Getting bars of free Valrhona chocolate previously gave me a chance to make chocolate mousse for the first time. And now, it has given me the chance to make chocolate cupcakes for the first time. Since I had bars of dark baking chocolate and white chocolate, I decided it would be fun to make half a batch covered with dark chocolate ganache, and half with white ganache.
I found a recipe for the cupcakes and a recipe for the ganache, and the game was on. The cupcakes came out perfectly – I baked them for the maximum time given on the recipe, 22 minutes, and the toothpick inserted into the cupcakes came out clean. My only mistake was a minor mishap on the way to transferring the cupcakes to the cooling rack – several fell onto the floor, but only one was irreparably damaged. Nevertheless, sitting on the cooling rack, even without icing, they looked pretty impressive.
Next came the ganache preparation. Since the recipe I chose gave the ratio of one pound of chocolate to a can of coconut milk, and I was using half a pound each of the two different chocolates, I decided to use half of the container of milk for each ganache. This worked great for the dark chocolate: it came out silky, with plenty of body, but cooled to a good degree of thickness. However, the white chocolate ganache was soupy, and never thickened no matter how long I waited for it to cool. I erred! I should’ve looked at recipes for white ganache – the consistency of white chocolate, with all that milk in it, is totally different from that of dark chocolate. It is much softer and pasty. I’m guessing that it would’ve worked with about half the amount of coconut milk that I added (i.e., 1/4 of the can).
But of course when baking, even when things don’t go exactly as you had planned, you make do. When the cupcakes and icings had cooled, I piped chocolate ganache onto half the cupcakes, and drizzled some white ganache onto the other half. After sitting in the refrigerator for a while, the white ganache solidified enough that those cupcakes weren’t too messy. My wife said that the cupcakes with white icing were yummy! As for me, I enjoyed the dark chocolate ones. And we have a bunch more in our freezer for next time.