Saturday, March 21, 2009

Look Ma - No Box!

For the past few months, I've been trying more and more to get away from processed/pre-made foods.  The stuff from scratch just tastes better and is better for you.  That said, I'm nowhere close to being totally free of processed foods, and doubt I'll ever be completely there.  However, I can replace a lot of the things I used to rely on a box for with the real things.

I was craving a chocolate cupcake today (no thanks to Barefoot Contessa's episode this morning), which then led me on a search for a good buttercream frosting.  In the process, I stumbled upon the blog of The Repressed Pastry Chef, and this recipe for Black Magic Cake.  I had everything on hand, and the ganache actually sounded better than buttercream to me today, so I decided to make this.

These cupcakes did not disappoint.  The addition of the coffee really brings out the richness of the chocolate, but it's not overly sweet.    It's the perfect combo of chocolate and sweetness, and I think these may become my go-to chocolate cupcakes/cake.  These were simple to make - so simple, that I have no excuse for pulling out a box again!

I was able to get 12 regular cupcakes, and 12 other little cakes (same size as cupcakes) out of this, and I baked them for 30 minutes.  I think it could easily be cut in half if you only wanted 12 at a time.  And, as mentioned on the original recipe, it makes 2 9-inch cakes or one 13x9x2 rectangular cake.  

On the ganache... well, I need to practice that a bit more.  My chocolate didn't all melt as well as I would have liked, so it wasn't nearly as smooth as it should have been.  I don't think I let the cream get hot enough.  It still tastes fantastic, though!  It is sweet, so if you're just wanting some chocolate, but not too much sweet, I'd just make the cupcakes and sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top, skipping any frosting altogether.    

Since my ganache didn't work so well, I didn't take any pictures, but the ones with the recipe speak for themselves.  Delicious!

For the recipe, go here.


Megan said...

I'll have to check it out! I have found with ganache that I get my best results when I cool it by placing the mixing bowl in an ice bath as opposed to putting it in the fridge. I whip the frosting with a whisk while it is in the ice bath, and it usually works out well. I noticed in the recipe that it just says to cool the frosting, not whip it. I would still go with an ice bath since it cools much faster and it is easier to test to see if it is the right consistency that constantly checking the fridge

Megan said...

I know I already commented once! But I made mac n cheese for the first time from scratch the other day, and I have no clue how I have gone so long using the processed stuff!