Does the Barefoot Contessa ever let you down? I think not. I remember back last winter when I was sick in bed, all day, watching horrible daytime TV. But thankfully the Food Network saved the day! The Barefoot Contessa was on twice during the day! Thank goodness--I was feeling better already! So if you're sick in bed, remember the Barefoot Contessa is on not once, but twice in one day; midday then at dinnertime (I think it's still that way). Nothing like watching Ina to cheer you right up. She had made these gorgeous chocolate ganche cupcakes that were topped with bright candied violets. Of course she breezed through them with ease; they came out perfect, and then she topped them with stunning purple candied violets. I saved this recipe to create when I found candied violets. Never found them, don't even know where to look unless you go to a big city? Have you ever seen candied violets? So very pretty, and make the simplest of things like cupcakes into stunning little works of art. How fabulous is that? (I just LOVE when she says that).
chocolate ganache cupcakes
by barefoot contessa
1/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 (16-ounce) can chocolate syrup (recommended: Hershey's)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
For the ganache:
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
Candied violets, for decoration, optional
Line muffin pans with 12 paper liners. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. Mix in the chocolate syrup and vanilla. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Don't overbeat, or the cupcakes will be tough.
Scoop the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes, or until just set in the middle. Don't overbake! Let the cupcakes cool thoroughly in the pan.
For the ganache, cook the heavy cream, chocolate chips, and instant coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Dip the top of each cupcake in the ganache. Decorate with candied violets, if desired. Do not refrigerate. I decorated with toffee bits and coarse colored sugar sprinkles.