Thursday, April 21, 2011

Consolation Cupcakes

I interrupt the NY posts (all one of them so far) to tell you about some cupcakes. There was a day last week when what were planned to be celebration cupcakes turned into consolation cupcakes. And I tell you, consolation has never tasted so sweet. I used Ina Garten's recipe again (it's just so good!) and then dipped the tops in a simple ganache. It was the perfect balance. The cupcakes are sturdy-- not dense or dry, but they are just substantial. The tops even have a type of crust, and that's actually what I love. They don't crumble or fall apart, yet they are still moist and delicate. (And, as a batter-eater, I can tell you, it is worth licking the beaters.) But because the cupcakes could stand on their own, they don't need copious amounts of intensely sugared frosting. A light coating of ganache is just enough to make them interesting and indulgent. The ganache was easy enough: I used semi-sweet chocolate chips and some half and half (leftover from making dutch babies). Fill a little dish with the chips then heat the half and half (or cream or whole milk, but let's be honest, I've even used skim milk in a pinch) in the microwave until it is very hot and very steamy. Then poor it over the chocolate-- just enough to not quite cover all the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute or two before using a fork or whisk to slowly bring it all together. Dip some freshly baked cupcakes in it, and there you have it: consolation on a dish.

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