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Your Cupcakes Need a Molten Chocolate Center

By Elizabeth Bomze Published

And that’s just one way our chocolate cupcakes get super-chocolatey—without falling apart.

If you’ve done much baking with chocolate, you might know that it’s one thing to make a rich, deeply chocolatey batter that you’re going to bake into a cake and serve by the slice—but that it’s quite another to use the same formula for cupcakes. Chocolate adds fat to the mix, and a high enough ratio will make the crumb so rich and tender that it falls apart. Fine–and delicious—as fork food, but not ideal for out-of-hand snacking.

But a structurally sound, over-the-top chocolate cupcake is doable if you pull out all the stops and calibrate the batter just right. Here’s our strategy:

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    1. Cram in as much chocolate as possible

     

    Use a combination of dark chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder, and bloom them in hot coffee, which melts the bar and disperses water-soluble flavor compounds for deeper, stronger flavor.

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    2. Minimize distracting flavors

     

    Trade butter for oil, the neutral flavor of which will allow for fuller, unadulterated chocolatey depth. Oil also makes for a noticeably more moist crumb, since the water in butter (about 16 percent by weight) can evaporate during baking.

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    3. Encourage gluten development 

     

    Bread flour, specifically engineered for gluten development, contains more protein than the all-purpose kind, and will make for a sturdier (but not tough) crumb. 

Chocolate-y to the Core

And now, the pièce de résistance: If you really want to push the chocolate-y punch over the edge, try filling the center of the cupcake with dark, gooey ganache. Nothing registers as indulgence quite like that truffley, semi-molten pocket, and if you thin the melted bar with just enough heavy cream (¼ cup per 2 ounces of chocolate) and gently place a spoonful of it on top of the cupcake batter, it will sink into the center of the cupcake during baking. Bite into the rich cake, and the ganache will gush slightly. It’s chocolate nirvana. 

Recipe Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling

There’s only so much chocolate you can cram into a cupcake before the texture literally falls apart. To get our fill, we had to think beyond the batter.

Recipe Creamy Chocolate Frosting

The ultimate cupcake isn't complete without the ultimate frosting.

Recipe Creamy Malted Milk Chocolate Frosting

The ultimate cupcake isn't complete without the ultimate frosting.

Recipe Creamy Butterscotch Frosting

The ultimate cupcake isn't complete without the ultimate frosting.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.