Would you believe I made these last Valentine's Day and never blogged them.
Shame on me. Let me make it right.
Dark Chocolate and Whiskey Cupcakes
For the Cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup Jack Daniels Whiskey
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, stir the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, coffee, whiskey, buttermilk and oil.
Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
Spoon the mixture into prepared cupcake wrappers. Bake for about 18-20 minutes until the tops spring back when lightly pressed.
For the Dark Chocolate Whiskey Ganache:
16 ounces good quality dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/4 cup Jack Daniels Whiskey
Melt and stir.
Chill in the fridge while the cupcakes bake and cool.
Cut out centers from your cupcakes. You can use a cupcake tool or a knife. If using a knife, I recommend cutting out a cone shape - it's easier.
Give your ganache a little stir. Set aside 2 cups of ganache for the frosting.
See how thick it set up. Yummy!
Fill the cupcake centers with ganache.
Now for the frosting. Most recipes I've seen call for even more Jack Daniels in the frosting but I tasted the cake (centers are made for snacking) with some ganache and it was PLENTY whiskey enough for my tasts. These are not subtle cupcakes folks. So I DID NOT add more JD. I stuck with plain chocolate.
Dark Chocolate Whiskey Buttercream
1 lb. butter, softened
1- 3 ounce package white chocolate, vanilla or cheesecake instant pudding mix
2 cups Dark Chocolate Whiskey ganache
1/2 cup sifted dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
more whiskey to taste
Beat the butter and pudding mix together on medium high speed for about 5 minutes.
Add ganache, cocoa powder and heavy cream. Beat for another 5 minutes.
Add powdered sugar a little bit at a time, to taste, and beat for at least 5 more minutes.
(Seriously! For frosting? This is eternal!)
*Add whiskey 1 TBL at a time until you love the flavor.
Wow. Never made a frosting even close to this fluffy before. I'm impressed. Fine.
Review: I found theses to be very strong on the whiskey flavor but the chocolate wasn't as prominent in the cake itself. The ganache and the frosting more than made up for the deficit but I like my cake to be really flavorful and the flavor was mostly whiskey. Perhaps if I'd skipped the JD in the ganache and in the frosting it would have been a bit more balanced. If you have a whiskey lover in your life these will be a huge hit.
A side note, I also found these to be a bit too oily and rich. It could be the high elevation that I bake at, or it could be all the fat in the recipe (cake, ganache and frosting is certainly 'special occasion'). Either way, when I make them again I'll be replacing half the oil with applesauce. I might fill them with something lighter too - like a custard.
Overall: I'd give them a B. It's been a year and I haven't reached for the recipe again but I have kept them in mind when I've wanted a sophisticated dessert.
Recipe adapted from several sources most of which referenced Fields of Cake.