Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes

I had pastry cream left over from the last time I made eclairs in my freezer, and it was bugging me that I hadn't used it up yet.  So I decided to do something delicious with it and got my evil genius on.  I'm a fan of the chocolate cupcakes filled with cream and the chocolate coating on them - I'm pretty sure we all ate them through out our childhoods, and I occasionally have one now from time to time.  So why not make a yellow cupcake and fill it with the chocolate cream i had and then cover it with chocolate ganache?  That was my mission.  It was a huge success.  Everyone loved them - and all my taste testers told me multiple times that I need to make them again.  I also got a suggestion (that I can't wait to try out) for making chocolate cupcakes and making the cream in the middle peppermint.  I promise you will see that one at some point. 

To make these is fairly time consuming, so make sure you have half a day set out for these.  It is a lot of time waiting for things to cool and set, but it is well worth it. You will be amazed at these and peoples reactions at how good they are.  These will be a "go to" recipe for you. 


Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes

Pastry Cream:
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla extract and salt.  Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer. 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup sugar.  Whisking constantly, slowly pour about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture.  Continue adding milk mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, until it has been incorporated.  Pour mixture back into saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens and registers 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 2 minutes. 
  • Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the butter and chocolate and beat on medium speed until both are melted and the mixture cools, about 5 minutes.
  • Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming.  Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. 

While the Pastry Cream is chilling, make your favorite yellow cupcake recipe according to the directions and let cool.  When fully cooled, cut out the centers of each cupcake. 

Finish Pastry Cream: Just before using, beat pastry cream on low speed until smooth (you can also whisk by hand). 

  • Whip heavy cream to stiff peaks.  Fold the whipped cream into the Pastry Cream in two batches to lighten. 

  • Transfer Pastry Cream to a large ziplock bag and snip the corner.  Pipe the cream into the center of each cupcake, filling the hole.  Fill to the top of each cupcake.

    Make Chocolate Ganache:  In a microwave safe bowl, place 6 oz semisweet chocolate chips, 6 oz butter and 2 tsp light corn syrup.  Heat 30 seconds at a time until melted.  Stir until smooth and let stand 5-10 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally.  Once mixture is thickened, spoon 1 tsp over the tops of each cupcake, covering the pastry cream.  Let chocolate set, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

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