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chocolate cupcakes with milk chocolate ganache frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Milk Chocolate Ganache

 

My favorite chocolate cupcakes with whipped milk chocolate ganache.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Milk Chocolate Ganache by Baked Bree for JavaCupcake.com

Lately, I’ve acquired a bit of a YouTube obsession. I watch cooking and baking videos all the time. I was watching My Cupcake Addiction and realized that I have been not making ganache correctly. Well, making ganache is the easiest thing in the world, it is two ingredients – chocolate and cream. The part that I was getting wrong was not letting it stand to firm up. I tried making whipped ganache before and it wasn’t firm enough to pipe. After watching a video about ganache, I realized that my problem was that I didn’t let it firm up again after I whipped it.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Milk Chocolate Ganache by Baked Bree for JavaCupcake.com

Now that I’ve figured it out, I might not ever need to make another frosting. It is light and fluffy, and so chocolatey. And you can use whatever kind of chocolate you like, dark or white also work here. If you would like a smoother frosting, you can skip the whipping step and just spread the thickened ganache over your cupcakes.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Milk Chocolate Ganache by Baked Bree for JavaCupcake.com

These cupcakes are so simple to make and are so elegant. I found these chocolate straws in a gourmet shop, they are so pretty and are the perfect finishing touch to these cupcakes.

I’m Bree of Baked Bree. Come over and say hi. You can also find me on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Milk Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Milk Chocolate Ganache

Yield: 18 cupcakes
Prep Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 33 minutes

A rich chocolate cupcake with whipped milk chocolate ganache frosting.

Ingredients

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 box devil's food cake mix
  • 1 small box chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whipped Milk Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1 (12-oz) bag milk chocolate chips
  • 6 oz. heavy cream
  • chocolate straws (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line two muffin tins with 18 paper liners.
  2. Add cake mix ingredients to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat well, about 3 minutes, scrapping the bowl occasionally.
  3. Divide batter evenly between muffin tin. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.
  4. To make the frosting: add chocolate chips and cream to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 one minute. Stir. Cook for another minute. Stir until completely smooth. (Microwave times vary, repeat in 20-30 intervals if needed to completely melt the chips.)
  5. Press plastic wrap onto the surfact of the chocolate. Let stand for 1-2 hours to thicken, Add chocolate mixture to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until whipped, about 3-4 minutes. Cover again and let firm up, about an hour. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe onto cupcakes and add chocolate straws for decoration.

 

White Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes | JavaCupcake.com

White Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes

White chocolate cake filled with white chocolate ganache topped with whipped Nutella buttercream make these cupcakes the perfect cupcake to satisfy your sweet tooth!

White Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes | JavaCupcake.com

A  couple months ago, my husband Dave transitioned into the Warrior Transition Unit – Europe.  The WTU is a special unit in the Army that specializes in helping injured soldiers get well or transition out of the Army.   After 11 years serving on active duty, 2 deployments to Iraq and 1 to Afghanistan and countless hours of training, Dave suffers from combat related PTSD, TBI (traumatic brain injury), anxiety, depression, nightmares, sleepless nights… just to name a few.

White Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes | JavaCupcake.com

So when Dave asked if I would make cupcakes for him to bring to his combat stress support group, well… of course I said yes.  Anything I can do to help bring a little bit of joy, comfort and happiness to these injured soldiers I’m more than happy to do.

Dave’s two favorite flavors are white chocolate and Nutella so what better opportunity to make a cupcake filled with his favorites.  Thus this White Chocolate Nutella Cupcake was born!

White Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes | JavaCupcake.com

The base of this cupcake starts with a white chocolate cake that has chunks of white chocolate folded into the batter.  Filling the cake is a simple to make, yet rich and delicious white chocolate ganache.  Topping these cupcakes is a whipped Nutella buttercream, white chocolate shavings and a hazelnut wafer cookie.

The best part about these cupcakes though… Dave frosted and decorated every last one of them.   He’s pretty darn good with a piping bag!

White Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes | JavaCupcake.com

I think my favorite bite of these cupcakes was one where I got a bit of the white chocolate ganache and a bit of the Nutella buttercream.  Creamy, delicious goodness.

When Dave brought them to his group and the soldiers could hardly believe Dave helped make them… let alone frost them.   Needless to say, they were a huge hit and everyone loved them.

Enjoy!

White Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes

White Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes

Yield: 2 dozen
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 14 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, deseeded
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 100g white chocolate, roughly chopped

Filling

  • 200g heavy cream
  • 200g white chocolate

Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 heaping cup Nutella
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • pinch of salt
  • White chocolate, for shavings
  • Hazelnut wafer cookies

Instructions

Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla bean seeds and mix until combined
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk and vanilla. Pour this in 4-5 parts into the egg/butter mixture mixing well after each addition.
  5. Add the flour mixture and mix only until just combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure everything is incorporated but do not overmix the batter.
  6. Fold the chopped chocolate into the batter.
  7. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. After the cupcakes have cooled, core the center out of each cupcake.

Filling

  1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a small glass bowl.
  2. Heat the cream until just bubbling, but do not boil.
  3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for a few minutes. Stir gently with a rubber spatula until all the chocolate has melted. Set aside to cool.
  4. Once cooled, fill the hole of each cupcake with ganache.

Frosting

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the Nutella and butter for 2-3 minutes. You want the color to lighten by a few shades.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, scrape the sides of the bowl and mix until combined.
  3. Pour in the heavy cream and beat until smooth. Scrape the bowl again.
  4. Mix in the salt.
  5. Beat on high for 3-4 minutes or until the buttercream has become light and fluffy.
  6. Fill a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M piping tip with buttercream and pipe swirls of frosting on to each cupcake.
  7. Top with shaved pieces of white chocolate and a hazelnut wafer cookie.

 

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek | JavaCupcake.com

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake

Dense dark chocolate cake layers filled with a decadent red currant creme all covered in chocolate ganache and garnished with frosted red currants make every slice of this Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake a sinfully delicious guilty pleasure!

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek | JavaCupcake.com

I’ve made several layer cakes over the past few years, but this cake is truly the culmination of everything I’ve learned about American and German baking, rolled into one glorious dessert.

And when I say American and German baking, I mean that I’ve taken my American style cake and paired it with a German style cake filling covered it in a simple ganache.  No frosting or buttercream anywhere on this cake… which is a huge departure for me.  Here in Germany, the cakes are typically filled with a cream and topped with whipped cream or ganache, but hardly ever do you find frosting or buttercream on their cakes.

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek | JavaCupcake.com

This is not an overly sweet cake. Instead this cake is very rich cake and paired with the creaminess of the filling and the tartness of the berries the flavors match each other perfectly.

Red Currants are typically found in Western Europe, but this cake could easily be made with any fruit including fresh cherries or raspberries.  Even strawberries would be amazing with this cake!

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek | JavaCupcake.com

The chocolate cake recipe that I used for this cake is my tried and true chocolate cake.  It is made with melted butter and coffee as well as dark chocolate cocoa powder.  The biggest difference this time with this cake is that it is served chilled, which in my opinion completely changes the texture and flavor of the chocolate.  In fact, I think the chocolate flavor intensifies and the texture becomes dense, thick and almost fudge-like.  Heavenly.

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek | JavaCupcake.com

The recipe for the red currant creme filling was inspired by a similar cake I saw on a Croatian baking blog and I adapted it to fit what I wanted to create.  They actually made a very similar cake and was thrilled to see how successful they had been in their attempt to make the cake that I had been dreaming of in my head!

Since this cake is a very large cake and the pieces don’t need to be cut more than an inch big, I had a lot of cake to share!  One of my neighbors was kind enough to eat most of it for me!  I kept offering slices and she kept saying YES!

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek | JavaCupcake.com

Each bite of this cake knocked my socks off and far exceeded any expectations I had for how it would be.  The sour cream filling I expected to be very sour, but after sitting in the refrigerator chilling for 24 hours, the flavors came together and it was perfect.

If you need a show stopping cake for your next party, I completely suggest this cake!  Your friends and family will be so impressed!

Happy Baking!

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake

Yield: 1 10in cake - about 16-20 servings
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brewed strong coffee
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Red Currant Creme Filling

  • 300g red currants, destemmed, clean and dry
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 1/8tsp orange extract
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 700g sour cream
  • 4Tbsp cold water
  • 10g powdered gelatin

Ganache

  • 200g semi-sweet chocolate (50-60% cocoa)
  • 250g heavy cream
  • 2Tbsp unsalted butter

Garnish

  • 1-2 cups chocolate shavings
  • 2 cups or a large bunch of red currants on the stem
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

Chocolate Cake

  1. Prepare a 10in springform pan by greasing the sides and bottom with butter or shortening and then coating in flour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  3. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the cocoa powder, brewed coffee, and vanilla extract and whisk until combined. Bring to a light simmer and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. While cooling, whisk together the egg and sour cream in a medium bowl.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  6. Slowly whisk the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the eggs and sour cream until smooth.
  7. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the wet mixture into it. Whisk together until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool in the pan completely before removing from the springform pan.
  10. Once cool, trim the top of the cake so it is flat. Measure half way down the cake and cut it into two equal layers.

Red Currant Creme Filling

  1. Gently stir together the red currants, 50g granulated sugar and orange extract in a medium pot and cook over medium high heat for 5-10 minutes. Be careful not to break up the berries. You want their skins to become slightly soft and for the juice of the berries to come out with the sugar, but not for the berries to break down. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium glass bowl over a water bath, whisk the egg yolks with 100g granulated sugar. Cook for 7-8 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick. Remove the bowl from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, measure out the sour cream. Scoop about 3Tbsp of the sour cream into the egg yolk mixture to help cool it down.
  4. In a small pot over low heat, whisk cold water and the gelatin together. Slowly warm the mixture to dissolve the gelatin. Once dissolved, pour it into the eggs and whisk to combine.
  5. Whisk remaining sour cream until smooth. Pour in the egg mixture and whisk to combine completely.
  6. Gently fold in the red currants, including all the juice in the pot. Chill this mixture in the freezer for about 25 minutes or until it has began to set but it still pourable.
  7. Place the bottom layer of the cake back in the springform pan, making sure the pan is latched closed. Pour the filling over the cake and smooth it out flat with an offset spatula. Place the second layer of cake on top of the filling and gently press down to ensure that the filling has reached the sides of the pan.
  8. Cover with foil and chill the cake at least 24 hours. Once completely chilled and the filling has set, you can move on to covering th cake in ganache.

Ganache

  1. Chop the chocolate into very small pieces and place in a medium glass bowl.
  2. In a small pot on medium high heat, heat the heavy cream just until it begins to simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let stand for 3 minutes, untouched.
  3. Stir the cream and chocolate together until smooth slowly, being careful not to create any air bubbles in the chocolate.
  4. Add the butter and stir until combined.
  5. Allow the chocolate to cool and thicken until when poured it won't immediately run off the top of the cake.
  6. Remove the cake from the springform pan and place it on the serving platter or plate.
  7. SLOWLY pour the ganache in the center of the top of the cake until it reaches the edges of the cake and begins to fall down the sides. You want the chocolate thick enough that it will leave a nice layer of chocolate on the top of the cake, almost like a frosting, but not as thick and very smooth.
  8. Using an offset spatula, scoop up the chocolate that fell down the sides and spread it along the edges, being careful not to damage the perfectly smooth top of the cake.

Garnish

  1. Before the ganache has time to set, press chocolate shavings onto the side of the cake.
  2. Clean and dry the red currants.
  3. Whisk an egg white in a small bowl. Dip the red currants, on the stem, into the egg whites then completely cover in granulated sugar.
  4. Set on a tray covered in wax paper to set and completely dry.
  5. Place the frosted red currants in a pile on top of the cake in the center.
  6. Keep cake chilled until ready to serve.

 

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake

Yield: 1 10in cake - about 16-20 servings
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brewed strong coffee
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Red Currant Creme Filling

  • 300g red currants, destemmed, clean and dry
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 1/8tsp orange extract
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 700g sour cream
  • 4Tbsp cold water
  • 10g powdered gelatin

Ganache

  • 200g semi-sweet chocolate (50-60% cocoa)
  • 250g heavy cream
  • 2Tbsp unsalted butter

Garnish

  • 1-2 cups chocolate shavings
  • 2 cups or a large bunch of red currants on the stem
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

Chocolate Cake

  1. Prepare a 10in springform pan by greasing the sides and bottom with butter or shortening and then coating in flour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  3. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the cocoa powder, brewed coffee, and vanilla extract and whisk until combined. Bring to a light simmer and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. While cooling, whisk together the egg and sour cream in a medium bowl.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  6. Slowly whisk the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the eggs and sour cream until smooth.
  7. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the wet mixture into it. Whisk together until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool in the pan completely before removing from the springform pan.
  10. Once cool, trim the top of the cake so it is flat. Measure half way down the cake and cut it into two equal layers.

Red Currant Creme Filling

  1. Gently stir together the red currants, 50g granulated sugar and orange extract in a medium pot and cook over medium high heat for 5-10 minutes. Be careful not to break up the berries. You want their skins to become slightly soft and for the juice of the berries to come out with the sugar, but not for the berries to break down. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium glass bowl over a water bath, whisk the egg yolks with 100g granulated sugar. Cook for 7-8 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick. Remove the bowl from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, measure out the sour cream. Scoop about 3Tbsp of the sour cream into the egg yolk mixture to help cool it down.
  4. In a small pot over low heat, whisk cold water and the gelatin together. Slowly warm the mixture to dissolve the gelatin. Once dissolved, pour it into the eggs and whisk to combine.
  5. Whisk remaining sour cream until smooth. Pour in the egg mixture and whisk to combine completely.
  6. Gently fold in the red currants, including all the juice in the pot. Chill this mixture in the freezer for about 25 minutes or until it has began to set but it still pourable.
  7. Place the bottom layer of the cake back in the springform pan, making sure the pan is latched closed. Pour the filling over the cake and smooth it out flat with an offset spatula. Place the second layer of cake on top of the filling and gently press down to ensure that the filling has reached the sides of the pan.
  8. Cover with foil and chill the cake at least 24 hours. Once completely chilled and the filling has set, you can move on to covering th cake in ganache.

Ganache

  1. Chop the chocolate into very small pieces and place in a medium glass bowl.
  2. In a small pot on medium high heat, heat the heavy cream just until it begins to simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let stand for 3 minutes, untouched.
  3. Stir the cream and chocolate together until smooth slowly, being careful not to create any air bubbles in the chocolate.
  4. Add the butter and stir until combined.
  5. Allow the chocolate to cool and thicken until when poured it won't immediately run off the top of the cake.
  6. Remove the cake from the springform pan and place it on the serving platter or plate.
  7. SLOWLY pour the ganache in the center of the top of the cake until it reaches the edges of the cake and begins to fall down the sides. You want the chocolate thick enough that it will leave a nice layer of chocolate on the top of the cake, almost like a frosting, but not as thick and very smooth.
  8. Using an offset spatula, scoop up the chocolate that fell down the sides and spread it along the edges, being careful not to damage the perfectly smooth top of the cake.

Garnish

  1. Before the ganache has time to set, press chocolate shavings onto the side of the cake.
  2. Clean and dry the red currants.
  3. Whisk an egg white in a small bowl. Dip the red currants, on the stem, into the egg whites then completely cover in granulated sugar.
  4. Set on a tray covered in wax paper to set and completely dry.
  5. Place the frosted red currants in a pile on top of the cake in the center.
  6. Keep cake chilled until ready to serve.
Mini Mocha Macarons | JavaCupcake.com

Mini Mocha Macarons & a Giveaway

Crisp shells and melt in your mouth ganache paired with espresso make these mini mocha macarons a decadently delicious treat!

Mini Mocha Macarons | JavaCupcake.com

This is a LONG post… but it’s going to be worth it, I PROMISE!  So sit back and enjoy… cause there’s lots of fun stuff in here including a recipe, DIY printables, super fun pictures, and a great giveaway at the end!!

I made my first macaron in October of last year and it was a big success.  The Macaron has always been a dessert that has kinda scared me.  It is super fancy and I’ve really only seen them in bakeries since I’ve lived in Europe.  So when Rachel of Glitter & Bow and I started talking about doing a collaborate post together, we both instantly thought that this decant Parisian dessert should be included!

Mini Mocha Macarons & a Giveaway | JavaCupcake.com

Rachel is a fashion, lifestyle and DIY blogger at Glitter & Bow.   She’s also an Army Wife, lives about 30 minutes from me and has become a good friend here in Europe.  We come from two completely different worlds, but our love of food (more me), fashion (more her) and blogging has brought us together.

Rachel has helped to me to be able to be more confident in my own skin.  She’s taken me shopping for new clothes and make-up as well as give me make-overs and help me with my fashion styling! She even did my hair for this photo shoot and helped to put my super cute outfit together!  I really value our friendship because she inspires me to do more than just throw on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt, but to really try to look my best.  And after having a baby in my 30’s that’s not always easy to do!

Mini Mocha Macarons & a Giveaway | JavaCupcake.com

I had so much fun the day we got together to take the photos of the macarons and the prizes for the giveaway.   Rachel’s design aesthetic and my photography skill joined together produced some amazing pictures.  There were really so many more great shots… too many actually that it made it hard to choose which to include in this post!

Mini Mocha Macarons & a Giveaway | JavaCupcake.com

The macarons I made for this collaboration were inspired by a recipe I saw on Diary of a Mad Hausfrau.  Lora has so many amazing macaron recipes on her blog that I knew which ever one I chose to make, it’d be a winner!  And boy was I right.  These mocha macarons are so incredibly good!

If you love espresso, you’ll love these macarons.  They have a very strong espresso flavor, but are not bitter at all.  They are sweet and the dark chocolate mocha ganache in the filling is a perfect pairing.

Decadent.

Delicious.

A must make.

Mini Mocha Macarons | JavaCupcake.com

Rachel has outdone herself with these super cute boxes & gift-tags for our macarons!  Head on over to Glitter & Bow for a FULL TUTORIAL on how to make these boxes and tags and get the FREE PRINTABLES to make them yourself!

Printable Macaron Box & Valentine Tags by Glitter & Bow | JavaCupcake.comPhoto by: Glitter & Bow

Mini Mocha Macarons

Mini Mocha Macarons

Yield: 2-3 dozen macarons
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 53 minutes

Ingredients

Tools Needed

  • Stand mixer with whisk attachment - both very clean and dry
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Mesh sifter
  • Wire whisk
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Disposable piping bag
  • 1/2in round piping tip (Wilton 1A)
  • Small round piping tip (Wilton 12)
  • 3.5cm piping template Click HERE for the template

Mocha Macarons

  • 90g egg whites (left out overnight at room temperature)
  • 50g sugar
  • 200g powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp espresso powder
  • 110g blanched almond flour

Mocha Ganache

  • 120g semi-sweet chocolate - I used Lindt 70% Schokolade
  • 120ml or 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp espresso powder
  • 1/2 T unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Mini Mocha Macarons

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Place the racks on the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 2 templates per baking sheet under parchment paper.
  2. In the medium bowl, sift together the powdered sugar, espresso powder and almond flour. Sift three times. You may have a few lump of almond flour left in the sifter, discard it. Stir the whisk around 5-10 stokes to ensure everything is combined. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of the stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites. Start the mixer on low and gradually bring it to high speed. Once the eggs have become foamy, add the granulated sugar 1 Tbsp at a time. Mix for 20 seconds after each addition. After all the sugar has been added, continue to mix on high until stiff peaks form. This entire process should take 6-10 minutes.
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and tap off any extra meringue from the whisk into the bowl.
  5. Gently pour half the almond/sugar mix into the meringue and fold with a rubber spatula until just incorporated. Take care to fold VERY gently, about 10-15 strokes, scraping the bottom and sides occasionally. Add the remaining almond/sugar mix and repeat another 10-15 strokes, again occasionally scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl (top photo below).
  6. Continue to slowly fold the batter another 15-30 strokes or until the surface is smooth and shiny and the batter is thick. When you lift and drop the batter back on itself, after waiting for about 30 seconds, the ridges should slowly ooze back into the batter (bottom photo above).
  7. Attach a 1/2in wide, round piping tip to a disposable bag and fill it with batter. Holding the bag upright, slowly squeeze dollops of batter onto the prepared baking sheet using the template as a guide. NOTE: To make these mini, make sure the batter goes just to the edge of the template circle and not to the edge or outside of it. Read [THIS TUTORIAL | http://bakeitoff.blogspot.co.uk/2009/10/macarons-tips-tricks-and-how-to.html} for more details on this process.
  8. Tap the pan on the counter several times to release any air holes in the macarons.
  9. Allow macarons to rest on the counter for 20-30 minutes or until a crust has formed and is stiff to the touch. Remove template before baking.
  10. When ready to bake, place one baking sheet on each rack of the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Rotate pans 180 degrees and switch racks moving the pan on top to the bottom and the pan on the bottom to the top. Bake another 3-5 minutes or until firm with the slightest amount of give when gently touched.
  11. Remove from the oven and cool for about 5 minutes on the pans. The macarons should then gently pop off the pan when lifted. Set them on a wire rack to cool completely before filling. BE CAREFUL, they are FRAGILE!

Mocha Ganache

  1. Chop the chocolate into very fine pieces and place in a medium glass bowl.
  2. In a small sauce pan, whisk the espresso powder and the heavy cream together until incorporated. Add the butter and bring it all to a boil.
  3. Immediately pour the hot espresso milk & butter over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 1 minute.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, gently and slowly stir the ganache until smooth.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.
  6. Allow the ganache to come to room temperature and be completely cool before piping onto the macarons.

Assembly

  1. Fit a piping bag with the Wilton 12 tip and fill with ganache.
  2. Match up macaron shells so that they are equal in size and shape. Lay them open face on your work surface.
  3. Squeeze about a teaspoon of ganache onto one macaroon.
  4. Holding the macaron by it's sides and NOT the tops, gently place the matching shell on top of the ganache and wiggle it down gently until the ganache reaches the sides.

Storage & Serving

  1. Macarons will last up to 5 days. If serving the day they are made, leave them out at room temperature.
  2. If not serving the same day, store them in an air-tight container on the lowest shelf of your refrigerator. Allow the macarons to come to room temperature before serving, about 30 minutes.

Notes

Macaron Recipe from Diary of a Mad Hausfrau
Ganache Recipe from Java Cupcake

Mini Mocha Macarons & a Giveaway | JavaCupcake.com

As a sweet THANK YOU to our readers for being so great and because macaron and all things fashion are just to sweet not to giveaway, Rachel & I have put together this sweet giveaway for you!

One lucky reader will win:

Macaron Bakery tea towel by H&M (retail $5)
Treats tea towel by Home Goods (retail $5)
Macaron lip balm in ‘Lychee flower’ by MOR Cosmetics (retail $10)
1 set of 48 Capacity Macarons Mat and Decorating Flower Tools (retail $13)
Gourmet French Macarons: Over 75 Unique Flavors and Festive Shapes (CD Included) by Mindy Cone (retail $20)
Pave link bracelet by J.Crew (retail $125)

Mini Mocha Macarons & a Giveaway | JavaCupcake.com

Mindy Cone, the author of Gourmet French Macarons & blogger at Creative Juice, will personally send you a copy of her new book!  This book is so amazing!  It’s full of easy to follow recipes and has a CD included that has a template for each macaron in her book.  This is probably one of my most favorite new cookbooks of 2013!

Mini Mocha Macarons & a Giveaway | JavaCupcake.com

I have had my eye on this J. Crew pave link bracelet since I saw Rachel wearing it once when she came to my house to get some cupcakes.  I fell in love.  It really was one of the things that inspired me to want to do a collaborative post with her!  Her style and love of fashion has truly inspired me to invest more time and effort into making myself feel better… both inside and out.   My hope is that wearing this bracelet will do the same for you!

Mini Mocha Macarons & a Giveaway | JavaCupcake.com

Rachel is a lover of every thing make up.  So when she told me she found macaron lip balm I knew that this giveaway was going to be super special!  I opened up and took a quick sniff of this lip balm and oh my gosh it smells so good!

Mini Mocha Macarons & a Giveaway | JavaCupcake.com

We really hope that you’ve enjoyed our collaboration post as much as we enjoyed putting it together!  To win all of these great prizes, simply fill out the Rafflecopter widget below!

Contest ends Feb. 14, 2014 at 11:59 PST.  One winner will be chosen by random on Feb. 15, 2014 and will have 24 hours to respond to an email from Betsy.  A new winner will be chosen if there is no response.

Contest is open to those with USA mailing addresses and Europe addresses only.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Golden Chocolate Creme Cupcakes inspired by the OREO with the same name! | JavaCupcake.com

Golden Chocolate Creme Cupcakes

Based on the OREO cookie with the same name, these Golden Chocolate Creme Cupcakes are a rich, golden cake topped with sweet whipped chocolate ganache.  A delightful treat for an OREO lover!

Golden Chocolate Creme Cupcakes inspired by the OREO with the same name! | JavaCupcake.com

We don’t get many of the fun flavors of OREO cookies at the commissary here in Grafenwoehr, Germany.  So… when I see a flavor with the big NEW tag next to it, I snatch up at least one package!  This time… it was the Golden Chocolate Creme OREO cookies.  Golden cookie filled with smooth chocolate cream.

I instantly knew these needed to be turned into a cupcake.  Golden yellow cake topped with chocolate frosting?  Seriously perfect.

Golden Chocolate Creme Cupcakes inspired by the OREO with the same name! | JavaCupcake.com

Here’s where I struggled though… what kind of chocolate frosting should be on top?  I knew that it had to be so super creamy and sweet… so my traditional chocolate buttercream that I use on my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe would be out.  That frosting is too fluffy and light.

Ohhhh… but ganache is smooth and creamy!! YES! I’ll whip it up to pure chocolate perfection!

Golden Chocolate Creme Cupcakes inspired by the OREO with the same name! | JavaCupcake.com

I can’t take credit for this golden cake though… it comes from Smitten Kitchen.  She already had a great recipe, so why reinvent the wheel.   You can find her yellow cake recipe here… but I’ll post it below cause I turned it into cupcakes.

Just so you know… this cake is pretty darn delicious.  The yellow cake is light and fluffy, moist and full of great flavor.   The whipped chocolate ganache is smooth, creamy and so effffffffing good!  It really taste so creamy smooth… just like the center of a Golden Chocolate Creme Oreo!

Golden Chocolate Creme Cupcakes inspired by the OREO with the same name! | JavaCupcake.com

So, the recipe for the frosting only made enough to frost just about 2 dozen cupcakes.  Bummer, I know.  I had naked cupcakes!  ACK! So, I whipped up a half batch of my perfect peanut butter buttercream and topped the rest with that! Another great option for this golden cake! YUM!

To transform these cupcakes into a treat perfect for Fall, I used:

Cupcake Liners: Sweets & Treats Boutique
Autumn Leaf Mini-Quins: Bake it Pretty

Enjoy!

Golden Chocolate Creme Cupcakes

Yield: 2-3 dozen cupcakes
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 46 minutes

Ingredients

Golden Cupcakes

  • Brown Chevron Liners from Sweets & Treats Boutique
  • 4 cups cake flour ( or 3 1/2 cups flour + 1/2 cup corn starch - SIFTED 2x)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tspbaking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup nsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups buttermilk

Whipped Chocolate Ganache

  • 3 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Autumn Leaf Mini Quins - for garnish (optional)

NOTE:

  • You may need to make more frosting than this recipe yields. I ran out of whipped ganache with 9 cupcakes left to frost. If you used the closed star Wilton 1M tip, the frosting might go further.

Instructions

Whipped Chocolate Ganache

  1. Place chocolate chips in the bowl of your stand mixer. (If you don't have two bowls for your mixer, place the chocolate in a medium glass bowl.)
  2. Heat the heavy cream on the stove until just boiling. Pour immediately over the chocolate chips and let sit for 2 minutes. Do not stir during these 2 minutes.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, stir the chocolate and cream until all the chocolate has melted. If the chocolate doesn't want to melt all the way, use a double boiler to heat the chocolate until it's all melted.
  4. Allow to cool for 20 minutes on the counter and then chill in the fridge for about an hour. You want the frosting to be the consistency of really thick pudding.
  5. While it's chilling, bake the cupcakes.
  6. After the cupcakes are baked and are cooling, remove the ganache from the fridge and let rest on the counter for 10 minutes.
  7. Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, whisk the chocolate for about 2-3 minutes. It will lighten in color and get fluffy. Do not over mix.

Golden Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  4. Mix in the vanilla. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again.
  5. One at a time, add the eggs. Scrape the bowl down after each addition of eggs.
  6. With the mixer on low, pour in the buttermilk and mix until just combined. NOTE: The batter will look curdled, but will smooth out with the flour.
  7. One cup at a time, add the flour with the mixer on low speed. Mix until just combined after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl and make sure all the flour has been incorporated.
  8. Scoop batter into liners 2/3 full.
  9. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Assembly

  1. Using a large open star tip fitted on your piping bag, pipe a swirl of frosting onto each cupcake.
  2. Garnish with the leaf quins.

 

Sweet & Salty:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes by JavaCupcake.com

This week is the “Week of the Dragoon” for the 2nd Cavalry Regiment here in Vilseck, Germany and tomorrow is Family Day.  (Basically, my husbands unit is having a giant birthday party for itself before they go on pre-deployment leave.)  I decided to donate cupcakes to the event to be sold at the 2/2 CR Cougar Foundation table.  The Cougar Foundation is the non profit organization that supports the 2nd Squadron in 2 CR… an organization that I’m a member of.

I decided to make a cupcake that I knew everyone would love… chocolate peanut butter.  But hmm… I’ve made that cupcake or cake a bazillion times.  Uhmp…. I need to kick it up a notch and add some flair! So, I’ve put a pretzel crust on the bottom of the cupcake and topped it with a chocolate dipped pretzel and a drizzle of chocolate ganache.  Om nom nom nom The perfect combination of sweet and salty – chocolatey and peanut buttery.  YUM!

Enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes by JavaCupcake.com

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes

Yield: 3 dozen cupcakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes

Rich chocolate cupcakes on a pretzel crust topped with peanut butter buttercream, chocolate ganache and a chocolate covered pretzel! Delish!

Ingredients

Pretzel Crust

  • 3 cups salted pretzel sticks
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brewed coffee
  • 1 Tbsp espresso powder
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Peanut Butter Buttercream

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/3 cups creamy peanut butter (I use JIF)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp salt

Chocolate Ganache

  • 150g 50% cocao Lindt chocolate (any semi-sweet baking chocolate would work)
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Chocolate Covered Pretzel (for garnish)

  • 1 bag large thin pretzels
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

Instructions

Pretzel Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. Using a food processor, pulse the pretzels until they are in small chunks.
  3. Add the melted butter and brown sugar and process on high until combined and the pretzels are in small crumbs.
  4. Press 1 tablespoon of pretzel crust into the bottom of each cupcake liner.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes.

Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the coffee, espresso powder, cocoa powder, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, buttermilk and the eggs. SLOWLY add a few tablespoons of the chocolate mixture to the sour cream mixture. Whisk to combine. In a slow stream, whisk in the remaining chocolate mixture until combined completely.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in wet. Using a whisk, stir until no more lumps remain.
  5. Scoop batter over the pretzel crust until 3/4 full.
  6. Bake 17-19 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool in pans before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Peanut Butter Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the peanut butter and butter for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl several times.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and mix on medium until combined.
  3. Add the salt and heavy cream, mix until smooth.
  4. Beat on high for 1-2 minutes or until fluffy and the color has lightened.

Chocolate Ganache

  1. Chop chocolate into very small pieces and place into a glass bowl.
  2. On medium high heat, bring heavy cream to a simmer.
  3. Immediately pour cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. Stir gently until all the chocolate has melted.
  5. Add the butter and vanilla and stir until combined.

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

  1. Dip half of the pretzel into the melted chocolate. Set on wax paper to harden.

Assembly

  1. Using a large round star tip, pipe swirls of buttercream onto each cupcake.
  2. Drizzle 1 Tbsp chocolate ganache over the buttercream.
  3. Gently press a chocolate covered pretzel into the buttercream.
  4. Add a small dollop of buttercream at the base of the pretzel to help hold it in place.
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