I saw these cupcakes on 6 Bittersweets just in time for St. Patrick's day and knew they would soon grace my kitchen with their sweet, minty presence. The chocolate cake was already the moistest, lightest chocolate cake I've ever tasted (but I had to eat all 12 cones I carved out of the centers, just to be sure...), but the creamy ganache took it to another level. Pure, sweet, chocolatey heaven.
Thin Mint Cupcakes
original recipe here
yield: 12 cupcakes
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
6 1/2 tbsp unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup milk (not skim)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp mint extract
Pinch of salt
Green food coloring (optional)
Mint Chocolate Ganache:
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate (chips or finely chopped bar)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp unsalted butter (hint: 1 tsp = 1/3 tbsp)
3/4 tsp mint extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease or line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
- Make the cupcakes first: In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the egg, milk, oil and vanilla and, using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Stir in the boiling water (the batter will be thin). Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake pan, filling each cup no more than 3/4 full. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick or thin knife inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, make the buttercream: Cream the butter using an electric mixer. When the butter is soft and fluffy, start adding the sifted powdered sugar a little at a time. When all of the sugar is incorporated, add salt and mint extract. Add the green food coloring, a little at a time, until desired shade is achieved. Beat the buttercream until creamy. Transfer to a squeeze bottle or pastry bag (I prefer the former).
- Once the cupcakes are completely cool, carve a cone out of the top of each cupcake. (Be careful not to cut too deep; you don't want the cone to go too far past the center or that will take a LOT of buttercream filling!) Fill each cupcake with 1-2 tbsp of buttercream. Try to make the top of the buttercream level with the top of the cupcake so the surface will be smooth once dipped in ganache. Set the remaining buttercream aside for piping decoration at the end (no need to refrigerate).
- Make the ganache after the cupcakes have been filled as it will need to be used immediately: Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream, butter and mint extract just to a boil. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and let sit for about 5 minutes. Begin stirring the mixture until it is uniform and smooth (may take about 5 minutes of stirring).
- Once the ganache is smooth, dip each cupcake into it up to the liner. Let the excess drip off and place right-side-up on a wire rack to let the ganache set for about 1 hour. (If the ganache in the bowl begins to harden before all of the cupcakes have been dipped, reheat it in the microwave in 5-second intervals until it's smooth again.)
- Once the ganache is completely set, take the remaining buttercream and pipe desired decoration on the top of each cupcake. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.