Thursday, September 5, 2013

Life by Chocolate (Pioneer Woman)

"... Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." - Mrs Gump from the Forrest Gump movie (1994)

I like my life to be a box of chocolates!
A sweet life with a hint of bitterness... 
A smooth life with hidden surprises...
A satisfied life with cravings and excitements...

I can't imagine how my life will be without any chocolate... 

Being chocoholic, I was deeply attracted to the name of this dessert when I first saw this blog post by The Pionner Woman. I told myself that I must bake these mini chocolate cakes... 

Glad that I made these beautiful indulgences! Now, I shall let my pictures speak for themselves...

I like to fill my life with lots of chocolates!
Please see my previous post for the steps of making this super-easy cake batter.
We ate lots of Reese when we were at America!
Cherry + chocolate are great combination too!
Love baking these baby cakes!

Glossy chocolate ganache? Yes, please!
Coating the chocolate cake with chocolate ganache
Life is so fabulous with these! Isn't it?
Can't resist anymore... Gotta eat this!

Here's the recipe from Pioneer Woman
(with my modification in blue)

2 cups sugar
(reduced to 150g for half of the recipe)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 whole eggs
1 tsp baking soda

(replace with baking powder)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 sticks butter
(used 100g of butter for half of the recipe)
4 tbsp (heaping) cocoa powder
(used 20g for half of the recipe)
1 cup boiling water
18 whole Hershey's Kisses, Unwrapped*

canned pitted cherries, optional*

Note: This cake base is exactly the same of the devil dog's one.

*Using half amount of the cupcake recipe, I used 7 Hershey's Kisses, 7 Reese miniature chocolate and 10 pitted cherries to make 24 mini cupcakes.

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
(I used 120g Callebaut chocolate with 70% cocoa)
1 cup heavy cream
6 tbsp corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F (or 160°C fan forced). Spray 18 muffin cups (or 24 mini cups for half amount) with baking spray.

To make the cake batter, combine and sift flour, sugar, and salt (and baking powder). Set aside.

In a separate container, combine buttermilk, eggs, baking soda (I didn't add this) and vanilla. Stir to combine and set aside.

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and stir to combine. Add boiling water, allow to bubble for a few seconds, then turn off heat.

Pour chocolate mixture over flour mixture. Stir a few times to cool the chocolate. Pour buttermilk mixture over the top and stir to combine.

Pour 1/4 cup cake batter into each muffin cup (or 1 tsp of batter for each mini muffin). Lightly set one kiss or 3 canned, pitted cherries (or one kiss, one miniature Reese or one cherry for each mini cake) in the middle of each cupcake; do not press down. 

For my mini cakes, I have topped up the muffin cups with more batter

Bake for 20 mins. Allow to cool for 5 mins in the pan, then remove cupcakes and allow to cool on a baking rack.

To make the ganache, heat cream and corn syrup over medium heat. Place chocolate in a bowl. Add vanilla to cream mixture, then pour cream mixture over the top of the chopped chocolate. Whisk together until melted, smooth, and glossy.

Dunk cupcakes in ganache. Allow to cool and set before serving.

Note: Half amount of the ganache can coat 16 of these mini cupcakes.

Happy Baking
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  1. I'm on a chocolate kick right now, and those do look yummy.

  2. Hi Zoe , love chocolate and you can't resist a recipe like this one , so yummy and moist , thanks for sharing :) .

  3. I love the movie Forrest Gump! And all these chocolatey treats look so good, wish I can have a bite of the one with the Reese's piece. ;) Have a great week, Zoe!

  4. Oh Zoe, I would love to pop a few of this in my mouth right now...they look delicious, love the "surprise" in it...yum!
    Hope you are having a great week :D

  5. Hi Zoe, these look luscious! I am imagining having them after dinner :)

  6. Zoe, do you believe that until now I still say this phrase, the forrest gump's phrase! And this is the 1st time I "caught" you by using a homebrand's product, the black cherries, hehehe! These days when I see chocolate, I think of you because like you said before, you & your family love chocolate so much!

  7. Oh my. Those look so unbelievably delicious and melty... and they seem so easy to make!
    I can totally relate, I'm a chocoholic too :)

  8. This is way too decadent and sinful! Loved it

  9. Zoe, omg! this is not good for me to see before dinner!!!

  10. OH wow... I like the one with cherry inside... looks amazing!

  11. so plain looking but so wicked !!! feel like having one and going "mmmmmmmm"

  12. Wow! You really love your chocolates huh! Can call you chocolate queen now lol! looks sinful and delicious!

  13. Oh wow...I was rather intrigued by these! They look so cute and delicious!

  14. Oh my! such mouth-watering little morsels!

  15. Zoe , those look decadent ! The different filling sounds wonderful :D

  16. Hi Zoe aka The Choco Gal! Haha!
    I can see why these are so irresistible! Wish I could pop one in my mouth now! Looks so yummmmeh!

  17. oh yumm, these look divine!!, especially the hidden surprise :)

  18. I love that you can fill these with so many great little treats! I think peanut butter cup would be my fav! These look absolutely heavenly.

  19. ❤ ❤ ..You make me fall more and more in love with all things chocolate, Zoe!

  20. favorites chocolate!!!
    Cherry + chocolate, i like it~hehe^^

  21. I can't resist chocolate! I want to eat!

  22. OMG ....Se ve muy rico chocolate irresistible y jugoso,hugs,hugs.

  23. Oh my, Zoe! these are unbelievably sinful! :PP I am so gonna try making them pronto hahah!

  24. Indeed life is like a box of chocolates!! Zoe, I'm so glad you remembered this phase too because constantly I do remember it apart from the sheer word of chocolate, it means a whole lot more than that to me. I must say that your chocolates definitely look delectable! Like you, I'm a chocolate fan too ;)

  25. These are heavenly, Zoe! I love those peanut butter Reese but they aren't cheap here :< Awesome chocolates!

  26. My dear, its look so cute, delicious and mouth watering. Bet after first bite, you won't stop.

  27. I am SO making these asap!! They look incredible. Also, I love Forrest Gump. Great post!

  28. Oh wow! Life by chocolate indeed! I have a feeling I'll be making these soon now that Fall is around the corner. Thanks for posting!

  29. Oh Wow! Looks so heavenly sinful, my kind of treat! How come I didn't see this recipe of Drew at her blog ! I have some leftover cherries sitting in the fridge . These goodies will make my sons real HAPPY & me 2! LOL

  30. Zoe,
    This is indeed to die for chocolate goodies!
    Simply lovely!

  31. It is like I am bathing in chocolate :D


  32. Wow. These look fabulous. Truly good recipe - thanks.

  33. this is so perfect for parties! love it...

  34. Zoe, I shouldn't make these....but I want to :)

  35. That looks soooooo sinful! Chocolate and PB cups... oh my oh my!