I love to experiment with different kinds of cupcakes, and I always make cupcakes that have some sort of filling. My love affair with filling came when I first made these cupcakes. A cupcake without filling is like.... PB&J without the PB. Know what I'm sayin'? When I saw these Chubby Hubby cupcakes, I just knew that I had to make them... after all, I am a huge fan of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, and I used to eat Chubby Hubby ice cream when I was having boy troubles... but since I haven't had boy troubles in a loooooooooooong time (I've been married for almost 6 years!), I haven't had Chubby Hubby ice cream for a loooooooooooong time. :) But I just couldn't resist wanting to make them!
These cupcakes will always have a special place in my heart since they were the first thing I made with my brand new KitchenAid.Yes, I realize that practically every human on the planet Earth has a KitchenAid, but I just got one as an early birthday present, and boy, am I one happy little lady!
These cupcakes were labor intensive, but they were definitely worth it! Here's what you'll need to make these cupcakes:
For the cupcakes:
3 cups cake flour (I found it was cheaper to buy cake flour in the Winco bulk bins that it was to buy cake flour in a box)
1 TBSP. baking powder
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup malted milk powder
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 TBSP. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
*Preheat your oven to 350 and line your cupcake pan with liners. In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour and baking powder. Whisk to blend it and then set it aside. In another bowl, beat together the butter on medium-high speed until smooth. Gradually add the sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time and mixing for about 1 minute after every addition. **It's important to thoroughly mix the butter and sugar so that you can incorporate the maximum amount of air, held in by the fat, so that your cupcakes will properly rise when baked in the oven. It will also allow you to have a light texture to your cupcakes... Blend in the malted milk powder. Beat the eggs, adding one egg at a time. **Adding the eggs one at a time is essential so that you can retain all those little air bubbles you created when creaming the butter and sugar together... Next, add in the vanilla. Mix in the buttermilk, alternating it with your dry mixture (the cake flour and the baking powder), but be sure to start and end with your dry ingredients! Why? Because when you bake, you want to avoid the formation of gluten. Any gluten formed will inhibit the rising of your cupcakes and can also make them tough. The first batch of dry ingredients gets coated from the fat of the butter and the eggs. This fat interferes with the gluten formation. Overmixing will also cause gluten to form. So be sure to mix each ingredient until just barely incorporated. It drives me nuts when I see "Mix for 2 minutes" on cake mix boxes!!! Argh! Okay... moving on...
Divide your batter among your liners. I like to use an ice cream scoop, it makes life much easier! Bake for about 18-20 minutes. I always bake mine at 18 minutes.
For the ganache filling:
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
4 TBSP. butter, at room temperature
1-2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped pretzels
*Place your finely chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Add the cream to a saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Remove it from the heat and pour it onto the chopped chocolate. Let it stand for a couple of minutes, and then whisk it together until a smooth ganache forms. Whisk the butter in, 1 TBSP. at at time, until completely incorporated. I didn't like how runny the ganache was, so I added powdered sugar to thicken it up a bit. To fill your cupcakes, core your cupcakes and insert your ganache. This was a little tricky for me. At first, I tried to just spoon the ganache in... and things got a little messy...
Peanut Butter Frosting:
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) butter, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar (aka confectioner's sugar)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 TBSP. heavy cream
*Combine the butter and peanut butter and beat until smooth with a mixer. Mix in the powdered sugar. On low speed, add the vanilla and heavy cream until just incorporated. Increase your speed to medium-high and whip until a light and fluffy frosting forms. It should take about 3-4 minutes.
After your cupcakes are frosted, you can garnish them with pretzels drizzled in chocolate, or you can by chocolate covered pretzels and garnish with those!
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