Last May I made my husband a yellow cake with lemon curd filling, lemon frosting, pistachios, and candied lemons for his birthday (Recipe). It probably was the best cake I have ever made. Also that month Real Simple featured an article called the only cake story you'll ever need. The article contained a yellow and chocolate cake recipe, six different frosting recipes, three special filling recipes, twelve different topping ideas, and tips for better baking. With all the different variations the possibilities are endless. For Valentines day I decided to try chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate ganache frosting .
2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups all purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t kosher salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 t pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
Heat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium high until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla, then the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined (do not overmix).
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 20 to 25 minutes for cupcakes. Let cool completely.
1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups heavy cream
pinch kosher salt
Place the chocolate in a large heat proof bowl. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream to a bare simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, add the salt, let stand for 2 minutes. Whisk until melted and smooth. Let cool, stirring occasionally, until thick and spreadable, 4 to 5 hours. (Note: Don't try to speed the cooling process by putting the frosting in the refrigerator; it will become lumpy.)