Everyone needs a good basic chocolate cupcake recipe in their repertoire. I made these recently when working through the last of a bucket of honey that was taking up altogether too much shelf space; they’re simple and not too intense, and I love that the truffle-like frosting uses honey as well. Ganache is just a fancy word for chocolate melted with cream, and in this case, honey. It’s the same mixture you’d use to make truffles, only more liquidy, so you can easily dribble it over your cupcakes and let it firm up as it cools. Ganache is actually easier to make than regular buttercream frosting, and far more decadent – in my books, anyway. Plus it sounds good. If you like, add a candy or sprinkles on top before the ganache sets.
Honey Chocolate Cupcakes with Honey Ganache
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or thin plain yogurt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup liquid honey
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup whipping cream or half & half
1/2 cup honey
8 oz. (8 squares) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners, or spray it with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, canola oil, honey, eggs and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk just until combined.
Fill the lined muffin tins 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tops are springy to the touch. Repeat with remaining batter. Set on a wire rack to cool.
To make ganache, combine whipping cream and honey in a small saucepan and set over medium heat until it begins to simmer around the edges. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate. Let sit for a few minutes, and then stir until smooth. Set aside to cool for about 5 minutes before pouring over cooled cupcakes. If you like, top each cupcake with a candy or raspberry before the ganache sets.
Makes about 20 cupcakes.