Ghirardelli Chocolate and Strawberries Cupcakes

I told you yesterday about my random visit to the Ghirardelli outlet store. While we were there, my boyfriend spotted the Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook and bought it for me for Valentines day. I know, I know, it’s early for gift giving, but neither one of us are very good at waiting to give gifts to the other. Well I am (editor’s note: she isn’t.), but he isn’t and that just works for me, because I simply can’t stand waiting for them either.

I had to make the chocolate cupcakes immediately. I really appreciate a good vanilla cupcake, but man, I love chocolate. Today I am pulling out all the stops. This chocolate cupcake is topped with TWO frostings: Ghirardelli Chocolate ganache and Strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream. Add a chocolate covered strawberry and call it a day. I think this is by far my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe I have tried (from scratch). It has a very cake like texture, it’s very moist and has a very rich chocolate taste. 

Chocolate cupcakes
Recipe from The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook
Makes 12 cupcakes

1 C plus 2 tbsp All purpose flour

1/4 C Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa

1 1/4 tsp baking Soda

1/4 tsp Salt

1 Large egg

1/2 C Firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 C Granulated sugar

1/2 C plus 2 tbsp milk (recipe calls for whole milk, I used Skim)

1/3 C Strong brewed coffee or espresso

1/2 C Unsalted butter, melted

  • Preheat over to 350°
  • Sift flour together with cocoa, baking soda and salt. I always sift my cocoa powder. I admit to being lazy when it comes to sifting flour and sometimes powdered sugar, but never cocoa powder, especially in frostings.

You will need a fine sieve for this!

  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar and white sugar until well combined.
  • Whisk in milk, coffee and melted butter.
  • Slowly add dry ingredients.
  • Fill cupcake liners ¾ full, (about ¼ C of batter per cupcake). The recipe said to divide the batter evenly. I actually measured it out 1/4 C for each cupcake and the recipe made 13 cupcakes. It did not specify how full to fill them. If you only fill them 2/3 full you will probably end up with 15 cupcakes.
  • Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes until lightly brown around the edges. You can use a toothpick to test for doneness. If you insert a tooth pick and it comes out clean, your cupcakes are finished.
  • Let cool for at least 5 minutes until transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely before frosting.

The chocolate ganache wasn’t a part of the original plan. I followed the instruction in the cookbook for the frosting, which called for the chocolate to sit for an hour before it was spreadable. After waiting what felt like several hours, it was still liquid. So I improvised and dipped the tops of my cupcakes to make a ganache glaze. I poured the rest of the chocolate into a tupperwear and the next morning it was spreadable, but not pipeable. I am sharing the frosting recipe in case you want to try it, but I think the ganache turned out to have a better look to it anyway.

Spreadable Chocolate Frosting

6 oz Ghiradelli Semi Sweet  Chocolate baking bar, broken or chopped into 1 inch pieces or 1 C Ghirardelli Semi- Sweet Chocolate chips

3/4 C Heavy cream

3 tbsp Unsalted butter

  • Place chocolate a heatproof bowl, place over a pot of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth.
  • Heat heavy cream on the stove until hot but not boiling. Add the heavy cream to the melted chocolate and whisk  until smooth.
  • Allow to cool until warm. Whisk in butter until smooth.
  • Let sit for at least 1 hour until spreadable

I don’t have a double boiler, so I improvise with a heatproof glass pyrex bowl and a pot with a little bit of boiling water

I have been wanting to try a fruit based Swiss Meringue buttercream for quite some time now. I think it is safe to say I am hooked. At first when I tasted it, I wasn’t impressed, I didn’t think the flavors really came through. However, I put the frosting in the fridge overnight (in an air tight container). I took it out the next morning and let it sit for about 4 hours, and re-whipped it for approximately 5 minutes. Remember that this is a butter and egg white based frosting, so if you put it in the fridge, you have to allow it to come to room temperature which takes a lot of patience.  I tasted it again and it was amazing. It was silky smooth with a prominante strawberry taste, as if the flavors of the fresh strawberries absorbed into the frosting the longer it sat. I was so pleased with the results.

Fresh strawberries in this Swiss Meringue buttercream

Strawberry Swiss Meringue buttercream
Recipe from Cupcakes by Martha Stewart

  • For a more detailed post about how to make Swiss Meringue buttercream, please visit my original post. Remember to use all grease-proof materials.

½ C Fresh strawberries (8 ounces), rinsed and chopped

4 Large egg whites

1 ¼ C sugar

1 ½ C (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature

  • Puree strawberries using a food processer.
  • Temper egg whites and sugar in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of water on medium heat. You need just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot. Heat the mixture to 140°F. Make sure to stir constantly to avoid cooking the egg whites.
  • Using a wire whisk on your stand mixer, beat on medium-high for 8-10 minutes until the egg whites form soft peaks
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and add butter 1 tbsp at a time, ensuring each addition is well mixed.
  • After all the butter has been added, change to paddle attachment and continue beating on medium to allow all the air bubbles to escape. In about 3-5 minutes until the frosting is smooth.
  • Add pureed strawberries and mix until combined, careful not to over mix.
  • Serve the same day or you can refrigerate in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. If refrigerated, you will need to bring it to room temperature (about 4 hours) and remix using the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes.

I measured a little more than 8oz to make sure I had enough

Pureed Strawberries

Gently mix into batter

Lastly, I topped of my cupcakes with a chocolate dipped Strawberry. I will share that with you tomorrow! A special thanks to my Foodie Penpal this month for the cupcake wrappers! More on that at the end of the month!

Comments

  1. juliewinter222@gmail.com says

    I love your recipe
    When you say half a cup of butter could you tell me what that would be in ounches please?

    • says

      Hi Julie! Thank you and thanks for stopping by! A half a cup of butter would be 8oz or two sticks (assuming that your sticks of butter of 4 sticks to a pound). I hope this helps and let me know how they turn out!

  2. says

    I made the SMB frosting tonight and it came out pretty decent for my first time. I was even a good girl and read all your tips before I even started the frosting – a rarity for me – however, I didn’t read your how-to post until after I pulled the frosting off the stove and started whipping it and sure enough….I didn’t get ALL the sugar dissolved :( Still taste super yummy albeit a bit crunch. It’s still being slapped on my cupcakes though, lol. Maybe next time it will be perfect :D Thanks for the recipe!

    • says

      OH yeah! That’s so exciting, I am glad you tried it! Next time, try heating it a little longer and make sure to constantly stir it so help dissolve the sugar. I think it can be a little intimidating to make this at first, but after the first or second try, you will appreciate the end results so much more!

  3. says

    These cupcakes are beautiful!! I am not generally a cupcake person but these are going on my must try list. These go beyond just a wonderful flavor combination. I love the idea of the rich cake covered with both a chocolate then a strawberry frosting! All the fresh strawberries….and its over the top. Wow.

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