Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes topped with Chocolate dipped Strawberries

I think I am on a theme here of making wonderful cupcakes. I modified a cake recipe to create this outrageous cupcake.  A dense chocolate cupcake frosted with a sinful chocolate ganache topped with a chocolate dipped strawberry.  Combining two favorite flavors chocolate and strawberry into a heavenly treat!

Cup Cakes

1/2 cups sem- sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (16-ounce) package light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 cup hot water
2 teaspoons vanilla

Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in microwave at high for 30 second intervals until melted, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir until smooth.
Beat brown sugar and butter at medium speed in an electric mixer 5 minutes or until well blended. The time really depends on the type of mixer you use. The stronger the mixer the less mixing time.
Add eggs one at a time mixing just until blended. Add melted chocolate mixing just until blended. Don't over beat the batter.
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to chocolate batter alternating with the sour cream. Always start and end with the flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Gradually add hot water beating at low speed until just blended. Stir in vanilla. Batter will be thin, don't panic you didn't do anything wrong.
Pour into cup cake pans with a paper liner. Makes about 20 cup cakes.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until wooden tester comes out clean ( I use a bamboo skew)  I like to use a soup ladle to spoon the batter into the prepared cup cake pans. Poor slowly into the cake liners. Cool cupcakes completely before frosting with Chocolate Ganache. Dip strawberries in left over Ganache and set on top of cake. If you are not serving with in the next hour, dip strawberries and put in refrigerator.  When you are ready to serve melt 1-ounce semisweet chocolate, cool until room temperature about 5 minutes.  Dip side of strawberry that you are placing on cupcake( think of using the chocolate as a glue to hold the chilled strawberry on top of the cupcake), then gently place strawberry on top of cupcake.

Chocolate Ganache
1 (12 -ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoon butter

Microwave chocolate and whipped cream in 2-quart glass bowl at 50% power for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in butter, let stand 30 minutes. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 3 to 4 minutes. ( An electric hand mixer works very well)

When I was making these cupcakes I was thinking how far cupcakes have come from the ones I used to make for my childrens' birthday to bring school to share with their classmates. Cupcakes are now revered and elevated to loft hights, lusted after, elaborate creations, even fancy enough for an elegant wedding. Who knew!



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