Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Cheesecake Frosting, drizzled with Chocolate Ganache
These cupcakes......guys......are decadent! PERFECT for your secret admirer on Valentines Day! They resemble a chocolate covered strawberry and you won't stop after one!! Follow this recipe to make a cute dessert for your love!
They just come out so dainty-like. I guess it could be the decorative pink pearls I used but STILL! Strawberries are beautiful and add such a girly touch. The pink icing helps too....I'm telling you...the icing is addicting. The key is using fresh strawberries. Without fresh, the icing won't come out as bright.
The other key thing here....is using dark chocolate cocoa powder. I love love love the look of almost black chocolate cupcakes. Looks more rich and luxurious. To get that...dark chocolate cocoa is what you need! If you don't care for it, regular cocoa powder is just fine.
If you end up placing the strawberries on the cucapkes, I would recommend that after spooning on the chocolate ganache, to refridgerate for 10 minutes, then place the strawberry on top. Otherwise your strawberry frosting will smush. I ate the cupcake after I took this picture so this rule didn't apply to me :)
Ok, enough of the drool!! Here's the recipe!
YIELD: 12-15 cupcakes
1 c flour
1 c sugar
1/3 dark cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
splash of vanilla (1 tsp)
1/2 c veg oil
1/2 c low-fat sour cream
3/4 c water (more or less, just until batter is a little bit thinner than brownie batter)
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese room temp
1 stick of salted butter room temp
6 fresh strawberries (blended or mashed finely with a fork)
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 c confec sugar (just until your frosting is the consistency you want it. I don't like super sweet icing but for it to hold together properly you need the confec sugar)
1 c semi sweet or milk chocolate chips
1/4 c heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
Chocolate covered strawberries
Decorative sprinkles (I got mine at homegoods)
First, get your strawberries covered in chocolate if you don't have them already. Or if you don't want to use them..totally fine. They just add that final touch to your dessert.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake tin. This makes 12-15 cupcakes.
Combine all of the dry ingredients (first 5 ingredients) in a bowl. That's what I love about this recipe...whisk only! No stand mixer.
In a separate bowl, mix together the oil, egg, sour cream and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well. Slowly adding in the water until a thinner version of brownie batter. 3/4 worked well for me.
Fill each cupcake tin up 3/4's the way and bake for 15 minutes. Check after 10 minutes, all ovens are different so they may bake faster or bake quickly. Once they are cooked through, cool completely.
Meanwhile FROSTING TIME!!! It is super duper important that your butter and cream cheese are room temp. For at least 5 hours. Because I've had my fair share of disaster buttercream frostings and that was the reason behind it. You can't microwave for a few seconds to get soft, it has to happen on its own.
Blend butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer with whisk attachment, or using a hand blender, until creamed, about 3 minutes.
Add in the pureed strawberries, a few more won't hurt!
Add in the vanilla, then powdered sugar and blend until light and fluffy.
Boom! Perfect strawberry cheesecake frosting! Tastes just like it.
When you cupcakes are cooled, pipe onthe frosting...if you don't have a piping bag (which I recommend having because it's much prettier) then use a good old knife and pile high on your cupcake.
Now....to get the best possibly cupcake, put your frosted cupcakes in the fridge for 10-15 minutes until the icing gets a bit stiff. This helps the chocolage ganache to harder faster when you drizzle overtop.
When the cupcakes are just about ready, in a small microwave safe bowl, combine the heavy cream and chocolate chips and microwave until melted.
Take the cupcakes out and drizzle over the ganache.
You now have your perfect little cupcakes!! Enjoy!!!!!