But right now, we're talking dark chocolate and ginger again. This time cupcakes, not cookies: sticky ginger cupcakes with dark chocolate ganache.
It really is one of my favorite flavour combinations. (And I'll be posting the reverse of this combination soon - rich chocolate cupcakes with ginger buttercream! )
This is a ginger cupcake recipe that I got from a gorgeous book - The Contemporary Cake Decorating Bible, by Lindy Smith.
It creates delicious, moist cupcakes, with a little ginger zing. I pair them with dark chocolate ganache - poured or whipped.
Ganache is simply made by melting chocolate in cream. There are a couple of different ways to do this. Many recipes suggest heating the cream to just-before boiling, then pouring that over the finely chopped chocolate. I just put both the ingredients into a double boiler, and slowly melt the chocolate, stirring frequently. You can microwave it - but be patient: use a low power setting, and interrupt it often to stir the mixture. It is very easy to burn chocolate in a microwave.
But apart from that - ganache is really simple to make....and sublime to taste!
And you can then pour it, spread it, or whip it and pipe it. It's a great alternative to standard buttercream icing.
Depending on what you want to do with the ganache, you vary the ratio of cream to chocolate. For whipping and piping - use a ratio of 1:1, so 1 cup of cream to 250g of dark chocolate.
Here are the recipes:
Ginger Cupcakes ( from Lindy Smith's The Contemporary Cake Decorating Bible)
(Makes about 15-20 depending on the size of the cupcake cases).
Pre-heat oven to 170'C
Line muffin trays with cupcake cases.
100g dark brown sugar
60ml golden syrup
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1tsp vanilla extract ( I use Vanilla Girl, so just a few drops)
230g self-raising flour
1 TBS ground ginger
1tsp mixed spice
Gently heat the butter, sugar, syrup and molasses together in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved.
Stir in the milk and leave the mixture to cool.
When cool, mix in the eggs and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and make a well in the centre. Pour the cooled syrup mixture into the well, and beat well to combine.
Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases - make them about 1/2 to 2/3 full.
Bake for 18-20 minutes.
Allow to cool before icing.
Dark Chocolate Ganache
250g dark chocolate, cut into small, even sized pieces.
250ml cream (it must be whipping cream - 35-40% fat)
Place both ingredients into a double boiler (a heatproof bowl placed over a pot of simmering water) OR in a microwave-proof bowl.
Heat slowly, stirring frequently until all the chocolate has melted.
Leave to cool down to room temperature (if you refrigerate it, bring it back to room temperature, before whipping).
Using your whisk attachment on your mixer, beat the ganache until soft peaks form. Don't over-beat - it may go grainy! The ganache will firm up some more after beating, especially if placed in the fridge.
Now, the hard part....try not to eat it all before using it to decorate your cupcakes : )