The first recipe of May for the Barefoot Bloggers was supposed to be Tuna Salad, chosen by Kate. But we don’t really have a good selection of fresh tuna steaks in our town, and honestly I don’t really like tuna anyway (sorry Kate!).
Luckily, the Barefoot Bloggers leaders introduced a new event this month, Barefoot Backtracking! Basically I had the choice or re-doing an old recipe or to make one of the recipes that I missed. Practically all of the recipes that I have made of Ina’s have come out great, so no need to redo. Therefore, after browsing the past recipe list several times, I settled in the Mini Orange Chocolate Chunk Cakes. But if you look above, you can see that I changed the orange to vanilla bean and if you look below, the mini cakes to mini cupcakes.
See, I was making these for my husband to bring to work and his coworkers are not the most adventurous eaters. So not being sure how the orange/chocolate combination would go over, I subbed out some vanilla bean instead. And, I don’t happen to own any mini cake pans (nor do I need another pan I will only use once) so I made mini cupcakes instead.
These little cupcakes were delicious! The vanilla syrup ensures they stay moist and adds a great flavor, and you can’t go wrong with anything dipped in chocolate ganache. The recipe below is my adaptation, but visit foodnetwork.com to see the original!
Mini Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache
- 1/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
- 1 large vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 3 ounces buttermilk at room temperature
- 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- Vanilla Syrup:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- Chocolate Ganache:
- 4 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour mini muffin pan or line with mini cupcake liners.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, then the seeds from the vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste.
Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the whole milk, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately in thirds to the creamed butter, beginning and ending with the flour. Toss the mini chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon flour and add to the batter. Divide the batter among muffin cups, smooth the tops, and bake for 12-15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, make the syrup. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the sugar with the water and vanilla until the sugar dissolves. Remove the cake from the pans, put them on a rack over a tray, and spoon the vanilla syrup over the cupcakes, you will not use all of the syrup. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
For the ganache, melt the chocolate and heavy cream in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Dip the cupcakes into ganache, let cool.
Source: Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties!
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