Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday Dessert Round-Up: Double Chocolate Peppermint Swirl Cupcakes

Well readers, tis the season to BAKE!  Over the next week I will feature a number of holiday desserts that definitely deserve a place on the family dinner table.  All include seasonal flavors and are worth the effort they take to bake!  Some are quick and easy, some, like today's cupcakes, take a bit more time.  Life is sweet, and during this time of year, putting a little extra love into dessert never hurt anyone, so enjoy, sweets!!

Today's featured dessert is Double-Chocolate Peppermint Swirl Cupcakes!  I found these on Pinterest (where else) and decided to bake them up for my office holiday party tomorrow.   Imagine this - super rich, moist dark chocolate cake, filled with white chocolate ganache speckled with bits of candy cane, and topped with deliciously light and airy peppermint buttercream.  Heaven.  Yes, I know!

As I mentioned, these do take a bit of time.  I baked my cupcakes first thing in the morning, let them cool a few hours and then made the ganache which also had to cool before filling the cuppies.  Frosting came last and was well worth the wait.

I followed the recipe by Fields Of Cake exactly, so I will direct you there if you would like to try these out.  If so, here are a few notes that might help you along the way.

First - the cake batter is very liquidy.  I poured mine into a liquid measuring cup and distributed that way, much easier and less messy than a spoon.  I filled my cups about 3/4 up - they baked up into pretty tall domes.  I'd suggest filling half way for a shorter or flatter-topped cupcake.

Next, for the white chocolate ganache, after it was mostly cool and well mixed, I switched my mixer attachment from the paddle to the whisk to add more volume and lighten it up a bit.  I highly suggest this! I had lots of leftovers and plenty for tasting, plus it just made a nice light creamy filling.

Finally, my buttercream tasted too salty after following the recipe exactly.  I used about 1.5 cups of confectioner's sugar before it tasted right to me.

Again, if you'd like to give these a try (and I highly suggest you do- they are amazing!) check out Fields of Cake.  And that's that!  Check back soon for the next holiday dessert; pumpkin whoopie pies!

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