Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

I used to be a cupcake hater.  Then I met Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes.  We’ve been spending a lot of time together lately, getting to know one another.  It’s a pretty intense relationship – two batches in just four days.  I’m trying to control myself, but it’s hard – such a pretty face, and a heart of pure raspberry filling. Sigh. Raspberry season is fleeting, so I’ve been trying to make the most of this relationship while I can.  

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes
adapted from Annies-eats.com and Smittenkitchen.com, originally published in Gourmet, now on  epicurious.com

Cupcakes:
3 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups hot water or hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups (11.25 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (this is not a typo)
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling:
1 to 2 cups good quality raspberry jam or preserves, seedless or not.  

Ganache:
24 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet chips)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons corn syrup
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

Cupcakes:  Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
Place the semisweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl.  Pour the hot water (or coffee) over the top and let rest for a minute.  Whisk until smooth.

In a separate bowl combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Whisk or sift together until no lumps remain.

In the bowl of a standing mixer beat the eggs until thick and pale yellow, about 3 or 4 minutes.  In a slow stream, add the oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to the eggs.  Mix until well blended.   Add the dry ingredients and beat on medium just until the flour mixture is incorporated.

Divide the batter between the cupcake liners, filling each just slightly more than 1/2 full.  Bake about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let rest is the pans for several minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Ganache:  Place the chocolate in a large bowl. In a microwave safe bowl combine the cream, corn syrup, and sugar. Microwave just until boiling.  Pour the mixture over the chocolate and let rest for a few minutes.  Whisk until the mixture is smooth and silky.  Whisk in the butter one tablespoon at a time.  At this point the ganache will be too runny to pipe or spread on the cupcakes.  Either place the ganache in the fridge to firm up, or let it rest at room temperature until it is spreading or piping consistency.  If it sets up too much  microwave at 5 second increments until it cooperates. 

Assembly:  Place the raspberry jam in a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip.  Shove the tip directly into the top of the cupcake and gently squeeze about 1 to 2 teaspoons of jam into the cupcake. You will see the top of the cupcake gently grow and puff out a bit.  Stop when the jam starts to ooze out of the top.  Place the ganache into a pastry bag fitted with the tip of your choice. Pipe a generous portion of ganache over the top of each cupcake.  Place a fresh raspberry on top of each frosted cupcake before the ganache sets. If a pastry bag isn’t your thing just spread ganache with a knife or small off-set spatula.  However, I can’t visualize getting raspberry jam inside the cupcake without a pastry bag….

Allow to set before serving.



Makes about 36 to 40 cupcakes.

Notes on the recipe:

-I tried this with both regular and Dutch processed cocoa powder and they both worked just fine.  
-For the ganache I used Ghirardelli chocolate chips instead of Ghirardelli baking bars because I wanted the extra stability from the chips (and it was more affordable too!). 
-This recipe also works for mini cupcakes.  Reduce the baking time to about 12 to 15 minutes. They look like this:

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