With it being the time of year it is, there is one flavor I naturally gravitate towards--mint. Whether it be in a Ho-Ho Mocha from Caribou or Candy Cane Jo-Jo's from Trader Joes--I love it all! So of course, I had to try my hand at peppermint cupcakes. Oh yah, and of course they had to be chocolate too...So after some searching for the perfect recipe, I found this one. I made some modifications as I went, and used SMBC with peppermint extract as the frosting.
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooled, strong coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cupcake tins with liners. In a large bowl stir the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Make a well and pour in the eggs, coffee, buttermilk and oil. Mix until smooth. Fill liners about 2/3 full. Bake until top springs back, about 20-25 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to cool completely.
Candy Cane White Chocolate Ganache
14 oz white chocolate (not almond bark--make sure there is cocoa butter in the ingredient list.)2/3 cup heavy cream
8 candy canes, crushed
*Make sure the candy canes are really crushed, or they won't be able to fit through your decorator tip when filling the cupcakes.
Place white chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat heavy cream until simmering, then pour over white chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. Allow to cool, then add the crushed candy canes.
Peppermint Swiss Meringue Buttercream
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
Follow the instructions here.
Once cupcakes are completely cool and filling is completely cool, use a medium sized round tip and fill the cupcakes with the ganache. Frost with Peppermint SMBC and decorate as you wish--I used red and white crystal sprinkles and crushed candy canes. Enjoy, and take a bite!