Thursday, April 4, 2013

Peanut-Butter Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to make Peanut-butter filled chocolate cupcakes for Easter. Even though Boyfriend didn't want them (and since I promised Brother that I would make him and his housemates some cupcakes) I made them anyway. And I really wanted them. By "them" I mean the delicious combination of peanut-butter and chocolate. It's the best thing in the world. Especially while PMSing around a holiday filled with candy. A holiday on which I did not receive any peanut-butter and chocolate combo candy, which I was really upset by. /sigh. First-world problems. I will say that I followed this bout of sadness by being thankful for candy and food in general.

Anywayyyy. These cupcakes. Awesome. Fantastic. The fanciest I've ever made. Chocolate cupcakes, filled with a sweetened peanut-butter filling, topped with chocolate ganache (pronounced gan-ah-sh; not gan-ah-chee like Brother said) and a small bit of vanilla buttercream dyed green to look like grass.  I wish I had taken more than one picture but my mom was giving me weird enough looks for taking the one picture. She doesn't get "blogging."

The only problem is that I don't have the recipe for this chocolate cake. It's a copycat of the Tastykake chocolate cupcakes and sort of a family/close friends secret. If you don't know what a Tastykake is, it's like Hostess cupcakes or something. Mass-produced baked goods that aren't super delicious but satisfy the need for junk food. I assume that any chocolate cake recipe would work; probably the denser the better since you'll be filling them. (Anyone ever notice that when you fill cupcakes, it's really like eating half of a cupcake?) I can, however, give you the recipe for the peanut-butter filling and chocolate ganache.

Aren't they cute!? When you bite/cut into them, the peanut-butter filling makes it look like a carrot in the ground. So cute. I'm so proud.

So, recipes:

Peanut-Butter Filling
Makes enough for 12 cupcakes (and some to taste-test)

  • 1 Cup Peanut-butter, smooth
  • 1 Cup powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • Orange food coloring (optional)
  1. Beat the unsalted butter until smooth and creamy.  
  2. Add the peanut-butter; beat until totally combined.
  3. Gradually add the powdered sugar until you reach your desired sweetness and consistency. I didn't want the filling super sweet so I didn't add the whole cup. Beat well in between each addition.
  4. Add a few drops of food coloring; beat.  Add more if you want it more orange.
Chocolate Ganache
Makes way more than enough for 12 cupcakes
  • 3oz bar of high quality dark or semi-sweet chocolate (about 3oz, anyway. I think mine was actually a little more)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Cup of whole milk or heavy cream or half & half
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. butter (everywhere I've read said this is what gives it the shiny look, which I wanted. If you don't want it to be shiny, don't use the butter)
  1. Heat the milk/cream/half&half in a saucepan over medium heat to a boil. If you want a thicker ganache, use less milk; thinner ganache = more milk. Stir occasionally to avoid a skin forming on the top.
  2.  As the milk is heating, chop the chocolate and place in a heat-safe medium-sized bowl.
  3. Once the milk is at a boil, pour the milk over the chocolate. Stir until dissolved. 
  4. Let the ganache chill in the refrigerator for a few hours until cool enough to work with. Check every 30 minutes or so, to make sure it does not solidify.
  5. If the ganache is too thin, reheat and add more chocolate; be careful that you do not burn the chocolate. If too thick, heat some more milk and combine.  
Green Vanilla Buttercream
Makes enough to make a small patch of grass on top of 12 cupcakes

  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 to 1/3 Cup powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Green Food Coloring
  1. Beat butter until it's smooth, creamy, and light.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar; less if you want it not-so sweet, more if you want it really sweet. Beat until totally incorporated
  3. Add some vanilla extract; like a teaspoon. Beat well. Taste. If you want more, add another teaspoon. 
  4. Add drops of food coloring. Beat. If you want it greener, add more.
  5. Place into decorating bag or ziploc bag.
Putting It All Together:
  1. Once you have 12 chocolate cupcakes that are completely cooled, core a hole out of the center. Using a paring knife, cut a cone out of the center without going all the way to the bottom. Do not throw away or eat the tops. Cut off the pointy part so you're left with just a topper.
  2. Place the peanut-butter filling in a decorating bag or a ziploc bag; cut off the tip/corner. Fill the holes you just made in the cupcakes. Be generous.
  3. Place the toppers from the cones on top of the peanut-butter filling.
  4. Spoon chilled ganache over the tops and smooth.
  5. Using a grass/hair decorating tip (I used Wilton top 233), put some "grass" buttercream on top the cupcakes. I only did mine in the center, but you could go all over.

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