The winner was the Double Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Filling from Food & Wine. This won since the ingredients were all things I either already have or I keep around anyway so it's a good excuse to restock. Plus, this includes filling the cupcakes and I haven't had an excuse to use my nifty new cupcake filler tip yet.
I made very few changes to the recipe since it sounded pretty good right from the start. I didn't realize I was out of buttermilk until I got home, but I found some yogurt in the fridge and decided to make an easy substitution. Since yogurt is pretty tangy, you don't lose much flavor the buttermilk would have added. I mixed up the ganache for the top early on since I wanted to see how much heavy cream I'd have leftover for another recipe. I stirred it all up, got it nice and smooth, but the jar of peanut butter I'd left on the counter after the run to the store was taunting me from behind the flour. Never one to back down from a food themed taunt, I stuck a few spoonfuls in with the chocolate. :)
The batter itself mixed up nice and fluffy, almost moose-like. That's moose as in the dessert, not moose as in Bullwinkle. No antlers on the cupcakes. But this made it easy to scoop out with an ice-cream scoop. Some didn't crown quite so nicely as they baked, but I got a few that looked real purty.
Of course the next step after baking these little guys was the filling part. As I said, I had a tip that I hadn't had the opportunity to use yet. That's pretty tragic in and of itself, but I'd also never actually filled cupcakes before. Read about how to, thought about fillings, but never got this far. So yay! It's pretty easy: shove the tip in the cupcake and squeeze till the top starts to dome up.
After all the peanut butter filling was in, all that was left was the ganache. The directions said to just dip the tops of the cupcakes in. Upon reading this I had visions of cupcakes floating in the bowl of chocolate, so I just slathered it on with my handy offset spatula. Probably not as pretty, but definitely cleaner. And since I do have the other tips that came along with the filler tip, I had to add a little bit of flair to the top.
Just too dang cute. And check out that adorable little swirl on top.
Of course the very last step is loading them all up to be toted in to TCTMNBN. I begged for months for the cupcake carrier that holds two dozen. So many of them only hold one and who in the world ever makes just one dozen cupcakes?!
These are some serious cupcakes. See how the weight of them are bowing the middle of the top tray? That's all that yummy peanut butter filling creating all that stress. :) It's the sign of a good dessert.
Hope you enjoy them if you get to try them. I was super busy in the kitchen this weekend, so I've got a few more things in the works. And I'm still looking for a caramel recipe, maybe soon. But up next week is a birthday cake that I'm totally excited about. It's gonna be awesome.