I made these Devil’s food cupcakes with chocolate ganache frosting and salted caramel filling for my parents’ annual Christmas Day lunch from Martha Stewart’s “Cupcakes” books.

You can also find the recipes for the cupcakes and the frosting through these hyperlinks to her website. Rather than topping the cupcakes with chocolate shavings as pictured in the book, I used shards of the hazelnut brittle I had made earlier.

Substitutions:
None, although I also used the salted caramel filling in these cupcakes though the recipe didn’t call for it.

Would I make this again? Yes, especially the chocolate ganache. It was easy to make, had a lustrous sheen, and kept well in the fridge in an airtight container … even when I had to mix it again a couple of days later to top these cupcakes. It is one of those frosting recipes that holds mass appeal among both children and adults alike. And you will probably still have a whole container of leftover frosting you can use to make a sheet cake for your kids or for another cupcake recipe.

While the salted caramel filling is a recipe from the same book, but was filed under another cupcake recipe, it was a nice addition as it offset the tooth-tingling sweetness of the chocolate ganache frosting and elevated the taste to a more-adult flavour combination. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a syrupy caramel filling, however; the texture is more like a hardened maple syrup or honey and it’s a pleasant surprise after that first bite.
I have to admit that the hazelnut brittle with the chocolate ganache and the salted caramel may have been a bit of flavour overload, but I assumed that not too many of my family members would be chomping on the hazelnut brittle as it is rock hard and really – I just wanted it to look pretty! And I have to say, I’m just crazy about the way the light filters through the amber shards. You can also make chocolate curls for decoration, which is the expected route, or perhaps use some pretty silver dragees.

Grade: These cupcakes were foolproof and a good standard chocolate cupcake recipe. They were moist, light, and froze well. If you plan to freeze them a few days in advance, like I did, you can wrap each one in plastic wrap, and then either put them in an airtight lidded container, or pop them back in the muffin tin, and cover that with foil. Take them out of the freezer a couple of hours before frosting them and they are as good as new.

If you haven’t already read my previous entries on Martha Stewart’s “Cupcakes” book, you can revisit them now: Christmas tree cupcakes with coffee-flavoured buttercream; lemon meringue cupcakes; tiramisu cupcakes; and chocolate spice cupcakes.