I posted these in 2010, and remade them for Valentine's Day this year with a new chocolate cupcake recipe. I didn't want to change or delete the original post, so I'm doing a repost. :) I used the same strawberry frosting (pretty much) in the middle and same ganache on top. If you prefer chocolate buttercream to whipped ganache (which can be very thick) you can substitute that.
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut up
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1. In a heatproof bowl, combine chocolate and cocoa powder.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the granulated sugar, butter, and water, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Pour the butter mixture over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.
3. Whisk the milk, egg, extra yolk, and vanilla into the chocolate mixture until combined.
4. In a bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until blended. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.
5. Let the batter sit at room temperature for 1 hour or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
6. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops spring back when pressed lightly with a fingertip. Set on a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Makes 12 cupcakes
Sprinkles' Strawberry Frosting
adapted from Sprinkles
1/4 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
1/2 cup butter, firm and slightly cold
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed (I just used a fork to mash the strawberries and it worked fine).
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add powdered sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 1 1/2 tablespoons strawberry puree; mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.
Using a bismarck tip, fill cupcakes with strawberry frosting. Or cut a hole out of the top and pipe some down into the middle.
1 cup whipping cream
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1. In a sauce pan bring the cream to a slight boil. Remove from heat. Add the chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir until chocolate is melted. Place in refrigerator until cooled through.
2. When cool, transfer chocolate to bowl of electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment and beat until desired consistency. Frosting will be thick. You could add a little milk if needed. Spread or pipe on cupcakes.