Tis’ the season for love, teddy bears, and lots of chocolate.
I used to hate Valentine’s Day. I was one of those single people who detested the lovey dovey mentality of a holiday that seems to be solely sponsored by the card and chocolate industries. But, over the years I’ve come to realize that you don’t need to have a significant other in order to celebrate the day. All you need is love, whether that’s from your family, your friends – heck, even your neighbor.
Valentine’s Day should be about showing how much you love those closest to you. Sure, you can go out and buy some cards that say “I love you” or “Be Mine,” but what could be better than saying those same sentiments in the form of food – cupcakes in particular.
I’ve made these luscious cupcakes for my sister every Valentine’s Day since she moved to Chicago. They’re a sweet, homemade way for me to tell her how much she means to me. We usually curl up in her Roger’s Park apartment and indulge in these fudgy treats while watching a flick on the TV. It’s become a rather fun and tasty Valentine’s Day tradition.
I’m sure there’s someone out there you want to say “I love you” to. Maybe it’s the quirky guy in the mail room, maybe it’s your Mom, but I guarantee these decadent cupcakes are the perfect way to show how much you care.
1 pkg. (18-1/4 oz) devil’s food cake mix
1-1/3 cups strong brewed coffee
1/2 cup canola oil
CHOCOLATE -COFFEE FILLING
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 Tbsp. sugar
4 Tbsp. strong brewed coffee, divided
3 egg yolks, beaten
1-1/2 cups whipped topping
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz. white baking chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, divided
2-1/2 tsp. corn syrup, divided
Paste food coloring of your choice
In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, coffee, eggs and oil; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.
Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool.
Meanwhile, in a double boiler, constantly stir the chocolate, sugar and 3 Tbsp. coffee until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to the bowl, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 4-5 minutes or until mixture reaches 160 degrees.
Divide mixture among three small bowls. Into one bowl, stir remaining coffee. Use other two bowls to make Chocolate-Orange and Chocolate-Hazelnut fillings (below). Fold 1/2 cup of whipped topping into each. Chill for 10 minutes.
Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert a very small tip. Fill with on filling flavor. Push the tip through the bottoms of the paper liners to fill eight cupcakes. Repeat with remaining fillings and cupcakes.
For ganache, place chocolates in separate small bowls. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour 1/2 cup cream over bittersweet chocolate; pour remaining cream over white chocolate. Whisk chocolate mixtures until smooth.
Stir 2 tsp. corn syrup into bittersweet ganache and 1/2 tsp. corn syrup into white ganache. Cool, stirring occasionally, to room temperature or until ganache thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.
Dip tops of cupcakes in bittersweet ganache. Tint white ganache as desired, pipe designs over tops. Refrigerate until set. Sore in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Prepare filling as directed with 3 Tbsp. coffee. Into a third of the mixture, stir in 2 Tbsp. orange juice concentrate. Proceed as directed.
Prepare filling as directed with 3 Tbsp. coffee. Into a third of the mixture, stir in 2 Tbsp. chocolate hazelnut spread and 1 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream. Proceed as directed.
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