Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

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I would be hard pressed to find a chocolate treat I don’t like.  These triple chocolate cupcakes are all about an intense chocolate experience.   I thought I would limit my quality control taste test to just one cupcake, but one thing led to another, and I’ll leave it at that.  As an understatement, I’ll just say, I liked it.

The cupcakes contain cocoa powder, melted semi-sweet chocolate and mini chocolate chips for a triple dose.  A small amount of instant espresso dissolved in water enhances the flavor and gives an extra dark color.  To top them off, the frosting is made with melted chocolate, which actually made them more like quadruple chocolate cupcakes.

For the cupcakes:
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso dissolved in ½ cup water
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
For the chocolate frosting:
  • 6 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate or 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate
  • ¾ cup skim milk
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
For the cupcakes:
  1. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Melt the semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water. Set aside.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. Stir instant espresso in ½ cup water.
  5. On medium speed using a flat beater, beat oil and sugar together until smooth.
  6. Add eggs one at a time, beating enough to blend after each addition.
  7. Pour in the dissolved espresso and mix well.
  8. Mixer speed on low, add ⅓ of the dry ingredients alternating with ½ of the buttermilk. Add ½ of the remaining dry ingredients followed by the rest of the buttermilk. End with the last ⅓ of the dry ingredients. Beat only until blended. Do not overbeat.
  9. Add the melted chocolate and mix to combine.
  10. Add the vanilla extract beating just until blended.
  11. Add the mini chocolate chips and beat on low to distribute throughout the batter.
  12. Use an ice cream scoop to fill the prepared muffin pans.
  13. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes for medium cupcakes or for mini cupcakes, about 15 minutes Allow to cool on cooling racks for about 5 minutes then remove cupcakes from muffin pans and allow to cool thoroughly.
For the chocolate frosting:
  1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large pot, on medium heat, bring milk to a near boil while whisking.
  3. Remove from heat and add the powdered sugar all at once. Whisk thoroughly until smooth and free of lumps. Set aside to cool to about lukewarm.
  4. On medium speed, using a flat beater, beat butter until smooth. Add salt and mix to combine. Switch mixer speed to low and gradually pour the sugar mixture. Beat until smooth and well combined.
  5. Add the chocolate and mix well. Add vanilla extract, mix to combine. Slightly increase speed and beat frosting until smooth and shiny. Store in an airtight container if not using immediately.