February 06, 2011
Name of Cupcakes: Turtles!
Constituents: sour cream chocolate cupcake, topped with ganache, soft sticky caramel, toasted pecans, more caramel, more ganache
The recipe warns to make the ganache first, as it takes several hours to cool down and thicken to frosting consistency. For me, it took all freaking day, in fact when I gave up and frosted last night, the ganache was still a little too runny. This morning, the leftover ganache I abandoned on the counter has thickened up to a nice frosting consistency. Same chocolate I usually use, the kitchen was as cold as usual, not sure why this time it took so much longer to firm up. Now I know what those of you who've complained about this are talking about.
|sour cream and cocoa powder and eggs and vanilla|
So after the ganache is put together and left to firm up, the cupcakes are made. These cupcakes are my favorite sour cream butter cake, which yields dense yet tender chocolate cupcakes. The classic two-stage mixing technique is used, with a little bit of variation: instead of blooming the cocoa powder in boiling water and adding a bit of sour cream to it, the cocoa powder is blended with the sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Usually in the two stage method the eggs are added in after the butter and part of the liquid (usually milk, or cocoa paste) are blended with the dry ingredients. In this case, as there wasn't any liquid, about half of the eggs/sour cream/ cocoa powder mixture is added in with the butter, and the rest added in two parts just like usual.
It has been a while since we've made a sour cream butter cake, so I don't remember if the velvety soft quality of this batter is typical for a sour cream etc cake. Is it? I was particularly in love, as the batter tasted a lot like soft chocolate ice cream.
The batter is enough to make 16 cupcakes, which when portioned out is about 53 grams per cupcake.
I only made 12 cupcakes, then made a little cakelette with the rest. It did not survive for photographs.
Then the waiting game began. Was the ganache thick enough yet? No? How about now? No? How about now?
Eventually, the sun set, thus losing my light, and I decided I am DONE. So I made the caramel. This caramel came together really quickly and easily, and tasted lovely. It did start to set too thickly after I pulled it off the heat, so I kept the caramel in a warm water bath while I got the cupcakes ready.
First, two teaspoons of ganache are spread onto the cupcake. My cupcakes came out of the oven domed but cooled fairly flat, which I hoped would keep the runny ganache on the cupcakes. Alas, it did not, and the ganache dripped over the side of the cupcakes, luckily onto the plate I put under the rack. On top of the ganache goes a teaspoon of caramel, which was really freaking sticky. Five toasted pecan halves are stuck into the caramel to resemble a turtle, kind of. On top of the pecans goes another teaspoon of caramel (I just used 1/2 teaspoon) and another teaspoon of ganache.
Thankfully, the ganache seemed to set up fairly quickly once it was on top of the cupcakes and mingled with the sticky caramel that threatened to set up too thickly. Can I get a happy medium here, please?
I liked the way the ganache was thin enough to show the caramel underneath.
I was worried the cupcake would be too sweet, but actually it wasn't. It was really rich but the toasted pecans and the caramel were perfect together, and the bittersweet ganache toned down the sugar, and the dense mellow cupcake acted as a nice soft pillow for all that action on top.
|isn't the light great? taken at cookie's desk at her place of employment|