My husband and I stayed home for New Years this year. We had been painting all day, but when the sun set, we put everything away and got all dressed up for a little celebration at home. I even wore a sequin skirt, because although I still had paint in my hair and under my fingernails, I felt the need to be fancy while drinking champagne and watching the Star Wars trilogy. It was quite sexy.
Also sexy were these cupcakes. In Chocolat, she makes a little chocolate truffle with the tip dipped in white chocolate and offers them to the uptight Comte de Reynaud.
"Nipples of Venice?" she says with a smile, making him blush.
So named from that movie, the cupcakes are a little bit naughty, and fantastically delicious with dark chocolate cake dipped in ganache and Grand Marnier vanilla buttercream.
Nipples of Venice Cupcakes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably "special dark")
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- 3 ounces heavy whipping cream
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon meringue powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
Preheat the oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with 12 liners.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, salt and baking soda. Add the eggs, heavy cream, sour cream, oil and vanilla, and whisk vigorously until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Divide the batter between the liners. Bake for 17-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack, covered loosely with a clean kitchen towel.
Warm the cream in a small saucepan, just until it begins to simmer around the edges. Remove from the heat; add the chopped chocolate and let stand for 3 minutes; stir with a spatula until smooth.
Dip the cooled cupcakes into the ganache; you should have some extra ganache left for dipping the tops of the cupcakes later. Refrigerate the cupcakes for 15-30 minutes, to let the ganache firm up before piping the buttercream.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for several minutes until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and meringue powder, mixing on low to combine. Add the vanilla and Grand Marnier; whip on medium high for 4-5 minutes until very light and fluffy.
Pipe the buttercream on top of the chilled cupcakes. Refrigerate for another 15-30 minutes to firm up the buttercream. Quickly turn the cupcakes over to dip the tip of the buttercream in a little more ganache, and top each with a single sugar pearl.
Yields 12 cupcakes
Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen