Best Chocolate Cupcakes Ever

I realize that is the most audacious title you might ever see on this blog, but I assure you I wasn’t the first to make the claim, nor will I be the last. Trust me on this one, would I ever lie to you?

It being Saturday, and my cousin having celebrated his 25th birthday last night (yay, Happy birthday, Azamlove!), I slept in a little this morning… that is to say, I finally staggered out of my room in a bathrobe around 10 in the morning, croaking for coffee. Only I found my two youngest siblings, Adam and Elle, sitting right outside and the first thing they asked me was, “Are you going to bake today?”

Followed with a very quick, “Can it be something with chocolate?”

So me being the amazing big sister that I am, sat down on the sofa and waved at one of them to bring me a cup of coffee, and at the other to bring my laptop. Summoning Charm, they’ve learnt to understand what Accio means. lol it’s not really that bad, they jump at the chance… sort of like house elves. OKAY, enough with the HP references, I promise (not really). I looked through food gawker (ohmistars, how did I live before that website?) for ultimate chocolate and the first one that popped up was this from Dawn over at First Look, Then Cook blog. She got the recipe of Cook’s Illustrated, one that I have no access to, and have no interest in filling up a registration form for…

It looked a lot more complicated (in that it involved more steps than melt, mix, and bake) than I usually like for Saturday “morning” baking, but since I had some time before my afternoon appointment… it was doable.

I barely made it to my appointment in time, and had to wait til I came home to take some pictures in fading light. There are SO many steps to this recipe, but nothing overly difficult, and the end result is so rewarding that you hardly care about the mess you made of the kitchen.

You’re probably wondering when I’m going to get on with the recipe now, right? Okay okay, let’s go:


Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache filling, and Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream. 
Yield: 12 medium sized cupcakes

Ganache Filling:

  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and pop it in the microwave at full power for roughly 20-30 seconds, whisk until it’s smooth, then cool in the fridge until ready for use

Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup hot coffee
  • 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line the cupcake trays
  2. Combine the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a small bowl, pour the scalding hot, bitter coffee over it and whisk until smooth, then pop the bowl in the fridge until you’re ready to use it
  3. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda (lol I typed sofa first), then set aside
  4. In the large mixing bowl of your electric mixer, whisk the vegetable oil, eggs, vinegar, vanilla and the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth
  5. Gradually beat in the flour mixture until fully incorporated
  6. The batter is quite runny, so you can actually just pour into your cupcake pans if you have steady hands. I used a cupcake filler thingy that I got for Christmas, but still made a mess. Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way up
  7. Take out the chocolate ganache and scoop up tsp sized balls, drop a ball onto the top of each cupcake, then bake for 15-20 minutes. When it’s done, allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before moving them onto a cooling rack

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Pinch table salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Heat a pot of simmering water, and in a heatproof bowl over the water (make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water) whisk the egg whites and sugar until all graininess from the sugar is gone (this also means the eggs are cooked)
  2. Transfer the mixture to your grease-free (wipe down with some lemon juice and dry thoroughly before use) mixing bowl, and using the whisk attachment on medium speed, whisk the mixture until soft peaks form. This is the meringue component of the frosting
  3. Add the butter one cube at a time, whisking away as it goes, and don’t worry if it looks horrible, it’ll get better when all the butter is added. You may have to whisk for a while to get a pretty consistency. I usually have to stop the mixer after the butter is all added, scoop the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula and then let it whisk again before it starts resembling something edible
  4. When you’ve achieved the desired consistency, add the chocolate and vanilla, and whisk until smooth and creamy
  5. Transfer into a piping bag with a tip of your choice (I like Wilton’s 1A or 1M tips for cupcakes), or just cut out a small hole at the end and pipe over your cooled cupcakes
  6. Enjoy immediately!
I loved these cupcakes, though truth be told, I only managed to get one bite before it was taken away from me. The moment I snapped the pictures, the cupcakes were taken away and now I have nothing to show for my morning of hard work! This is one of the few times that something I’ve baked has disappeared so fast, which is an indication of how amazeballs this recipe is. 
If you have a free weekend morning, I recommend you whip up these cupcakes. SMB frosting is so crazy sexy and tastes so beautiful, I’ll never be able to go back to regular buttercream. The ganache filling is a lovely surprise too, especially when the cupcakes are still warm and gooey. These are certain to impress your friends and family, so if you do give them a shot, I wish you all the best! 
Much love, Nabs

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