One of my very good friend's birthdays is in February. She and I have been friends for 14 years. I recently moved to the same city and one of the best things has been getting to hang out with her more. So when her birthday came around, I had two questions:
1) can I make your birthday cake?
2) what kind do you want?
Responses: Absolutely, chocolate.
So turned to Dorie Greenspan and made her Coco-Buttermilk Cake as cupcakes and topped them with her Caramel Chocolate Ganache. I made cupcakes figuring it would be easier for everyone to grab one than worry with cutting cake slices. I sprinkled some confectioners' sugar and chocolate chips on top. The guys at Las Margaritas can make excellent margaritas, and can light up a birthday (cup) cake and sing happy birthday with drums and some serious celebration.
I made the cupcakes and ganache the day before. The ganache is delicious! First you caramelize sugar in a little water with cinnamon, add cream and a little salt, and then add that to melt the chocolate. That is cooled and added to butter - lots of butter! I would actually decrease the amount Dorie indicates in the recipe because the ganache lost some of the lovely caramel chocolate taste. It was extremely hard to spread, so I put it in ziplock bags and piped it. Still very hard. It busted three bags, even after I beat with the mixer.
The cupcakes were good, though very dry. I think I might have overcooked them, following the time for the regular cake. Either way, it was chocolate explosion in every direction! Seriously festive.