After I read Rose's description of these little cupcakes I was pretty pumped about making them. Imagine this:
"First you encounter the taste of toasted whole pecans; quickly thereafter, the ganache "mud" mingling with the slightly sticky caramel; finally, your teeth sink into the most tender, full-flavored chocolate cake."
Are you drooling yet? I was.
And ladies and gentlemen, I discovered today that Rose doesn't lie. It's not a marketing scam nor is she just trying to make her creation sound better. They are actually heavenly.
So first, you have to make the ganache because it has to sit for a few hours to become icing consistency. It's a pretty typical ganache recipe- chop up the chocolate, add some heavy cream and vanilla and you've got a home run.
Then I started on the cupcakes themselves. I was pretty excited about trying out this recipe because it had a lot of sour cream in them. They turned out to be perfect. Even the batter was great. My roommate and I sat and licked every last bit out of that bowl with silicone spatulas.
The rest is easy from there. Spoon them in and stick 'em in the oven!
It actually wasn't as easy as I thought though. You see, I have this cupcake issue where I seriously cannot bake a complete pan of cupcakes without something messing up. I prefer whole cakes. Maybe someone can tell me what my issue is here? When I took them out, they looked great. Then after 10 minutes, I got them out of the pan that was on the cooling rack and carefully put them individually on the cooling rack. After a couple minutes, this happend:
Ah! I'm guessing I just didn't fill it up far enough. Rose said to fill them 3/4 of the way which I swear I did but oh well. For the second batch in the oven, I filled them almost to the top and they came out beautifully.
Then for the caramel sauce.... The thing about caramel is that I love to eat it and dread making it. It is so easy to mess up. And of course, just because i dread it so much, I did mess up. The first time around the heat on the stove was too high and even though I removed it with 10 degrees left to rise, it still burned. The next batch on the stove took twice as long to make but it was easy to monitor the heat. Here's the progression:
And voila! yummy caramel.
Once it's all cooled, you pipe the ganache onto the cupcakes and then put a dollop of caramel in the center.
Then you add the toasted pecans and then put more caramel on top.
Finally, you put even more chocolate on top of the caramel and you have a cute cupcake that is hard not to love.
As I said, I loved the cupcakes. I think they were actually worth the $8 I had to spend on pecans (!!!). My housemates liked them as well and one of them said that it gets a 10 out of 10. She said they are definitely her favorite out of all of the things of mine she's tried.
I'll definitely be keeping this recipe around!
Rose's Heavenly Cakes
batter- page 377
ganache "mud"- page 378
Soft Sticky Caramel- page 380
Pecan topping- page 380