I think I am a little late to the party to actually enter the Iron Cupcake challenge for January (since I just decided today that I would try it out and did not request to be admitted to the group until just now… and the deadline for entry is tomorrow at noon Central time). BUT I decided to do the challenge anyway because it sounded like fun. The January ingredient is wine which did not at first make me think “cupcake”, but then a light went on… I love Zinfandel. And I love to eat chocolate with my Zinfandel. So I made devil’s food cupcakes with a kick.
These cupcakes were double-dipped in a zinfandel-ganache (dipped once, allowed to set and then dipped again). I decorated with a drizzle of regular ganache and topped each with a small sliver of good bittersweet chocolate. D. said they are “both light and dark at the same time” (geek alert: this made me think I should call them “The Force” cupcakes… yes, I am a dork). The texture is light but the flavor is rich and dark. The Zinfandel accentuates the chocolatey-ness without overpowering it. These cupcakes are a bit decadent and not too sweet. I’m going to need to find a home for the remaining cupcakes tomorrow so I don’t overindulge. Any takers? :)
Zinful Devil’s Food Cupcakes
(adapted from Good Housekeeping Baking Classic Devil’s Food Cake)
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter (1 stick), softened [I cut the recipe in half, but forgot to cut the butter in half. Feel free to use 1/4 c. butter. I believe that will make it a much denser cake]
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. Zinfandel
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners and spray with baking spray (oil + flour spray).
2. Sift together cocoa, flour, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a medium bowl, with mixer on low, beat butter, brown sugar and sugar until blended. Increase speed to high and beat for 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat until mixed. Add flour mixture alternately with the liquids, beginning and ending with flour. Beat just until smooth, scraping bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula.
4. Divide batter among muffin cups (I filled them almost to the top). Bake for about 20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted in the center of a cupcake.
5. Allow to cool completely and then frost or glaze, as desired.
For the ganache, I used some of the ganache I had in the refrigerator leftover from the hostess cupcakes. I took about 4-5 tbsp of the ganache and thinned it with 1-2 tbsp of Zinfandel, heated it in the microwave and whisked it until it was smooth and glossy. If I had to do it over again, I would make the ganache fresh and substitute some of the cream with Zinfandel because the results I had with the already made ganache+zin were a little thin, although very tasty (I even added a little of the extra chocolate-zin syrup to a latte which I guess made it a mocha, anyway… good stuff).
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup Zinfandel
1. In a small saucepan, heat cream and butter almost to the boiling stage (but don’t boil it).
2. Pour over the chocolate morsels.
3. Let stand about 30 seconds and stir until smooth (2-3 minutes probably)
4. Add Zinfandel and stir until completely combined and smooth.
5. Dip your cupcakes and enjoy :)
And just in case my submission to Iron Cupcake is accepted, here is the important information:
Voting will begin no later than Thursday, January 29 at 8 p.m. at No One Puts Cupcake in a Corner. Voting closes Wednesday, February 4 at 12 noon. (Note: I’ll post an update if my submission is accepted so hopefully I can get your votes :D ).
Additional prizes are supplied by these corporate providers: Head Chefs by Fiesta Products, Hello Cupcake by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, Jessie Steele Aprons, the Cupcake Courier, Taste of Home books, and UpwithCupcakes.com.
Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers, http://www.1800flowers.com .