Thursday 3 October 2013

Chocolate Cupcakes

My son's exams got over two days back and it just feels like a climb up Mt.Everest and back. I think all mothers would share my feeling here, that the exams are more to torture the mothers than the kids. The past month was a nightmare, with the constant reminders, the repetitive requests, the angry outbursts, anything to make your child divert his attention towards his books - an attempt which I wouldn't say I was quite successful at. Only thing it left behind was a bad headache and a lot of stress. Sometimes you really think whether it was actually worth going through all that effort. Well!! Only time can tell that!!
After a month of being confined to the house, there was a huge sense of relief for everyone and a definate feeling of freedom. It was an added bonus for my son, that the next day was a holiday (2nd October being Gandhi Jayanti) and I was told that to celebrate the end of exams, he had invited his friend over for a sleepover. He was really excited and over long phone calls big plans were made, amongst which Nerf gun fight, watching movies and playing all night on the PS3 stood on the top of the list. I was requested (very sweetly) to stock up my grocery cupboard (which invariably stays empty because of two hungry teens in the house) and I was promptly handed over a long list of things for the night time party. In addition, I also decided to make a chocolate cake and cupcakes with the mandatory chocolate icing which I knew the boys would love and would make a perfect munch for a quick bite in between their 'very' busy schedule. 
The smiles on their faces on looking at the tray of cupcakes was worth a million bucks and as for my son - he declared the "Best Mom ever' for 'that day'!!
These cupcakes are super moist and wickedly chocolately and topped with the chocolate ganache they are sure to win everyone's heart over.
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
11/2 cup flour
11/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup grated dark choclate
1 tsp coffee
1 cup milk  mixed with 1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp strawberry crush
2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup canola oil
For the chocolate frosting
11/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup cream

Preheat oven to 180C.
In a large bowl sift the flour, coffee powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Stir in the milk.
On a medium speed, beat oil and sugar till smooth.
Add the eggs one in at a time, blending in till smooth.
Keeping the mixer speed on slow, add 1/2 of the dry ingredients alternating with 1/2 of the milk.
Add 1/2 of the remaining dry ingredients followed by rest of the milk.
Do not overbeat.
Add the chopped chocolate, strawberry crush and the vanilla essence and mix gently till combined.
Use an ice cream scoop to fill the cupcake liners.
Bake at 180C  for 15-20 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool thoroughly before frosting.
To make the Ganache:
Bring the cream to a boil. Take the pan off the heat and add in the grated chocolate. Stir well till the chocolate melts completely and the mixture appears smooth and glossy. Use this chocolate ganache to cover your cupcakes.

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