As you may or may not have noticed, taking a cue from coffee, single origin chocolate has become quite vogue. Understanding the complexities of chocolate and its unique properties has always been difficult. Now, with all of the specific varieties of chocolate available, you may need the help of a sommelier to differentiate between them.
Besides the numerous political advantages in single origin chocolate (proper trade and labour practices can be secured this way) there is the ability to blend cocoa beans to deliver a chocolate whose best features are promoted.
Of course, most of the large chocolate companies have jumped on board. However, it is easy to find local businesses doing the same thing on a much smaller scale.
Rouge Chocolatier is a particularly interesting bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer I came upon. Colin Gasko (the founder) sources, roasts, grinds, conches, tempers and molds all of the chocolate himself in a small shop in Minneapolis. And, if you are interested, they deliver to Canada!
So, celebrate the brilliance of chocolate by grabbing your favourite designer bar (70% cocoa or higher of course!) and create a luscious ganache topped chocolate cupcake.
Haute Chocolate Cupcakes
The chocolate cupcake recipe is courtesy of the always interesting Chocolate & Zucchini blog.
2 cups whipping cream
1. Place chocolate in a food processor. Pulse until chocolate is finely chopped.
2. Heat cream in a small saucepan until small bubbles form around edge. Pour cream into food processor and run until chocolate is melted and smooth. Place chocolate in bowl of mixer.
3. Refrigerate mixture until cold. Using whisk attachment beat chocolate mixture until soft peaks form with beater is lifted.
4. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp sugar
1. Place bowl of mixer and whisk attachment in fridge to chill.
2. Add cream and sugar to mixer bowl. Beat on high until stiff peaks form.
3. Pipe onto cupcakes just prior to serving.
Toasted homemade marshmallows are an excellent topper to these cupcakes, just as they are to any good hot chocolate. A wonderful recipe can be found here, brought to you by Brownie Points.