Peanut butter and bittersweet chocolate are a spectacular flavor combination that is one of my favorites. These little cakes are made with peanut butter and iced with whipped bittersweet chocolate ganache, then decorated with salted peanuts. One or two will surely satisfy your peanut butter and chocolate craving.–Carole Bloom
Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache Frosting
1 H, 15 M
Makes 2 dozen cupcakes
Special Equipment: Two 12-cavity 2–inch round silicone mini-muffin pans
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Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 350°F (175°C). Place the mini-muffin pans on a baking sheet.
Over a medium size bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the salt and toss together to blend.
Beat the butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer with the flat beater attachment or in a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer on medium speed until it’s fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the peanut butter and blend together until smooth. Add the brown sugar and beat until creamy, about 1 minute.
In a small bowl, use a fork to lightly beat stir the egg and vanilla together. Beat this mixture into the peanut butter mixture. Stop frequently and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. The mixture may look curdled as the egg is added, but as you stop and scrape down the bowl, the mixture will smooth out. Add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture in 3 stages, alternating with the half and half, and blending well after each addition.
Use a 1 1/2-inch round ice cream scoop to divide the batter evenly among the cavities of the mini-muffin pans.
Bake the cupcakes for 15 minutes, until light golden and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and cool the mini-muffin pans on racks.
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium size bowl.
Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let it stand for 30 seconds. Use a heat-resistant spatula to stir the mixture together until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill until thick, but not stiff, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Whip the ganache in the bowl of an electric stand mixer with the flat beater attachment or in a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer on medium speed until it holds soft peaks, about 1 minute.
Use a small offset spatula, a rubber spatula, or a spoon to spread the top of each cupcake with the ganache frosting. Or fit a 12 or 14–inch pastry bag with a large open star tip and fill it partway with the ganache. Pipe the ganache on the cupcakes in rosettes, covering the tops. Serve the cupcakes at room temperature.
Sprinkle the top of each cupcake with peanuts.
Store the unfrosted cupcakes between layers of waxed paper in a single layer in an airtight plastic container at room temperature up to 4 days. To freeze up to 4 months, wrap the container tightly in several layers of plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Use a large piece of masking tape and an indelible marker to label and date the contents. If frozen, defrost overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before frosting. The frosted cupcakes can be kept tightly covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature.
The ganache can be made up to 3 weeks in advance and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature or soften in a microwave oven on low power before whipping.
Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache Frosting Recipe © 2009 Carole Bloom. Photo © 2009 Glenn Cormier. All rights reserved. All materials used with permission.