Monday, March 8, 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes with Bittersweet Chocolate Strawberry Ganache

chocolate cupcakes

I have a lesson for you. Are you ready for it? Let me take you back to Saturday night, where I was being a wonderful wife and making my husband dinner. I had settled on this recipe for Baked Shrimp Scampi by Ezra Pound Cake, and I was going all out for it, and we were both excited to try it. So excited, in fact, that I broke out the knife and actually chopped up fresh garlic for the occasion. See, we usually get lazy and use the bottled kind, which is really sad, but it happens.

So anyway, the garlic. I chopped that garlic, I made the dish, it baked up quickly, and everyone was happy.

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon. Remember my wedding cake project? The wedding has been pushed back to April 20-something, so in the meantime I've been tasked with also baking cute cupcakes for the bridal shower. (This getting paid to do what I love thing - it's sort of nice!). Her wedding colors are red and black, so I figured what better combo than chocolate and strawberries, right? The recipe involves baking up a simple (and oh-so-tender and moist) chocolate cupcake, then filling them with a strawberry chocolate ganache, then topping them with ganache and a buttercream icing. Wow, right?

So I baked those puppies, making them into mini cupcakes instead of regular sized. Cute, right? I'm already on a roll. I chop up the chocolate, chop up the strawberries, heat the cream, and make two batches of ganache: one with strawberries (the filling), and one without (the topping).

I stuck the strawberry ganache in the fridge to let it thicken, and after I had removed the insides of each and every cupcake (which is a lot when you make minis), I took it back out of the fridge. I did a taste-test, and...what? What is that weird tangy flavor in the strawberry ganache? Hmm, it's not really strong, but definitely there. What...what the?

Guys. It was garlic. Garlic strawberry ganache. I had inadvertently chopped up the strawberries on the same cutting board that I used for the garlic on Saturday. Can you say gross and just...gross? Lesson: Keep your garlic/veggie cutting board separate from everything else. Yuck. I was so upset, I almost threw out the whole batch. But for some reason I soldiered on, and finished filling and icing the cupcakes, convinced that the subtle garlic flavor would somehow dissipate within the cupcake.

My husband says that he can barely taste it, and that no one looking for it would ever notice. I don't believe him. So, needless to say, my co-workers did NOT get to eat these. I was too embarassed to bring them to work.

All of this to say that the recipe was absolutely amazing, and I'll share with you soon. When I get it right, that is. But to redeem myself until then, I've got another post for you, sharing a recipe for carrot cupcakes that I also made this weekend. Really, we were up to our eyeballs in cupcakes. Which, really, isn't all that bad at all. That post is coming next!

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