Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Heart Cut-Out Valentines Cupcakes
If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know my love of Ghirardelli baking chips. They’re the chocolate chips I use 95% of the time in my baking. I used them last week in the Brookies. I used their mini chocolate chips in my Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls. I have an entire label you can search by to see the ways I’ve used them. I’ve been singing their praises for years.
The baking chips are bigger than regular chocolate chips which is bonus for me (more chocolate!) and I love the dark chocolate flavor that comes with the 60% cacao chips. They melt beautifully and I’ve been known to eat them straight out of the bag.
For those reasons, I was really excited for this chance to create another recipe using their baking chips. Every time I see them on sale (at Target, Meijer, wherever) I pick up a bag, so I always have a good stash.
First, I wanted to make heart shaped chocolates filled with peanut butter and ganache. I went to four stores (in the polar vortex!) looking for the right size silicone heart mold but didn’t find what I was looking for. I finally gave up and ordered one on Amazon. But, they didn’t turn out as pretty as I had hoped. They tasted good, but they were kind of ugly (I threw them in the picture above for decoration).
Once I scraped that idea, I decided I wanted cupcakes. Dark chocolate cupcakes with heart cut-outs, filled with ganache and sprinkles. Mmmm. I added the baking chips to the cupcake batter and melted some more for the ganache. I love these cupcakes.
As I’ve said before, I’m not a huge frosting fan. These cupcakes are moist and don’t need frosting. Because the baking chips are large, they fall to the bottom of the cupcake batter creating an awesome chocolate bottom (coat them in a little cocoa powder before stirring them into the batter to prevent this). Then, you have the ganache and sprinkles at the top.
- For the cupcakes
- 1½ cups flour
- ⅔ cup cocoa powder (I use ⅓ cup dark cocoa powder & ⅓ cup regular)
- 1⅓ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup milk (I use 2%)
- ⅔ cup hot water
- ½ heaping cup of
- baking chips
- For the ganache
- (this is enough ganache to fill 12 cupcakes - depending on how deep you make your heart cut-out)
- ½ cup Ghirardelli baking chips
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- You'll also need a mini heart cookie cutter (here's the one I use)
- sprinkles of your choice
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a tray and a half with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, cocoa powder(s), sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix together with a wire whisk.
- Add in the eggs, oil, vanilla, and milk and mix until combined.
- Add the hot water (just hot water from the tap, but let it get hot) and mix until smooth. It will look runny, but that's ok.
- Add in the baking chips and stir.
- Use a cookie scoop to fill cupcake liners about ¾ full. The batter is thin and the baking chips are heavy, so try to distribute some chips into each cupcake.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick (that hasn't been inserted into a chocolate chip) comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. After about 15 minutes, I moved mine to the fridge to really cool down so I could start the heart cut-outs.
- Once fully cooled, use the cookie cutter to cut out a heart shape from each cupcake.
- Once you're done making the cut-outs, make the ganache. Add ½ cup of baking chips to a microwave safe measuring cup with 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream. Mix it up. Put in the microwave for 30 seconds on high, then remove and stir. That's all mine took to get smooth and creamy. Isn't melted chocolate pretty?
- Next, I used a mini spatula to add a dollop of ganache to each heart cut-out. Smoothing it out as I went. Then, go back and add some sprinkles.
- That's it! Let them set up a bit then enjoy!