From the long hiatus since my last post, I have been on my surgery rotations, during which I almost exclusively ate food of the Trader Joe’s frozen food section. I think I might try them all before the end of residency, though I suppose that depends on how quickly Trader Joe’s changes their frozen food selections. Although I’ve been a bit absent in the kitchen recently, surgery remains one of my favorite rotations, and in the end worth all the frozen food eating.
This double chocolate cupcake was made while on my colorectal surgery rotation. I thought about making “poo cupcakes” complete with chocolate frosting, and sugar eyes in the frosting to look like the smiling poo emoji. But alas I did not have the sugar eyes, and the store that sold them is quite far away, thus these became double chocolate cupcakes. They are double chocolate because of the chocolate stumps with chocolate ganache filling inside. For the ganache recipe, you can use the one in the recipe below or refer to my maple walnut cake post for a slightly different (less thick) version. Alternatively, you can also purchase pre-made ganache (there are both dairy and dairy-free brands at most grocery stores. The dairy free ones will not say ” dairy free” but if you look at the ingredients you’ll notice they actually don’t contain dairy), but in my experience the store bought kind tastes slightly artificial, though still quite yummy.
These cupcakes are made by first baking a chocolate stump, removing the centers with a cupcake core remover, filling with ganache, and topping off with frosting. If your ganache is not very thick, you may notice that over time it will seep into the cupcake stump instead of staying in the ganache hole you cut out, which also means the frosting will start seeping into the hole. Although this will taste about the same, for the full experience of the chocolate surprise center when you bite into the cupcake, it is best to make sure your ganache is thick. If you make your own ganache, you can do this by increasing the ratio of chocolate chips to coconut milk/soy milk/almond milk.
For this cupcake, I experimented with different frosting techniques. My usual pipped swirl, and a new technique using a spatula to curve frosting into a nest shape. I first saw the second style at Magnolia bakery in NYC. I still have a long ways to practice to make the frosting look as nice as Magnolia bakery, but I really enjoyed their frosting style since it’s flatter and makes the cupcake easier to eat.
- 1 cup all purpose flower
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ¾ granulated white sugar
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon chocolate extract
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- ⅔ cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening*
- ½ cup vegan margarine**
- 3 tablespoons soy milk (or almond milk)
- 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup vegan chocolate chips
- ½ cup coconut cream
- Preheat oven to 350, line cupcake pan with liners
- Whisk soy milk and vinegar in the largest bowl and let rest for 5 minutes to curdle. Add sugar, oil, vanilla, chocolate extract and whisk till foamy.
- Whisk dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add dry to wet ingredients, mixing as you go. Mix till no large clumps.
- Fold in 1 cup chocolate chips
- Pour into liners at ¾ full and bake 20 minutes until toothpick in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely on cooling rack.
- Cream shortening and margarine together with an electric mixer. Add vanilla.
- Sift in the powdered sugar, mixing as you go.
- Add soy milk 1 tablespoon at a time and mix with an electric mixture till creamy. I added 3 tablespoons for an ultra silky finish.
- Heat ½ cup of coconut cream on a small sauce pan until a gentle boil for 3 minutes.
- Pour over ½ cup of vegan chocolate chips in a separate bowl. Cover and let steep for 10 minutes.
- Mix gently with a whisk starting from the center to the outside of the bowl, until homogenous and a dark chocolaty color. Let sit for 15 minutes to cool before pouring onto cake.
- After cupcakes are cool, core the center of the cupcake and spoon chocolate ganache inside.
- Frost cupcake using a wide tip, hold frosting bag at middle and end, and start at center of cupcake, go counterclockwise two circles ending at the center with a burst of pressure.
- Top with decorations of your choice (I used sliced strawberry halves and silver star sprinkles).
**For vegan margarine, I recommend Earth Balance. There is another brand called Smart Balance, which I have not tried yet.