Over the past couple of months I have been consumed by guilt. Even though I had tons of ideas and a couple of sleepless nights I did miss a couple of Sugar High Fridays. Guilty! It matters. It's sugar. Allright, so "consumed" is a little strong. Upset that I could not work my schedule right to find an hour to make cupcakes is more realistic. When something I could have done starts bugging me, the smaller it is, the more it bugs me. I can easily forget there is an elephant in the room, but if a tiny little fly starts dancing in my head....It will keep dancing and buzzing until I do something about it. The elephant will still be in the room though.
I missed Fanny's S.O.S for cupcakes but I surely was not going to miss Anita's call for SHF spiced up sweets. So when C. and I started to plan her upcoming birtday party, the little fly in my head started to dance, loudly. Tap dancing even. Maybe I could combine both.
C: hmm, not sure what I want for dessert for my birthday...
Me: Cupcakes! You want cupcakes!
Me: chocolate cupcakes with a hint of cardamom...
C: that's very grown up for a cupcake
Me: Well, that's settled then! Chocolate Cardamom Cupcakes! Glad we had this discussion!
Allright, so that was the summed up version. I did give her some space to think and talk more than that, give me some credit here! I did however guided her towards the bittersweet chocolate cupcakes and the addition of cardamom in them which is a spice that she likes as much as I do. The frosting is a simple whipped ganache. Easy, rich and chocolatey to the bone. The combination seems classic and worked well as there were one left for her last night! Too bad I can only send a picture to Anita for this month SHF!!
Bittersweet Chocolate and Cardamom Cupcakes:
Makes 24 cupcakes.
Kitchen Notes: the whipped ganache needs to go on the cupcakes as soon as it is ready so have the cupcakes baked and completely cooled. Make sure the ganache is chilled well before whipping or it might separate.
Note: I noticed a bloop (sorry was typing late night-early morning) and in the ganache I gave the single measure of chocolate for a double measure of cream. My sincere apologies...and yes, I promise to stop typing this late :)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cardamom and salt and set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar on medium speed until airy and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition (scrape down the sides if necessary). Still on medium speed, add the chocolate and mixing until well incorporated. Add the flour,baking soda and salt alternating with the buttermilk . Make sure that all the ingredients are well incorporated but do not overbeat. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. Spoon the batter into cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
Whipped Ganache Frosting:
12 ounces (360 gr) good quality bittersweet chocolate
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
Place the chocolate in a medium size bowl and set aside. In a large saucepan set over medium heat, bring the cream to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for a couple of minutes. Stir the cream and chocolate together gently until the mass becomes smooth and shiny. Let cool and refrigerate until very cold. When ready to use, whip the ganache until it is holds its shape and spreads easily. Use as soon as it is made or it will be too stiff to pipe. If this happens, just reheat it on top of a double boiler to melt it again, and repeat the cooling and whipping process. If your chocolate is less than 72% bittersweet, add 2 more ounces before adding the hot cream.
We had a tad more than needed but with enough spoons digging into it, it was not a problem.