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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chocolate Soufflé Cupcakes with Whipped Caramel Ganache Frosting

Again, yes, sorry no individual picture for this Dessert Club winner - it's in the middle of this one, though, with the creamy piped topping and gold stars on:Chocolate Soufflé Cupcakes (print recipe)
6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I preferred this with bittersweet)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) (86 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) espresso or instant coffee powder, optional
3 large eggs, separated
6 tablespoons (97 grams) sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 to 12 Lindt truffle balls, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9 standard-size (3-ounce) muffin cups with paper liners. Stir chocolate, butter and espresso powder together in heavy medium saucepan over low heat mostly melted, then remove from the heat and whisk until it is fully melted and smooth. (I like to put the butter underneath the chocolate in the pan, so that it protects the chocolate from the direct heat.) Cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally.

2. Using electric mixer (a hand mixer, rather than a stand mixer, actually works best here because the volumes are so small) beat egg yolks and 3 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl until mixture is very thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Briefly beat lukewarm chocolate mixture, then vanilla extract, into yolk mixture. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and all of the salt, beating until medium-firm peaks form. Fold whites into chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Divide batter among prepared cups, filling each three-fourths of the way. (You might find, as I did, that you had enough leftover for a extra half-cake. That’s your “taste tester”. It’s a, uh, very important part of the process.)

3. Place one Lindt truffle ball on top of each cup and push gently in, maybe one-third to one-half way. It will sink in as it cooks.

4. Bake cakes until tops are puffed and dry to the touch (some may crack, embrace it) and a tester inserted into the centers comes out with some moist crumbs attached, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in pan on a cooling rack, where the cupcakes will almost immediately start to fall. It will be all the better to put your frosting on. Makes 9 to 12 cupcakes.

Recipe adapted from

Whipped Caramel Ganache Frosting
1 lb. dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 T light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 lb. (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces, softened but still cool
  1. Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the mixture reaches 350 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.

  2. In another small saucepan add cream and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.

  3. When the caramel mixture has reached 350 degrees, remove from heat and allow to rest for 1 minute. Add the hot cream to the caramel; stir to combine. Let cool 5 minutes. Place chocolate in the bowl of an electric mixer and pour caramel sauce over chocolate. Let sit 1 minute before stirring from the center until chocolate is melted.

  4. Attach bowl to electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low until the bowl feels cool to the touch. Add butter and increase speed to medium-high until mixture is well combined, thickened, and slightly whipped, about 2 minutes. Recipe from

To Finish: Fill each sunken top with a big dollop or piping of whipped frosting and top with shaved chocolate or, my favorite, ed-i-ble glit-ter.

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