I realize that my better than sex chocolate cupcakes are not the simplest recipe around. In fact, I would consider multiple aspects of it as difficult. So in result, I want to dedicate a post towards some of the techniques we covered.
First is the alternation of flour and milk. The constant beating not only helps create a rich, smooth, airy batter, but helps create a velvety texture.
The mousse is where most of the technical terms come in. I refer to two things: blooming and double boilers.
First, blooming. When working with gelatin, we must understand its properties (think jello). When you are trying to make jello, the powder doesn’t dissolve instantly or smoothly because gelatin hates heat. Therefore, we must bloom the gelatin. I will use the cupcake recipe to demonstrate. First, you take the 1/2 cup of cold heavy cream and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Then you allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes. This process itself is known as blooming.
A double boiler is probably more common. Quite simply, you simmer a pot of hot water and put a bowl over the pot (making sure it doesn’t touch the water) and allow the heat to melt the chocolate in the bowl. In the mousse recipe, you put all the ingredients in the bowl and allow them to melt together. You must make sure to melt the heavy cream with the chocolate because adding a cold liquid will cause the chocolate to shock. In addition make sure NO vapor enters the melting chocolate or it will clump!
Next, you must heat the gelatin gently over heat. I did this over my double boiler. After the chocolate had cooled, I swirled my gelatin mixture in a bowl stirring constantly making sure to remove as soon as it dissolved. Make sure not to over heat the gelatin as it destroys the properties of the gelatin.
Beating the heavy cream is fairly straight forward, beat on medium high and it will fluff up which could take a few minutes. Using cold beaters and a cold bowl allows for faster air incorporation which results in a faster product. What is important here is making sure you do not over work the dough and fold gently. The key here is to fold and not stir. I’ll have a separate post on folding so you’ll have to depend on youtube for now.
As far as ganache goes, I simply dipped the cupcakes which resulted in a smooth covering that looked… delicious!