October 18 has to be one of the best days of the year. Why? It’s National Chocolate Cupcake Day! And I have a confession to make – as much as I love concocting all of these fun, spiked cupcakes I’ve been posting about, my absolute favorite is, and always has been, the simple chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting. Perfection to me is a rich, moist chocolate cupcake topped with a velvety chocolate buttercream. Nothing makes me happier.
My sister, Laura, has mastered the art of the perfect chocolate cake. She found the best recipe years ago and has stuck with it, turning out wonderfully delicious chocolate cakes time after time. One year for my birthday, she surprised me at work with a towering chocolate cake – I think it was three layers high! – filled and covered with chocolate buttercream and decorated with cascades of chocolate curls. Definitely one of the all-time top 5 best birthday presents ever. And I didn’t share any of it.
It’s not that I’m a chocolaholic, per se. I do appreciate good chocolate, usually the darker the better. In fact, I have several favorite chocolatiers strategically located up and down the east coast. But I can enjoy one little square from a bar of 80% dark and call it good for the rest of the day. The family is mystified that a box of exquisite dark chocolate-covered marzipan (another all time favorite) can last for weeks and weeks. But there’s something about the chocolate-chocolate cupcake that erases all self-control.
A little while back, a favorite blogger, BrownEyedBaker, posted a recipe for the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes. They looked wonderful. Wiping the drool from my chin, I immediately bookmarked the post to try another day. And that day has arrived.
I started with BrownEyedBaker’s cupcake recipe, but being true to this blog, tinkered with the ganache filling and frosting by introducing a little Lady Godiva…Chocolate Liqueur, that is. The end result is a cupcake so rich and decadent and chocolatey sinful, they’d make even Lady Godiva blush.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Godiva Chocolate Liqueur Frosting
Makes one dozen cupcakes
Start by making the ganache first so it has time to set in the fridge.
Godiva Liqueur Ganache
2 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
Put the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for about 30 seconds. Meanwhile, heat the cream in a small saucepan until just boiling. Pour hot cream over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined and smooth. Stir in Godiva Liqueur. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.
3 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot coffee
3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with paper liners.
Combine chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in large bowl and pour hot coffee over the mixture. Whisk until smooth. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
Divide the batter evenly in the cupcake tins. Add one slightly rounded teaspoon of ganache in the center of each.
Bake for approximately 17-19 minutes, until just firm to the touch. Cool on rack for 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan to cool completely.
Godiva Liqueur Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 to 2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 to 3 tablespoons Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
Cream butter with electric mixer. Add 1 cup of confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Mix until combined. Add Godiva Liqueuer. Mix at high speed until light and fluffy, adding more sugar and/or liqueur until desired consistency is reached. Frost as desired.