If you’ve done much baking with chocolate, you might know that it’s one thing to make a rich, deeply chocolatey batter that you’re going to bake into a cake and serve by the slice—but that it’s quite another to use the same formula for cupcakes. Chocolate adds fat to the mix, and a high enough ratio will make the crumb so rich and tender that it falls apart. Fine–and delicious—as fork food, but not ideal for out-of-hand snacking.
But a structurally sound, over-the-top chocolate cupcake is doable if you pull out all the stops and calibrate the batter just right. Here’s our strategy:
2. Minimize distracting flavors
Trade butter for oil, the neutral flavor of which will allow for fuller, unadulterated chocolatey depth. Oil also makes for a noticeably more moist crumb, since the water in butter (about 16 percent by weight) can evaporate during baking.
3. Encourage gluten development
Bread flour, specifically engineered for gluten development, contains more protein than the all-purpose kind, and will make for a sturdier (but not tough) crumb.
Chocolate-y to the Core
And now, the pièce de résistance: If you really want to push the chocolate-y punch over the edge, try filling the center of the cupcake with dark, gooey ganache. Nothing registers as indulgence quite like that truffley, semi-molten pocket, and if you thin the melted bar with just enough heavy cream (¼ cup per 2 ounces of chocolate) and gently place a spoonful of it on top of the cupcake batter, it will sink into the center of the cupcake during baking. Bite into the rich cake, and the ganache will gush slightly. It’s chocolate nirvana.
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