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Mini Chocolate Cakes with Dark-Chocolate Ganache

Bake these little cakes one to two days ahead, so their rich, chocolaty flavor has a chance to bloom. The ganache can be made one week ahead and stored in the refrigerator; rewarm it over a saucepan of simmering water or in the microwave just until loose and pourable. The cakes can be assembled and stored at room temperature up to four hours. For an expert tutorial from Martha on how to make chocolate curls, go to marthastewart.com/chocolate-curls.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes about 56 mini cakes
Mini Chocolate Cakes with Dark-Chocolate Ganache

Photography: John Kernick

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2013

Ingredients

Mini Chocolate Cakes

  • 1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for mini muffin tins
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for mini muffin tins
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature

Dark-Chocolate Ganache

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 small block bittersweet chocolate, for chocolate curls (optional)

Directions

  1. Cakes: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush mini muffin tins with butter, then dust with cocoa powder, tapping out excess. Melt chocolate, stirring until smooth, in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water; remove from heat and let cool. Stir together cocoa powder and hot water in a small bowl until a smooth, loose paste forms; set aside.

  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat together butter and sugars with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated. Beat in vanilla, cocoa mixture, and melted chocolate. Beat in half of flour mixture, then sour cream. Beat in remaining flour mixture just until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

  3. Spoon 2 tablespoons batter into each mini muffin cup. Bake until puffed and a toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out with moist crumbs attached, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cakes cool in tins 5 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to let cool completely.

  4. Ganache: Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over high heat. Place chocolate in a small bowl. Pour cream over chocolate, let stand 1 minute, then stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.

  5. Assembly: Pour 1 teaspoon ganache over each cake. Let stand until ganache is set, about 30 minutes. Shave block chocolate with a peeler and place curls on top of cakes.

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