We had a very small Christmas celebration – we opened presents here at home in the morning, and then we went to nana’s for lunch where we opened more presents. Even though I knew I wouldn’t have to go all out with baking Christmas treats, I wanted to make one thing that was really yummy and festive. When I read this post at Our Best Bites, I knew that I’d be making chocolate cupcakes filled with chocolate peppermint ganache and frosted with swirled peppermint frosting and sprinkled in crushed candy canes.
I took two days to make these – the cakes and ganache filling on Christmas Eve, and the frosting on Christmas morning while the kids were occupied playing with their new toys.
The cakes are definitely as fudgey as Our Best Bites says they are. In fact, they are very similar in taste to a fudgey brownie. I was very pleased with the cake recipe and will most likely be using it again in other creations. Although Our Best Bites says the recipe will make 12 cupcakes, I only got 10.
I did not use the ganache recipe provided from Our Best Bites, but instead I used my own favorite recipe and added peppermint extract to it. I ended up adding about 3/4-1 teaspoon of peppermint extract, and I noted that the peppermint taste seemed to be stronger after the ganache had cooled.
My only problem with these cupcakes was the frosting. I had never made a cooked frosting before (unless you count Swiss meringue buttercream), so I wasn’t feeling overly confident as I only had enough ingredients and time for one batch of frosting. It looked easy enough to make however. Everything went along smoothly until about the end of the mixing time. The recipe says that the mixture will at first look curdled and separated, but will eventually, after 7-8 minutes, all come together in a silky, smooth frosting. I mixed with my whisk on my KitchenAid stand mixer, but after 8 minutes, it still looked a little separated. I didn’t have a lot of time to keep mixing, so I tasted it, and it tasted just fine, and it looked as if it would pipe just fine, so I went ahead and piped it onto the cupcakes. The end result is what you see in the photo above – you can see it isn’t smooth and silky!
I did try to swirl some red into the frosting, but I couldn’t find red gel food coloring, so I used liquid and I’ll just say that it didn’t work as well as the gel would have!
I have to say that I’m not a big fan of peppermint cupcakes in general, but these tasted quite nice. However, I absolutely loved the leftovers – after storing them in the refrigerator, I stuck them in the microwave for about 12 seconds. When I cut into the cupcake with a fork, I was surprised to see the ganache oozing out, just like a lava cake! It was delicious and was actually a perfect match for a cup of coffee – almost like a peppermint mocha!
When it comes to the frosting, if I were to make these again, I’d probably make peppermint Swiss meringue buttercream to accompany these, instead of the frosting I used here.
You can find the recipe, as well as step-by-step photos, for these cupcakes at Our Best Bites!