Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Chocolate port cupcake w/ganache & salted caramel
Red Wine Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze and Salted Caramel Dollops
Yield: 30 shallow cakes
Adapted from Cooking With Wine by Anne Willan, via Bon Appétit October 2001
2 cups flour
1 scant cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups red wine*
2 cups (6 ounces) semi or bittersweet chocolate, chopped**
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
Fleur de sel (sea salt) for garnish
To make the cakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds after each. Mix in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the red wine and beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until thoroughly incorporated (because you don't want any white, buttery chunks in your dark batter).
Bake in your cupcake containers of choice for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes or so, and then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
To make the glaze:
Heat the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in a small saucepan over very low heat until shiny and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Spoon over cupcakes.
To make the caramel:
Warm the cream in the microwave or a small saucepan until heated through, but not boiling.
In a separate pot with very high sides (this is important!), heat the sugar and water over high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. When the sugar has dissolved, stop stirring and allow the mixture to come to a boil. When it reaches a medium brown shade, remove it from the burner. (The mixture will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat, so if you wait to see the dark amber color while it is still on the stove, you will run the risk of burning it.) Wearing oven mitts for protection, CAREFULLY and SLOWLY pour in the cream, whisking constantly. The cream will cause the mixture to seize and bubble up violently, so don't just dump it all in at once! Return the pot to the burner, add in the butter and salt, and continue to whisk over low heat until smooth.
Allow the caramel to cool and then refrigerate or freeze until it is thick enough to drop by dollops onto the glazed cupcakes. Sprinkle with fleur de sel. (Any remaining caramel will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks. It's delicious over ice cream...or straight from the bowl with a spoon.)
I didn't cook the caramel long enough, so it was creamy and a bit grainier than it should have been. also, with port i think i will try half the coco next time, but they're chocolatey and tasty, and the ganache is fantastic!