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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Decadent Valentine's Cupcakes!!! (2 Ways)

I was at Target wandering through the dollar section and found a cupcake decorating kit for $3!! Of course, the before mentioned kit found itself into my basket and then on my kitchen counter. So I immediately came up with a recipe (or two) that you can recreate as a Valentine's Day gift!

The base is a vanilla cupcake! Then half have chocolate chunks mixed into the cake and the other half is filled with chocolate ganache! And I finished them all off with some more piped ganache! I made the cupcakes from scratch (mainly so this post looked a little more impressive), but by all means use a box of white cake mix and safe yourself some time!

What you'll need:
Valentine's Cupcake Kit
3 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cups butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pam or other non-stick spray
Chocolate chips or Baking bars (scroll down) 
Whipping Cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line your cupcake tin! 
The kit only came with 20 liners...

Combine your dry ingredients. You can sift them (probably preferable), but I don't have a sifter so I whisked the dry ingredients together. Just make sure that it's fully combined and fluffy.

Cream the butter and sugar together.

Add the eggs one at a time and fully combine until it becomes a gorgeous yellow color!

Mix your milk and vanilla together

Start by pouring in a portion of the dry ingredients and combine. Then pour in part of the milk mixture and fully combine. Repeat until both mixtures are gone and you have batter!

I love using a 1/4 measuring cup to measure out the batter into the cupcake liners. 

Spray your cupcake liners!

Fill your cupcakes! I like to fill them a little more than 2/3 so that you get a pretty domed top to decorate on! There's nothing worse than a flat cupcake! ONLY FILL HALF!!

For the other half: Chop up your baking bar or just open your bag of chocolate chips. 

Fold the chocolate chunks into the remaining batter! Then continue filling the cupcake tin!

Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the middle clean.

For the Ganache:
What you'll need: 
2 cups dark chocolate
1 cup whipping cream

Create a double boiler by placing a heat-safe boil on top of a saucepan filled with water. As you boil the water in the saucepan the ingredients in the glass boil will gently heat and melt together. I hate heating dairy and this method makes me a lot more comfortable. Pour in the whipping cream and bring it to a simmer. Once the cream is hot, pour in your chocolate pieces and stir until you have a creamy and completely smooth melted chocolate. Remove from heat, cover with foil and chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. 

Once cool, use a hand mixer to whip up the chocolate. It will quickly turn into a fluffy, yummy texture! I love ganache!

Fill a piping bag with the ganache mixture. It's super helpful to drape the piping bag over a vase or a large cup. Basically it just helps keep everything clean!

Use your finger (after washing your hands!) and poke a small whole in the middle of the non-chocolate chip cupcakes. It makes it a lot easier to pipe the chocolate into the middle!

Fill the hole with a good portion of the ganache! You don't want air pockets because that's a disappointing eating experience.

Then use the rest of the ganache icing to decorate the tops!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Love you lots, 

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