strawberry cupcakes with dove chocolate ganache and cream cheese frosting

This Valentine's season, I have been really chowing down on Dove chocolate hearts and I decided that I should probably make a tribute to these little delicious loves of mine in cupcake form for love day. So I made a batch of strawberry cupcakes, rich cream cheese frosting, and chopped up a bag of Dove dark chocolate hearts to make ganache. Then, I topped them with a little love heart and viola! v-day heaven.

Strawberry Cupcakes

3/4 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 drops pink food coloring
1/3 cup milk

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners.
2. In a small bowl, combine the strawberries and sugar and mix together with a fork, set aside.
3. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
5. Add the egg whites, vanilla, and pink coloring and beat until well combined.
6. Gradually, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the milk in three additions, beginning and ending with flour.
6. Divide the batter evenly into prepared tins and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
7. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before add ganache.

Dove Chocolate Ganache

1 bag of Dove dark chocolate hearts, chopped
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon of light corn syrup
Pinch of salt

1. Chop the chocolate hearts with a large, sharp knife and place the chocolate into a small bowl.
2. In a saucepan, combine the milk, syrup, and salt and heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a spatula until the cream starts to bubble slightly at the edges. Be careful not to let it burn.
3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand for 10 minutes.
4. Stir the mixture together until smooth and silky.
5. Dunk the cooled cupcakes in the ganache (this particular recipe is a little runny so allow for run off)
6. Place the cupcakes in the refrigerator for the ganache to harden.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1, 8 ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Cream the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy, about 5 minutes. 
2. Add the vanilla.
3. Gradually add the powdered sugar on low speed, once all of the sugar is combined return speed to medium high and beat for another 3 minutes.
4. Pipe swirls on to the cooled ganache topping.

5. Sprinkle and Happy Valentine's!

<3, The Sweet Petite

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