It starts with melted butter and chocolate. How could anything that starts with melted butter and chocolate not end well?
Fill up your cute little jars. The cupcakes will rise and you need room for both the frosting and the ganache, so fill them no more than 1/2 way full. I have filled them to full so we just cut some of the tops off.
Once your cakes have cooled to close to room temp (a little warm is okay) pour ganache over each one. If your ganache has gotten too thick to pour at this point, just warm it up in the microwave in about 10 second intervals.
Recipe by Our Best BitesMakes approximately 8 jars or 12 Cupcakes
Cupcakes (cake base for this dessert adapted from Shelly Kaldunski)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 oz chocolate, chopped. (or abt 1/2 C chips) Use bittersweet, dark, or semi-sweet.
1/2 C + 3 Tbs real butter, cut into pieces
3/4 C plus 2 Tbs sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 8oz wide mouth mason jars (the short squatty kind)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and smooth. Set mixture aside and let cool 10-15 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Using a wooden spoon (don’t use an electric mixer) stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture until combined. Stir in the eggs one and a time, beating with your spoon until combined after each addition, and then beat in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour mixture just until no traces of flour remain; do not overmix.
Place the mason jars on a cookie sheet. Divide the mixture evenly among the 8 jars (no need for greasing the jars) or 12 cupcake liners if you’re going that route. The jars should be about half full or a little less. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the jar comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached 22-25 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully (with a pot-holder!) transfer jars to a cooling rack. Let jars cool till at least close to room temperature before topping with ganache.
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chocolate chips are fine)
1/2 C heavy cream
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
Place chocolate chips in a bowl. Heat cream in microwave until bubbles form around the outside. Pour in bowl over chocolate chips and immediately cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit for 5 minutes, add peppermint extract and then whisk until smooth. Let cool un-covered until thickened slightly, almost like a thin pudding.
To assemble, pour 1 1/2-2 Tbs ganache over the top of each cupcake jar. If desired, use a paring knife to first hollow out a well in the middle of the cake. Tilt jars to distribute ganache evenly over the top of the cake and then let cool for the ganache to set. If storing overnight, place lids and rings on jars and leave at room temperature.
I’m going to show you a fun trick to getting that candy cane stripe! You’ll need gel food coloring (available in the baking isle, a clean paint brush (I keep a set just for baking/cooking) and a piping bag. This works great with parchment paper bags too (in fact, I think it sticks a little better to parchment) so if you have a tip and some parchment you can just make your own. If you don’t have anything but the food coloring you could try winging it with a large ziplock bag with the tip cut off. that would probably work just fine, it just might be a little difficult to have the food coloring stick to the bag as you’ll see in the next step.
colorburst cupcakes- how amazing would that look?!)
Use this frosting recipe, adding peppermint extract (in addition to the vanilla extract called for) at the end by 1/4 tsp to taste. I prefer at least 1/2 tsp. See instructions in the above post for creating a red and white striped look. Pipe frosting on each jar, being careful to leave room for the lid. If desired, sprinkle on some crushed candycanes and then screw on jar lids.
Storage: Note that just because these are in jars does not mean they are shelf stable for extended periods of time. Also, baked goods are always best fresh, that being said, here are a few storage options.
When fully made, store with lids on at room temp for a day or two. If made up to the ganache step (before frosting) you can screw lids on and store in the fridge for 3-4 days, then frost right before gifting. If you’d like to fully prepare them a day or two ahead of time, I would actually reverse the filling and topping. Core out the center of the cupcakes and fill with frosting. Place the “cap” of the cupcake back over the hole and then top the entire top with ganache and a sprinkling of candycane. Store at room temp for 1-2 days or refrigerated for 3-4. **** I have frozen them and they tasted amazing even after defrosting.