted into their centers comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes, before unmolding them. Cool to room temperature before frosting of glazing.

Praline Paste*
1 cup (4 ½ oz.) Hazelnuts, toasted/skinless
2/3 cup Sugar

Line a jelly roll pan with parchment and lightly butter.Put the sugar in a heavy 10-inch skillet. Heat on low flame for about 10-20 min until the sugar melts around the edges. Do not stir the sugar. Swirl the pan if necessary to prevent the melted sugar from burning. Brush the sides of the pan with water to remove sugar crystals. If the sugar in the center does not melt, stir briefly. When the sugar is completely melted and caramel in color, remove from heat. Stir in the nuts with a wooden spoon and separate the clusters. Return to low heat and stir to coat the nuts on all sides. Cook until the mixture starts to bubble. **Remember – extremely hot mixture.** Then onto the parchment lined sheet and spread as evenly as possible. As it cools, it will harden into brittle. Break the candied nuts into pieces and place them in the food processor. Pulse into a medium-fine crunch or process until the brittle turns into a powder. To make paste, process for several minutes. Store in an airtight container and store in a cook dry place. Do not refrigerate.
Praline Buttercream
1 stick butter, at room temperature
6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup praline paste*

Cream together butter and cream cheese, until creamy and combined. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and continue mixing until smooth and creamy. Beat in praline paste, until you have a smooth buttercream. Use immediately and refrigerate any leftovers.

6 oz. (good) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate,
6 oz. (¾ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
¾ tsp. vanilla
Break the chocolate into 1-inch pieces and place in the basket of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer into a medium sized bowl and set aside. Heat the cream and corn syrup in a saucepan, on low, until it reached a gentle boil. Once to the gently boil, immediately and carefully pour over the chocolate. Leave it alone for one minute, then slowly stir and mix the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate is melted and incorporated into the cream. Carefully blend in vanilla mixture.


Jenny said...

Holy cow,
Those have got to be the best looking cupcakes I've seen, and I'm not joking. I will be making these! Thanks for the inspiration!

Maria said...

Wow, your cupcakes look great! I am glad you didn't let anything go to waste!

Anonymous said...

Holy smokes Lady, you have some of the most delicious recipes I have ever laid my eyes on!

Anonymous said...

I ate the extra ganache with a spoon...but that's just me. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comment! Yes, I did note you in my blog. I highlighted and linked you on the posts. Lord knows that I can't cook like you!
BTW, did you live in Georgia? My sister gave me your blog. She lives in Athens Georgia and said that you moved out when she moved in. I hope I have the right person!:)

Erin said...

These look amazing! I want some chocolate now :) What a great way to use up the extra buttercream!

Di said...

I have to admit, I also ate the leftover ganache with a spoon. =) I do still have some praline paste, though, and I've been looking for some way to use it. Great idea!

Anonymous said...

My sister's name is Tenille Bowser.

Anne said...

Wow, you're killing me with those cupcakes, they look amazing! And I'm bringing cupcakes to a party tonight... hmmm... those look well suited to the grown ups!